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The Romans Triple DVD Box Set Presented by Mary Beard - Caligula, Pompeii Life & Death in a Roman Town & Meet the Romans BBC2

4.3 out of 5 stars 21 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Actors: Mary Beard
  • Format: Box set, PAL
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 3
  • Classification: Exempt
  • Studio: IMC Vision
  • DVD Release Date: 21 Oct. 2013
  • Run Time: 300 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00F2LVS62
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 8,606 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

Product Description

CALIGULA Two thousand years ago one of history s most notorious individuals was born. Historian Mary Beard embarks on an investigative journey to explore the life and times of Gaius Julius Caesar Augustus Germanicus better known to us as Caligula. Known as Romes most capricious tyrant, he was said to have made his horse a consul, proclaimed himself a living God, and indulged in scandalous orgies and thats before building vast bridges across land and sea, prostituting senators wives and killing half the Roman elite on a whim. All that in just four short years in power, before a violent and speedy assassination at just 28 years old. Mary explores the real Caligula in an array of unexpected places. From Germany to Capri, from Rome to Lake Nemi, she exposes and analyses historical accounts and assembles tantalising fragments of evidence. Mary reveals an astonishing story of murder, intrigue and dynastic family power. Above all, shell explain why Caligula has ended up with such a reputation and, in the process, reveal a more intriguing portrait of not just the monster, but the man.POMPEII LIFE & DEATH IN A ROMAN TOWN Pompeii: one of the most famous volcanic eruptions in history. We know how its victims died, but this film sets out to answer another question - how did they live? Gleaning evidence from an extraordinary find, Cambridge professor and Pompeii expert Mary Beard provides new insight into the lives of the people who lived in the shadow of Mount Vesuvius before its cataclysmic eruption. In a dark cellar in Oplontis, just three miles from the centre of Pompeii, 54 skeletons who didn't succumb to the torrent of volcanic ash are about to be put under the microscope. The remains will be submitted to a barrage of tests that will unlock one of the most comprehensive scientific snapshots of Pompeian life ever produced - and there are some big surprises in store. Using the latest forensic techniques it is now possible to determine what those who perished in the disaster ate and drank, where they came from, what diseases they suffered, how rich they were, and perhaps, even more astonishingly, the details of their sex lives. The way the remains were found in the cellar already provides an invaluable clue about the lives of the people they belonged to. On one side of the room were individuals buried with one of the most stunning hauls of gold, jewellery and coins ever found in Pompeii. On the other, were people buried with nothing. It looked the stark dividing line of a polarised ancient society: a room partitioned between super rich and abject poor. But on closer examination the skeletons reveal some surprises about life in Pompeii.MEET THE ROMANS We still live in the shadow of ancient Rome - a city at the heart of a vast empire that stretched from the North of England to Afghanistan, dominating the West for over 700 years. This fascinating history series, as seen on the BBC and presented by Professor Mary Beard, puts aside the stories of emperors and armies, guts and gore, to meet the real Romans living at the heart of it all. Episode 1 Mary asks not what the Romans did for us, but what the empire did for Rome. She rides the Via Appia, climbs up to the top seats of the Colosseum, takes a boat to Rome's port Ostia and takes us into the bowels of Monte Testaccio. She also meets some extraordinary Romans: Baricha, Zabda and Achiba, three prisoners of war who became Roman citizens. In episode 2, Mary descends into the city streets to discover the dirt, crime, sex and slum conditions in the world's first high-rise city. This Rome is not the marble Rome we know, but a vast, messy metropolis with little urban planning, where most Romans lived in high-rise apartment blocks with little space, light, or even sanitation. In the final episode, Mary delves even deeper into ordinary Roman life by going behind the closed doors of their homes.

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

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The programmes are great. Really. Excellent and engaging and can't be faulted. It's a shame that BBC 2 mutilated the end credits on "Meet" and then the makers gave it to UKTVRecycle to hack them to bits still further, and not to BBC Four. That's why I was so excited that they'd all been released on DVD and in a box set.

And now the word you've all been waiting for... "But."

I ordered a set and found the discs had manufacturing faults on all but "Meet the Romans" Disc 1. Disc 2 broke-up and seized completely. "Caligula" did the same. "Pompeii" played, but there were periodic sound issues. On examination, Disc 2 of "Meet" looks okay in the light, but breathe on it and there emerges a 2-3mm ring on the disc at the point around where Scene 3 starts (it's about 2/3rds into the disc). Using Scene Select for Sc.3 caused the whole thing to lock-up and return to the Menu. A light inspection of the "Caligula" disc revealed blemishes, and what looked like dried water stains. Ditto "Pompeii", but without the blemishes. There seems to be a orange-y residue in the centre, or some kind of tiny blistering. I didn't want to mess around with it.

Disappointed I ordered a replacement, which arrived today. Went straight to "Meet" Disc 2, and selected Scene 3. DVD player fell over. Did the breath-test again. Same problem. A dark hoop in exactly the same place. There was no point in trying the others. So I'm having to send that one back too, and this time for a refund. Chances are all Amazon's stock has the same issues from a bad batch. At least, I hope it's just a bad batch and not the whole run. It might be worth noting that these are not BBC releases, but produced by an independent.
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Professor Mary Beard is a Fellow of Newnham College Cambridge and is a Classical lecturer. She takes you through Rome by describing the lives of the ordinary people starting with birth, death and life of prostitutes, ordinary people and slaves in the way they live, have sex, wash themselves and go to the toilet using language that we all understand. She shows us the slums and the nice apartments of Rome and where the occupants come from in the Empire. Her trip round Pompeii is the same and her story of Calligua explores the truth and the myth. Thoroughly enjoyed 5 hours of entertaining lecture
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Even though it has not been released I just had to order it, as the shows were amazing and so enlightening. Mary Beard is a breath of fresh air when it comes to the documentaries. It is both fun and so imformative, she brings out both the best and the worst side of Roman history in a fun and entertaining way. So anyone who is interested in history, in anyway shape or form, make this item a must have.
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This is a superb collection from the great lady. Totally immerse yourself in the history which is brilliantly presented by a woman who really knows her stuff. The only problem is, when you watch it you just want to get online and book a flight to Italy....not a bad thing!
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I bought the box set even though 2 out of 7 reviewers had reported faulty DVDs. No need to worry, all four work fine. Content is as excellent as expected.
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What a delightful collection of DVDs and such a bargain as well. I am going on a trip to Pompeii soon and thought these DVDs would be a good introduction. I wasn't prepared for the marvelous presentation skills of Mary Beard and the infectious enthusiasm that bubbles out of her. I wish she had been my history teacher at school! It inspired me to buy some of her books to learn more about this period, and other episodes of ancient history. She is truly an inspiration and I hope that she makes more fascinating series like this.
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Mary Beard's 'galumphing' school girl manner I find so irritating I can not watch the programmes. Mine played perfectly. I kept waiting for her to produce a cocky stick and score a goal. Irritating for me, not everyone I know.
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Bitterly disappointed because the first CD wouldn't work and sent it back for a refund. I had the same experience having bought one of the programmes separately and it too had the same problem. I think it must have been a faulty batch of CDs. A shame because I'm a big fan of Mary Beard's no-nonsense approach. She's about the antiquities and the stories of ordinary people who lived 2000 years ago in Rome. She's not trying to promote herself as so many presenters seem to want to do these days.
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