Mary Beard’s Ultimate Rome: Empire Without Limit

With a unique and personal voice, classicist and historian Mary Beard tells the story of the rise and fall of the Roman Empire.

The Roman Empire dominates the history of Europe and of the Mediterranean like no other period of history. Both deceptively familiar and endlessly surprising, it is against Rome’s failings and achievements that we still measure our own. The myth of Romulus, the life and death of Julius Caesar, the enduring feats of Roman builders and engineers, ideas of citizenship and good government: Rome’s past still has a powerful hold over our collective imagination, and continues to fascinate and intrigue.

How could a mediocre city in central Italy come to dominate such a huge area, and for so long? What held the empire together, and in turn tore it apart? And what lessons does the Roman Empire hold for us now? In this four-part series, classicist and historian Mary Beard sets out to answer these and other questions, taking in the mythology, history, and archaeology of the ancient world.

There have been other films on the Roman Empire but none that have looked at the empire as a whole with such an epic scope. From the myths of early Rome to the revolutions of an empire in decline, the series represents Mary’s personal take on this world-defining period. Across the four episodes of the series, Mary covers a lot of ground – from snowy Britain and Germany to the pre-desert plateaux of Algeria, and the fabulous ancient cities of modern-day Turkey. But this is not just a tour of awe-inspiring locations: everywhere she goes, Mary uncovers captivating and unexpected stories of the individuals and communities that made, or were made by, the Roman Empire.

Welcome to Mary’s Ultimate Rome, Empire Without Limit

Production Information

Broadcaster: BBC Two

TX Date: April 2016

Format: 4 x 60

Executive Producer(s):

Richard Bradley

Presenter(s):

Mary Beard

Awards & Nominations

The Grierson Awards 2016

Mary Beard for Best Presenter- Shortlist Nom