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ROME: A SERIES ON TV

Location: All Movie Forums / TV, TV Series, and TV Movies / ROME: A SERIES ON TV
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  RonPrice
RonPrice
Aspiring Actor
 

ROME ON TV

LEGITIMACY: THEN AND NOW

During 2005 to 2007, the first two years of my full retirement from FT, PT and casual-volunteer work, the British-American–Italian historical drama television series Rome premiered. This series was available on DVD by 2009, but I do not buy DVDs, retired and on a pension as I have been since 2009 at the age of 65. If I wait long enough I can usually watch new releases on TV and, given the image-glut we all have to deal with, this is a satisfactory MO, to draw on a who-dun-it term.

I saw the series in 2012 when it arrived in Australia. I last taught a course on the history of ancient Rome(133 BC to 14 AD) in 1992 to matriculation students in Western Australia, and would have used this TV series, however arguable its quality, with my students.(1) Twenty years later, the series arrived too late for my role as lecturer in ancient history.

The series Rome is set in the 1st century BC during ancient Rome’s transition from Republic to Empire. The series begins with Julius Caesar’s conquest of Gaul, and the first season concludes with the assassination of Caesar followed by the rise of the first Emperor Augustus.

Teaching ancient history, as I did in those last years before I retired in 1999 from FT teaching, made me more aware than I already was of the fact that history is much more complex than any cinematic portrayal of it can ever be. Now that I can relax and read, study and continue the research that I began during my years as a teacher(1967-2005) and as a student (1949-1988), I don’t have to worry about pleasing students or their behaviour, about marking and preparation, as well as the many demands on the professional life of a teacher.

I also don’t have to worry about raising children and the complexities of family life as a father and husband. I now live on the periphery of family life as a grandparent; I don’t have to attend endless meetings which I did for so many of those years.(2) -Ron Price with thanks to (1)Wikipedia at Rome(TV Series) and 7TWO TV, 12:20-1:30 a.m., 26 February 2012; and (2) staff and student meetings as well as the many community meetings in my role as secretary or chairman in the various Baha’i groups I had been associated with from the 1960s through the 1990s. The endless social activities in which I was engaged over those same decades are also now long gone.
----------------------- ----------------
THE GENUINE ARTICLE

...those men, heads of that most powerful state that had ever existed....did not find any legitimate legal titles with which to designate their right to the exercise of power. They did not know the basis on which they ruled. At the end of the whole thousand-year process which is Rome’s history, its chief of state went back to being just anybody. Hence the Empire never had any genuine juridical form, authentic legality, or legitimacy.(1)

The Empire was essentially a shapeless form of government...without authentic institutions.. ..but the famous Roman conservatism resided in the fact that a Roman knew what law is....it is that which cannot be reformed, which cannot be varied.(1) This Spanish philosopher makes some complex and arguable points here which I discuss in my study and research, but which I do not publish here. -Ron Price with thanks to (1) Jose Ortega y Gasset, An Interpretation of Universal History, WW Norton, NY, 1973, p.120, 197 and 293.

We may eventually learn that nothing
in life is meaningless….that the entire
story of humankind is not one long line
of chaos, that is has all happened with
one grand purpose & unifying scheme;
that so much of the tragedy of history
all fits somehow, not purely fortuitous,
not chance-couplings, on-&-on forever.

And that a genuine legitimacy, slowly
evolved, an entity, like man himself,
over thousands of millennia, homo
erectus, homo heidelbergensis, inter
alia, events of the carboniferous, the(1)
flight of birds. Developing out of some
prophetic-exemplary charisma, and now
a legitimacy of institutions: Max Weber’s
routinization of charisma now successfully(2)
having negotiated the first century and a
half of its life: this looks awfully like the
genuine article but only time will now tell.

1 See my website on physical anthropology. The fossil record seems to indicate it took birds many years, about 20 million, to learn to fly in that section of evolution.
2 See Max Weber’s sociology of religion set down in the first two decades of the 20th century in German and translated by Talcott Parsons after WW2, and discussed at my website under ‘theories of sociology’.

Ron Price
10 January 1996
Updated for Filmcrave
On: 15/5/'12

 


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

05/14/2012
8:24 pm CT


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