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The Destiny of Rome

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  • The Destiny of Rome


    Part 1:

    Following the death of Julius Caesar in 44 B.C., Marc Antony and Octavian both laid claim to the Emperor’s political heritage. Initially, they joined forces to see off the challenge of other rivals. This led to the battle of Philippi against Brutus and Cassius in 42 BC, their alliance emerging victorious and Antony, the great warrior, wreathed in glory. This afternoon I watched a 104 minute doco, The Destiny of Rome, which examined the two great battles in the last dozen years of the Roman Republic that decided the future of that world.1

    As I watched, I was reminded virtually minute by minute of the years back in the late 1980s and early 1990s when I taught a history of ancient Rome from 133 BC to 14 A.D. My students, from their late teens through middle age to late adulthood, were hoping to get to university the following year, partly on the basis of passing this history course. Had I been able to utilize this wonderful TV doco, I would have been able to enrich the understanding and help to motivate my students in dealing with what was a very complex part of the history of the West.

    Part 2:

    The two men who had joined forces in 42 BC, then divided the Empire, Antony ruling over the East, Octavian over the West. But they had little in common: their personalities, their ages, their way of life and their concept of Empire were all markedly different. Having fallen for the charms for the legendary Queen of Egypt, Cleopatra, Marc Antony adopted Eastern ways and distanced himself from Rome. Meanwhile, Octavian had been strengthening his power in Rome and declared war on Egypt.

    Eleven years later came the final confrontation. Off the coast of Actium, 200,000 combatants clashed in a spectacular naval battle. But as Marc Antony’s forces engaged in a furious attack, Cleopatra’s ship raised its purple sail and moved off. Seeing her flee, Marc Antony jumped into a fast galley and headed off in pursuit. This simple fact was enough to decide the outcome of the combat and, as a result, the destiny of Rome.-Ron Price with thanks to "The Destiny of Rome," SBSONE TV, 2-3:00 p.m. 25 November 2013 and first released in June 2011.

    Part 3:

    These TV programs I've watched
    since retiring from teaching have
    enriched my understanding of the
    period in history which I taught at
    least 20 years ago...Mary Beard's
    Meet the Romans about ordinary
    citizens in what is arguably our
    world's 1st metropolis was the last
    program that I watched,1 & the TV
    series Rome2 showed the transition
    from Republic to Empire before that.

    Now, as I go into the last decade of
    my adulthood3 I may be able to pick
    at Mommsen's Roman history as well
    as Gibbon's classic work4 and, in the
    process, get a detailed context for the
    ancient civilization in which that Day-
    Star of ancient splendour arose and,
    after a period of incubation, a Force
    slowly crystallized into a system that
    shaped western civilization for a 1000
    years and, still, is enmeshed in its final
    destiny....A humble religion gently and
    not-so-gently insinuated itself into men's
    minds and erected the triumphant banner
    of the Cross on the ruins of the Capitol.5

    1 SBSHD TV, 7:30-8:30 p.m. on 26/8/'12.
    2 7TWO TV, 12:20-1:30 a.m., 26/2/'12.
    3 the years from 70 to 80 according to one model of human development used by psychologists.
    4 Theodor Mommsen(1818-1903), Roman History to 46 BC in 3 volumes, and Edward Gibbon(1737-1794) The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire also in 3 volumes.
    5 Edward Gibbon quoted in "Christianity", A.D. 138, Nosratollah Rasekh, World Order, Summer, 1980, p.7.

    Ron Price
    26 November 2013
    married for 45 years, a teacher for 35, a writer and editor for 13, and a Baha'i for 53(in 2012)

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