How could a mediocre city in central Italy come to dominate such a huge area? What held the empire together and tore it apart? Mary Beard takes in the history and archaeology of the ancient world.
In this first episode, Mary Beard reaches back to the myths and legends of the origins of Rome to gain an insight into the deep-rooted psyche of the people of Rome - a city born through fratricide and rape.
In the second episode, Mary Beard explores the physical world of the Roman Empire, and finds surprising parallels with our own world.