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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
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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.
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Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Too much of Mary Beard with her ego-centric arm waving & her spitting-ly loud & annoyingly exaggerated accent/voice. Read morePublished 7 months ago by horoscopy
I love Mary's down to earth approach and think I may have remembered her outlook on the Romans more than some of the dates - this makes history interestingPublished 17 months ago by Wendy Pearson