In a few days, I’m going to say goodbye to a friend who I have stuck by through thick and thin for nearly 3 years. I knew for a while that this day was coming, but that doesn’t make it hurt any less. Yes, it will be quite hard to listen to the upcoming final episode of Mike Duncan’s lovely podcast “The History of Rome.

After nearly 5 years of continuous podcasting (give or take a few hiati), Mike Duncan has finally gotten to the period when Romulus Agustulus reigned and was exiled – and with perfect timing too, as he and his wife are expecting their first child to be born any day now.

This isn’t the first time I’ve talked about the podcasts I love, but “The History of Rome” was special. It’s one of the few that I have listened to consistently, week in and week out, for years on end, and I eagerly awaited each new installment. I gladly followed the thread from the Flavian Dynasty (the period of time the podcast was describing when I subscribed), to the Antonines, to the Severins, and to all of the other families and rulers that rose and fell like clockwork in the years that followed.

It’s because of this podcast that I learned to appreciate ancient history, and it’s also because of this podcast that I finally decided to watch “I, Claudius” to see what the hell my old English teacher Mr. Shearer raved about. Nearly 10 years after the fact, I’m proud to admit that Mr. Shearer had good taste.

So, what will happen now that one of the joys of my commute has passed? I don’t know about the shows other devoted listeners, but I’m trying to find something else to fill the hole. I’m in the process of testing out some BBC Radio 4 podcasts, hoping that at least one of them will have the right balance of information and sardonic wit to keep me hooked.

In the meantime, I wish Mike Duncan, the man behind “The History of Rome” all the best – the podcast has been better than anyone could have dared hope for.