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Roman History with Mary Beard and Emily Pillinger

Mumsnet Academy

Saturday, October 13, 2012 at 9:30 AM - Sunday, October 14, 2012 at 5:00 PM (BST)

Roman History with Mary Beard and Emily Pillinger

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Ticket Type Sales End Price Fee Quantity
An Introduction to Roman History Ended £99.00 £0.00

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Event Details

Course Description


Ancient Rome was a city of contradictions. In this course we will spend a weekend studying some of its most interesting extremes, from its famous military might and urban sophistication, to its fabled decadence and debauchery. Can we work out what is the ‘real’ Rome?


On the first day we will consider the official structures of the city: its government, its empire, its religions and its legends. We will also look at the way ordinary and extraordinary people experienced ancient Rome, whether they were politicians or poets, soldiers or slaves. What did it mean to be a Roman, living one’s life in both the private home and the public forum, moving between law courts and assemblies, bathhouses and theatres? How did slaves and freedmen affect the way in which Roman society worked?


On the second day we will turn all this on its head, to look at the darker side of Roman society. What was the place of gladiatorial shows? Did the Romans really have orgies? Who were the Roman women to whom some of the most scandalous love poetry was written? Why were some emperors so notoriously sadistic – or were they? And finally, why are we once again making films about events in the Roman amphitheatre? What does this say about our culture?


No previous knowledge required. 


What's Included


Day 1: the respectable face of Rome


Session 1: City to Empire: Stories and Histories of Rome, from its Foundation to Fall

Session 2: The Roman Family and the State: Caesars, Citizens, Slaves.

Session 3: Everyday Rhythms: A Day in a Roman Life

Session 4: Striking a Pose: How to Play the Respectable Roman


Homework: Mapquiz, timeline, readings from Roman inscriptions, poems, speeches and



Day 2: the disreputable face of Rome


Session 1: Lust and Love in Roman Life and Literature

Session 2: The Emperor Strikes Back: Civil Wars and the Insanity of Power (Mary Beard)

Session 3: Stuffed! Dining and Death in Rome

Session 4: Rome in Retrospect: Is it all just about Gladiator(s)?


Tutor Details

Mary Beard is a Professor of Classics at Newnham College, Cambridge, and the classics editor of the TLS. Her books include the acclaimed and best-selling Pompeii, The Roman Triumph, The Parthenon (in the Wonders of the World series of which she is general editor) and It’s A Don’s Life. She is the winner of the Wolfson Prize for History for Pompeii (Profile, 2008), writes a highly successful blog for The Times and recently presented a wonderful BBC TV series on the Romans. 


Dr Emily Pillinger studied Classics as an undergraduate at Oxford University and then went to teach and study in America for several years, gaining a Ph.D. in Classics from Princeton University in 2009. She moved back to the UK to work at Bristol University and more recently at Balliol College, Oxford. Her research focuses on unusual forms of communication in the literature of the ancient world, and she is particularly interested in the mysterious voices of prophets, witches, and ghosts from beyond the grave.



Have questions about Roman History with Mary Beard and Emily Pillinger? Contact Mumsnet Academy

When & Where

United Kingdom

Saturday, October 13, 2012 at 9:30 AM - Sunday, October 14, 2012 at 5:00 PM (BST)

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Mumsnet Academy


So what is this Academy thing?
We're very excited to be launching The Mumsnet Academy - a brand new enterprise which aims to curate a portfolio of fantastic courses to fit around family commitments and busy working lives.
A while back we asked you what courses you would like and the programme of masterclasses, workshops, and events we've come up with is a reflection of your  responses.
To help us deliver the programme we have enlisted some fabulous experts in a range of fields as well as teaming up with some great partners who have a reputation for delivering high-quality, life-changing courses.
This collaborative approach allows us to offer a programme across a range of different subjects including entrepreneurship, business, technology, social media, blogging, history of art, creative writing, publishing, gardening, philosophy, finance, fashion as well as courses concerned with self-improvement and the concept of learning to live wisely and well. Some of these courses will be skill-based, while others will explore concepts, theory and ideas. 
If we've missed something you think is a must, fear not, we will be adding classes to our portfolio all the time so please drop us a line or complete the suggestion box on our website.
One of the things that we felt was important was to ensure our Academy courses are available across the UK and we are pleased to announce that we will be running events in Birmingham, Edinburgh, London and Manchester from day one. We are also keen to develop some online courses and hope to announce the first of these later this year.
While our courses are scheduled at times which are more convenient for those with young children, they are absolutely open to everyone. Ultimately, the overall aim of the Mumsnet Academy is to bring people together in a thought-provoking and fulfilling environment where there is a universal willingness to explore ideas, develop skills, and learn from experts as well from each other.
For more information about the Mumsnet Academy, please contact us at academy@mumsnet.com.


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Roman History with Mary Beard and Emily Pillinger
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