Ancient Rome was a very different world from ours, so it does have any lessons to teach us? While we shouldn't model our behavior on any ancient society, Rome's treatment of immigrants is illustrative.
Ancient Rome was a very different world from ours, so it does have any lessons to teach us? While we shouldn't model our behavior on any ancient society, Rome's treatment of immigrants is illustrative, says classicist and historian Mary Beard. While Rome's antiquated treatment of women, as subordinates, and the conquered, as slaves, provides us with an "anti-model" for contemporary society, our treatment of immigrants would have struck Romans as very strange.
Mary Beard, one of the world's most respected classical scholars, is the author of a brand-new history of the Roman Empire.
What would a society look like if all it knew was war? This is the sort of question you'd expect to be tossed around in storyboard meetings for dystopian sci-fi films. Would you believe it's the kind of question that can shape an entire history of one of Earth's greatest civilizations?
Ancient Rome: "It was a culture in which it wasn’t war that broke out; it was peace that broke out." Such is the way respected classical scholar Mary Beard plunges into a fascinating discussion of militarism and society, and how the echoes of marching legions fueled the everyday ambitions of countless men. What would it have been like to live in such a time? Does anything today even remotely compare?
Mary Beard's newest book, SPQR: A History of Ancient Rome hits booksellers everywhere December 17.
Winifred Mary Beard, OBE, FBA, FSA is an English Classical scholar. She is Professor of Classics at the University of Cambridge, a fellow of Newnham College, and Royal Academy of Arts professor of ancient literature. She is also the classics editor of The Times Literary Supplement, and author of the blog, "A Don's Life," which appears in The Times as a regular column. Her frequent media appearances and sometimes controversial public statements have led to her being described as "Britain's best-known classicist."