Rome: Empire Without Limit

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.