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A.D. History Podcast

The World of Baby Jesus & Rise of Wang Mang | 1AD -10AD

The world baby Jesus was born into was more turbulent than we realize, and Wang Mang’s rise in the Han Dynasty would make Machiavelli proud.



The world of 1AD to 10AD has its own very rich story to tell. In this initial episode of the A.D. History Podcast, co-hosts Paul K. DiCostanzo and Patrick Foote begin where AD – Anno Domini – itself begins, with the birth of the baby Jesus of Nazareth, best known as Jesus Christ. Episode 1 also goes farther afield, looking into China’s Han Dynasty, and the rise of the Machiavelli before Machiavelli – Wang Mang. 

The World of Baby Jesus

Paul paints a portrait of the very turbulent world baby Jesus was born into between 1BC and 4AD, expounding on the complex history that encompasses 1st Century Roman Palestine.

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Examining the perspective of both the Romans who ruled and the Jews who lived in 1st Century Roman Palestine, this first episode explores the historical seeds of so much of the conflict that will arise during Jesus’ public ministry three decades later. 

The Rise of Wang Mang, Duke of Anham, & A Fractured Han Dynasty

In the second segment, Patrick dives into the lesser known history of China’s Han Dynasty in the 1st Century AD. The Han Dynasty managed to rule for hundreds of years, but not continuously.

Through the power play machinations of the nobleman Wang Mang, Duke of Anhan, Wang laid the framework for his very own house of cards.

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Monarchy and Dynasty are a far more delicate institution than they often appear. For a Han Dynasty with its emperors continually dying young and childless, Wang Mang found his unique opening.

His story is a classic tale of methodically accumulating power, how its exercised when acquired, and how it effects those who finally attain it.

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Anna Domini is voiced by Anna Chloe Moorey.


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The A.D. History Podcast explores the last two thousand years of world history in an innovative new way. Join hosts Paul K. DiCostanzo and Patrick Foote as they examine the past two millennia, beginning in 1 AD, and progressing forward ten years every episode until they reach the modern day. Within each ten-year installment, Paul and Patrick aim to share incredibly important, but often overlooked fascinating historic events and figures from around the world in prospective fashion; attempting to see history through the eyes and in the world of those who lived it. By identifying these sometimes lesser known - but in no way less significant aspects of history - the A.D. History Podcast endeavors to take these many disparate threads and weave a fuller, richer tapestry of true world history from 1AD to HD.