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
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?
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.
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.