History 104A, October 14: <strong>Sex, Lies and Rome</strong>


               We have a group meeting today.  The reason why we have such grade


          attendance for a change instead of people having the write up their


          papers.  We will go into it near the he said, I suspect.  I forget the


          question.  I know it's on Rome.


          Q    What do you like about Rome?


               THE PROFESSOR:  What do you like about Rome.


          A    I thought it was one of the benefits and the drawbacks of being


          in Rome.


               THE PROFESSOR:  Being a Roman citizen.


          A    Something like that.


          Q    What did you like and dislike about the society of Rome?


               THE PROFESSOR:  That sounds more like me.


               The video is the BBC which stands for British broadcasting


          company production of I Claudius.  I Claudius and Claudius the God


          were two books written by the very famous British writer who wrote


          historical novels and research novels, a phenomenal anthropologist and


          historian by the name of Robert Graves.  He was the one that did such


          things historically as the white Goddess, going back and taking look


          at the mother Goddess worship.  And this was 50 years before any


          feminist program developed in our country or in England for that


          matter, and really looked at his history from the sense of the mother


          Goddess including the novels he wrote, although that's not the case


          with I Claudius.  He also did a beautiful translation of the Greek


          myths, and Seutonius, who did the lives of the 12 Ceasars.  This



          particular series is fairly well done.  It hard to break into the


          middle of anything, but I had to choose one that I gave a feel for


          Rome and especially emperors and I decided of the five disks with four


          on each, I was going to pull out the one which I talked about the


          other day with Caligular sets up the palace as a house of




          Q    Have you seen the HBO series Rome?


               THE PROFESSOR:  No.  I don't get HBO I don't get the opportunity


          to see it.  Has it been pretty good?


          A    Uh-hum.


               THE PROFESSOR:  I tried taping one that came off the history


          channel and I didn't like too much.  We talked about that I think


          earlier.  I guess there were others that were fairly better.  Once


          that comes out on DVD --


          A    I might be able to record it.


               THE PROFESSOR:  That could that would be great.  I would


          appreciate it because its interesting for me obviously.  Some of the


          stuff they are getting better in the United States, but the British do


          a much better job with historical, what am I going to call it?


          Infotainment is the term being used for entertainment that has


          information in it and so they tell the story that they distort it a


          little and make it a little more dramatic.  We're not too good at it.


          Our only accident infotainment is on scandal like Peterson or whatever


          the hell his name was -- what do we have, five of those, where he


          killed his wife lazy, Scott, and then of course a few years ago Amy



          Fischer, every station had to do one of the 16-year-old who shot her


          lover's wife.  She didn't die and all that goody stuff.


               I'm going to play this without any more fanfare.  We won't go


          through the whole thing, why you to gel a feel more -- now remember


          what I said about Claudius.  He was a stutter and acted like an idiot


          and therefore he survived.  He was perhaps the most proficient and


          because of his deformities and created a little nievity and just


          refused to accept the kind of evil she had within her, including the


          Nero who, as you know, supposedly fiddled when Rome burned.  Let's


          take a look at it for a little while.


                                     (playing movie)


               All of that is based on history.  That's the amazing part.


          Obviously entertainment form, but the facts even in throwing him into


          the river are historical.  Get a feel for the strangeness that Rome


          had.  Now, who knows what goes on in the Bush White House.  I'm sorry.


          Don't thorough things at me.


               Okay.  We have a group meeting.  I have the sheets down here.


          Obviously in class or out of class in the outside, you can head for


          your groups.  I must admit this is liveliest class we've had since the


          last group meeting.