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A couple more recommendations: The Roma Sub Rosa series, by Steven Saylor, is a set of detective novels written as historical fiction and set in Rome. They cover a period from 92-46 BCE and the protagonist, while not actually a mover and shaker in Rome, is continually caught up in the major events of the Roman state. He's written a couple of other books that, while not technically part of the series, cover an overlapping period of time. He does his homework and the books do a good job of setting the scene. The audiobooks are quite good. I'd also recommend the History of English podcast. It is as much a history podcast as a linguistics one, if not more so. There is a lot of excellent history presented as well as a lot of explanation of how English has become what it is (and, for people who are into that sort of thing, it's pretty cool).
Toggle Commented Sep 6, 2014 on Audible Recs at Revolutions