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Full Version: Meet the Romans, by Mary Beard on BBC April 17
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I just love Mary !

Will definetely watch it.

M.VIB.M.
I'm looking forward to this; her program on Pompeii was terrific!
It had an annoyingly long intro, but after a while I got into it.
The baker's tomb was facinating, as was the hill of broken pots left from the olive oil import. And the mosaic adverts were small ingenious works of art.

She said a few overly assumed things, but otherwise, it was nice to see a documentry searching for the "normal" roman...even if some of the points made were a little obvious! Big Grin
Quote:I'm looking forward to this; her program on Pompeii was terrific!

Yes I enjoyed that! Then I went to Pompeii a few weeks later and tracked down all the same locations. Very nice!

I'm looking forward to seeing this tomorrow (recorded)
I've watched the first half on BBC iplayer and really enjoyed it - nice to see some bits of Rome you don't normally see and even if she has made some assumptions or stated the obvious (which to the average viewer may not be obvious at all don't forget), she's great at making the monuments and inscriptions come alive.
I found it a pity that she did not explain the status of freedmen properly, now every layman thinks they were Roman citizens with full rights which they were most certainly not. For the rest it was a lovely if not somewhat general program Smile She could and should also have said that the seating in the Amphitheatrum Flavium showed the exact social build-up of Roman society.

Looking forward to the next part though Smile

M.VIB.M.
I liked the first episode and I'm looking forward to the next one. I find it very different (in a positive way) when compared to the other series currently running on the BBC, 'Divine Women', which also discusses the Roman period, and which seems to be full of generalisations and/or black/white description of Roman religion and society. Which would have been OK I guess, had she not ignored a whole lot of known female roles in society or godesses. So 1-0 to Mary. :wink:

Quote:She said a few overly assumed things
She did. A gaffe in my opinion was calling 'purpure' purple, while it's now known that it was more red than purple.

Quote:I found it a pity that she did not explain the status of freedmen properly, now every layman thinks they were Roman citizens with full rights which they were most certainly not.
I noticed that one too! Confusedhock: Freedmen were not full citizen were they?
Quote:
MARCvSVIBIvSMAvRINvS post=311136 Wrote:I found it a pity that she did not explain the status of freedmen properly, now every layman thinks they were Roman citizens with full rights which they were most certainly not.
I noticed that one too! Confusedhock: Freedmen were not full citizen were they?
This is a bit of a grey area, I think - the recent thread on freedmen in the army (or not) turned up a few oddities. Knapp's Invisible Romans claims that 'formal' manumission, in front of a magistrate, did indeed grant full citizenship with no legal bars. The more common 'informal' manumission (by will, for example) granted only Junian Latin rights, which forbade military service and public office. Knapp points out that, since few would advertise their rights status anyway, little formal distinction was made!

So it would seem that the difference lay more in social stigma - the 'taint of servile origins' and so on. Maybe another thread for this, though?

Meanwhile, here's Ms Beard giving more details on the 11-yr old poet Sulpicius, who died 'of overwork' Confusedhock: :

Pushy Roman Parents
True Nathan, there are some oddities in it. Manumissio has been a much debated subject as well as slave law. What I find most entertaining is the anger with which some ancient authors complain about freedmen taking up citizen seats or worse, senatorial seats in the theatres and arenas, wearing fake gold rings....

However, formal status was advertised EVERY time you mentioned your name or the name of your father if he would have been of freedmen status.... Therefore you sometimes see grave stones without the mentioning of a father' s name.....

M.VIB.M.
Yes agree with all the other comments but would add the caveat that Divine Women has Bettany Hughes presenting it which is definately more pleasing on the eye in my humble opinion :wink:
Another excellent episode last night. However, I was surprised - not to say puzzled - that she mentioned that amongst those amenities we take for granted but Rome lacked was prisons! What about the Lautumiae, or the infamous Mamertine/Tullianum? I can only assume she meant as places as punishment, as opposed to just holding cells before execution or whatever.
I missed the second episode, but I've got her book so I'll try and catch it online somehow. She is really interesting to listen to Smile Her way of presenting is more... down to earth and reachable, in a way. It is like she is talking *to* the audience, rather than *at* them.
I hope these go into syndication so those of us outside the UK can see them. I love Mary Beard.
Second definatly better than the first, i hope it continues to get better.
And i couldnt agree more with Mark about Bettany Hughes....wat a babe.
Kevin
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