Skip to main content Skip to navigation

Politics of the Late Republic (H408/33)

The Roman Republic

[Source: BBC Radio 4 - In Our Time]

repu

Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss the rise and eventual downfall of the Roman Republic which survived for 500 years.Around 550 BC, Lucretia, the daughter of an aristocrat, was raped by the son of Tarquin, the King of Rome. Lucretia told her family what had happened to her and then in front of them, killed herself from shame. The Roman historian Livy describes what was believed to have happened next:"Brutus, while the others were absorbed in grief; drew out the knife from Lucretia's wound, and holding it up, dripping with gore, exclaimed, "By this blood, most chaste until a prince wronged it, I swear, and I take you, gods, to witness, that I will pursue Lucius Tarquinius Superbus and his wicked wife and all his children, with sword, with fire, aye with whatsoever violence I may; and that I will suffer neither them nor any other to be king in Rome!". The King was duly expelled from the city and the Roman Republic was founded and lasted for 500 years. But in what form did this republic evolve, what were its values and ideals and what ultimately caused the end of the world’s first true experiment in constitutional government?With Greg Woolf, Professor of Ancient History at St Andrews University; Catherine Steel, Lecturer in Classics at the University of Glasgow; Tom Holland, historian and author of Rubicon: the Triumph and Tragedy of the Roman Republic.

Cicero

[Source: BBC Radio 4 - In Our Time]

cic

Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss the ideas developed by Marcus Tullius Cicero (106-43BC) to support and reinvigorate the Roman Republic when, as it transpired, it was in its final years, threatened by civil wars, the rule of Julius Caesar and the triumvirates that followed. As Consul he had suppressed a revolt by Catiline, putting the conspirators to death summarily as he believed the Republic was in danger and that this danger trumped the right to a fair trial, a decision that rebounded on him. While in exile he began works on duty, laws, the orator and the republic. Although left out of the conspiracy to kill Caesar, he later defended that murder in the interests of the Republic, only to be murdered himself soon after. With Melissa Lane, The Class of 1943 Professor of Politics at Princeton University and 2018 Carlyle Lecturer at the University of Oxford; Catherine Steel, Professor of Classics at the University of Glasgow; and Valentina Arena, Reader in Roman History at University College London.

Julius Caesar

[Source: BBC Radio 4 - In Our Time]

jjk

Melvyn Bragg and his guests discuss the life, work and reputation of Julius Caesar. Famously assassinated as he entered the Roman senate on the Ides of March, 44 BC, Caesar was an inspirational general who conquered much of Europe. He was a ruthless and canny politician who became dictator of Rome, and wrote The Gallic Wars, one of the most admired and studied works of Latin literature. Shakespeare is one of many later writers to have been fascinated by the figure of Julius Caesar. With Christopher Pelling, Regius Professor of Greek at the University of Oxford; Catherine Steel, Professor of Classics at the University of Glasgow; and Maria Wyke, Professor of Latin at University College London.

Julius Caesar

[Source: BBC Radio 4 - Great Lives, Series 12 Episode 8 of 9]

gl

Series of biographical discussions with Matthew Parris. 8/9. Archaeologist Barry Cunliffe nominates Julius Caesar.

A brilliant orator and military tactician, Caesar was undoubtedly talented, yet he failed to find political solutions to the problems of the late Roman Republic.

A Bullet with Your Name on

[Source: Ashmolean Latin podcast]

Jane Masséglia and Hannah Cornwell talk about a signed slingshot bullet used in 41/40 BC, during the Roman Civil War, in a battle between the young Octavian, and the family of Mark Antony.