Mary Beard expertly reveals the aspects of Roman life depicted in fresco images at Pompeii
The BBC recently featured Cambridge Professor Mary Beard in a fascinating documentary about Pompeii. Mary's Blog A Don's Life, is highly popular, syndicated by the Times newspaper in the UK. If you have an interest in the classics and their impact on policy and education, Mary's blog is a great one to add to your list. Her new documentary is a captivating look at Pompeii - one which stands out from other programs on the same topic.
As someone quite interested in Roman Art, of which Pompeii contains a precious remnant, it was delightful to see Mary taking a closer look at some of the frescoes and explaining what they mean in the context of daily life. This was the overall theme of this program, and indeed of her book - Pompeii: Life of a Roman Town which was published earlier this year and is available in a variety of formats including Kindle and audio editions.
Mary's style is relatively casual and the language used enables this program to be enjoyed by all. This was particularly refreshing as the danger with putting academics in front of a camera quite often is an inability to connect with the general public. She does not have the screen presence of Bettany Hughes, nor the polish of Simon Schama or Andrew Graham-Dixon, however these other documentarians have had far more experience in front of a camera. I hope she choses to do more such programs, and not just limited to the content of her currently selling book.
Edit: This program is no longer available on iPlayer and not yet released on DVD. Here is an excerpt.