ALESIA vercingetorix jules cesar - SPQR by Mary Beard
Surrender of Vercingetorix to Julius Caesar at Battle of Alesia

Currently reading the much talked about SPQR by Mary Beard, a history of ancient Rome. A lot of the general history I was aware of so it became about learning new things I hadn’t heard before, like the use of “Son of God” before the time of Christ, the extent to which private armies influenced the trajectory of Rome, and how utterly similar ancient Rome is with the world today.  Beard questions many settled topics and she unmasks the mythical Rome with a more realist portrayal of ordinary Romans.  A wonderful book, and quite a tome.  I’m also watching Rome, the TV series from HBO (2005-2007).  A shame that this TV series was cancelled after just 2 seasons because of the expense of producing it.  

Who doesn’t love reading about Rome or watching movies or TV shows about Rome? Endless power struggles, glory, betrayal, great battles, sex, and crazy traditions. I’m getting my fill and revelling in it all.

images - SPQR by Mary Beard
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civis romanus sum
panem et circenses
tribunicia potestas
incredibilis ac divina virtus
et tu brute?
imperium sine fine
Romanus princeps

Pantheon: commissioned during Augustus’s reign
Neo realistic Roman sculpture
God of Mars (Ares)
Jupiter (Zeus): king of the Gods
Forum: public plaza
Battle of Teutenberg
Death of Caesar
Death of Cato
Arch of Constantine

David (Michaelangelo)
Scene from the Aenid
Brass Ram
Caesar’s Triumph
Vestal Virgins
Shewolf mother of Romulus & Remus
Rape of Lucretia
Terra Cotta frieze

"So it is to these defining conflicts of imperial power that we now turn: the succession, the senate and the status of the emperor, divine or not. They are as important to our understanding of how Roman imperial politics worked as a mammoth building schemes, military campaigns and generous benefactions; far more important than all the curious stories about crime, conspiracy or horses as consuls."
images 1 - SPQR by Mary Beard
Mary Beard