Rome A History of the Eternal City: Series 1
Author and historian Simon Sebag Montefiore presents a three-part series uncovering the central role played by religion in creating and maintaining the power of the city of Rome.
Part 1: City of the Sacred
Simon Sebag Montefiore looks at how every event in ancient Rome revolved around religion. From the foundation myth through to the deification of Emperors; nothing could happen without calling upon the Pantheon of Roman gods. Simon investigates how the Romans worshipped and sacrificed to the gods. He discovers that sacredness defined what was Roman and it was the responsibility of every Roman to play their part in the cult. Even the ancient Roman sewer was holy ground!
Part 2: Divine Gamble
Simon Sebag Montefiore charts the rocky course of Rome’s rise to become the capital of Western Christendom and its impact on the lives of its citizens, elites and high priests. Rome casts aside its pantheon of pagan gods and a radical new religion takes hold. Christianity was just a persecuted sect until Emperor Constantine took a huge leap of faith, promoting it as the religion of Empire. But would this divine gamble pay off?
Part 3: The Rebirth of Gods City
Simon Sebag Montefiore charts Rome’s rise from the abandonment and neglect of the 14th century into the everlasting seat of the papacy recognised today. His story takes us through the debauchery and decadence of the Renaissance, the horrors of the Sack of Rome and the Catholic Reformation, through to the arrival of fascism and the creation of the Vatican State. By taking us inside Rome’s most sensational palaces and churches and telling the stories behind some of the world’s most beloved art, Sebag Montefiore’s final instalment is a visual feast.