The Roman Republic was one of the most remarkable achievements in the history of civilization. After its founding in 509 BCE, the Romans refused to allow a single leader to seize control of the state and grab absolute power. The Roman commitment to cooperative government and peaceful transfers of power was unmatched in the history of the ancient world.
But by the year 133 BCE, the republican system was unable to cope with the vast empire Rome now ruled. Almost as soon as they had conquered the Mediterranean, Rome became engulfed in violent political conflicts and civil wars that would destroy the Republic less than a century later.
Chronicling the years 133-80 BCE, The Storm Before the Storm is a rollicking deep-dive into the bloody battles, political machinations, and human drama that defined a dangerous new political environment--a stark warning for modern readers about what happens to a civilization driven by increasing economic inequality, political polarization, and ruthless ambition.
Mike Duncan is one of the foremost history podcasters in the world. His award winning series The History of Rome chronologically narrated the entire history of the Roman Empire over 189 weekly episodes. Running from 2007-2012, The History of Rome has generated more than 56 million downloads and remains one of the most popular history podcasts on the internet. Duncan has continued this success with his ongoing series Revolutions -- which so far has explored the English, American, French, and Haitian Revolutions. Since debuting in September 2013, Revolutions has generated more than 12 million downloads. Thanks to the worldwide popularity of his podcasts, Duncan has led fans on a number of sold-out guided tours of Italy, England, and France to visit historic sites from Ancient Rome to the French Revolution. Duncan also collaborates with illustrator Jason Novak on informative cartoons that humorously explain the historical context for current events. Their work has been featured in the New Yorker, Paris Review, Awl, and Morning News.