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Mary Beard takes in the mythology, history and archaeology of Rome. In the first episode, Mary reaches back to the myths and legends of the origins of Rome.

In this first episode, Mary Beard reaches back to the myths and legends of the origins of Rome to gain an insight into the deep-rooted psyche of the people of Rome - a city born through fratricide and rape. But from the very beginning, Rome was also an asylum for outcasts and exiles and because of this, it adopted a uniquely inclusive approach towards its neighbours and defeated enemies. The expansion of the city brought territory in first in Italy and Sicily, where Rome first came head to head and eventually defeated her great rival, Carthage.

Mary then travels to Greece, where Rome adopted a complex mix of brute force and cultural cringe, and France, where she finds evidence of war methods akin to outright genocide. In typical myth-busting style, Mary argues that the period of greatest Roman expansion occurred when Rome itself was little more than a provincial backwater, a shanty town of mud and brick. The marble, monumental Rome we know came about because of imperial conquest - not the other way round. And likewise, the creation and possession of an empire transformed the politics of Rome forever, creating the conditions for one-man rule, and ending the centuries-old Roman Republic.

59 minutes

Last on

Wed 24 Jul 2019 22:00

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Role Contributor
Presenter Mary Beard
Writer Mary Beard
Photographer Craig Hasting
Photographer Liam Ayres
Photographer Marco Rossi
Aerial Photographer Denis Gliksman
Sound Timothy Hodge
Colourist Martin Mayos
On-line editing Martin Mayos
Re-recording mixer Gavin Allingham
Production Coordinator Isabelle Burn
Production Manager Claire Smith
Assistant Producer Johnny Crockett
Film Editor James Dowd
Executive Producer Martin Davidson
Executive Producer Richard Bradley
Director Chris Mitchell
Series Producer Caterina Turroni
Production Company Lion Television


  • Wed 27 Apr 2016 21:00
  • Wed 27 Apr 2016 22:45
  • Fri 29 Apr 2016 00:05
  • Fri 29 Apr 2016 00:35
  • Tue 10 May 2016 00:45
  • Tue 10 May 2016 01:15
  • Mon 12 Feb 2018 22:00
  • Wed 24 Jul 2019 22:00

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