Listen to Owen Bennett-Jones discuss the future of opinion polls with Mark Pack

Emma Southon

Feb 2, 2022

A Fatal Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum

Murder in Ancient Rome

Abrams Press 2021

In Ancient Rome, all the best stories have one thing in common—murder. Romulus killed Remus to found the city, Caesar was assassinated to save the Republic. Caligula was butchered in the theater, Claudius was poisoned at dinner, and Galba was beheaded in the Forum. In one 50-year period, 26 emperors were murdered.

But what did killing mean in a city where gladiators fought to the death to sate a crowd? In A Fatal Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum (Harry N. Abrams, 2021), Emma Southon examines a trove of real-life homicides from Roman history to explore Roman culture, including how perpetrator, victim, and the act itself were regarded by ordinary people. Inside Ancient Rome's darkly fascinating history, we see how the Romans viewed life, death, and what it means to be human.

Emma Southon holds a PhD in ancient history from the University of Birmingham. She co-hosts a history podcast with writer Janina Matthewson called History is Sexy and works full time as a bookseller at Waterstones Belfast.

Schneur Zalman Newfield is an Assistant Professor of Sociology at Borough of Manhattan Community College, City University of New York, and the author of Degrees of Separation: Identity Formation While Leaving Ultra-Orthodox Judaism (Temple University Press, 2020). Visit him online at ZalmanNewfield.com.

Listen to more episodes on:

Your Host

Zalman Newfield

Schneur Zalman Newfield is an Assistant Professor of Sociology at Borough of Manhattan Community College, City University of New York, and the author of Degrees of Separation: Identity Formation While Leaving Ultra-Orthodox Judaism (Temple University Press, 2020).

Learn More

Also Hosted By Zalman Newfield