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Title:BBC - Mary Beard's Ultimate Rome: Empire Without Limit - Episode 1
Duration:58:43
Viewed:1,006,747
Published:28-04-2016
Source:Youtube

Mary Beard's entertaining whirlwind intro to Roman history begins with the origin myth of Romulus and Remus. It pays not to read too much into these early myths, as many scholars think they were Greek inventions simply to explain peculiar Roman customs, and even adapted from pre-existing Greek myths, although the Romans certainly did enthusiastically embrace their wolf-mother as propaganda symbolic of their power. It is a fact that the legendary period of the kings cannot be fitted to match any realistic historical chronology as they all ruled for far too long. Same with Aeneas fleeing the Trojan War of 1200 BC and meeting Queen Dido founding Carthage in 800 BC. Or the story of "copying a Carthaginian ship" - the Romans would already have had ships and Greek ship-builders. It was Cato the Elder that said "Carthage must be destroyed" after every speech he made in the senate - so perhaps they sacked the place just to shut him up (no, they did it for profit). He also said "Sicily is the teat from which Rome sucks" due to the bumper grain imports, and he recommended cabbage as a cure for practically all ailments. He also hated Greeks with a vengeance. Pompey the Great, when he returned from the East, found that the senate would not ratify his Eastern settlements, and that fact gave Julius Caesar the opportunity to make himself useful and gain a foothold on the ladder of power. Later Pompey must have cursed ever giving Caesar his start. "A great general has either skill or luck," Caesar said, "and luck is better." Rather ironic Virgil's "Empire without limit" when Augustus defeated in 9 AD by Arminius set the limit of Empire at the Danube-Rhine border with Germania. Same with Hadrian and his wall. But as Gibbon said "we should not ask why Rome fell, but instead why it lasted so long." www.imperium-romana.org

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