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Myth at the heart of the Roman Empire: Track 1


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How and why did ancient Romans use myth to validate their power? Emperor Augustus legitimised his rule by entwining his own ancestry with the mythical stories of Rome's foundation, and created a divine aura around Rome as capital of the vast empire. This album visits key emblems associated with Rome's beginnings: the Forum and the Capitoline Hill with its statue of the she-wolf and Romulus and Remus; the Emperor Augustus's palace and ceremonial altar, and the 17th Century D'Arpino frescos of foundation myths commissioned by Pope Innocent X to underpin his authority. By monumentalising and glorifying their real and legendary past, Romans painted their own history and this continues to encapsulate Roman identity today. This material forms part of The Open University course A330 Myth in the Greek and Roman worlds.

By: The OpenLearn Team (The Open University)

  • Duration 48 minutes
  • Updated Tuesday 17th August 2010

Track 1: Myth at the heart of the Roman Empire

A short introduction to this album.

Tracks in this podcast:

Track Title Description
1 Myth at the heart of the Roman Empire A short introduction to this album. Play now Myth at the heart of the Roman Empire
2 The foundation of Rome An introduction to the stories of the foundation of Rome and how these myths reinforce Roman identity even today. Play now The foundation of Rome
3 The House of Augustus Insights into how Emperor Augustus connected himself to the foundational myths and gods of Rome. Play now The House of Augustus
4 The Ara Pacis How this monument conveys messages of the abundance and power of the Roman Empire under Augustus. Play now The Ara Pacis
5 The wolf and twins sculpture How this statue embodies the beginnings of the illustrious history of the Roman Empire. Play now The wolf and twins sculpture
6 The Lapis Niger How the Lapis Niger, within the Roman Forum, becomes a significant memorial for the foundation myths of ancient Rome. Play now The Lapis Niger
7 The D'Arpino frescoes How the 17th century Pope Innocent X stressed his own continuity with ancient Rome's foundational myths by commissioning these stunning pictures. Play now The D'Arpino frescoes
8 A330: Myth in the Greek and Roman worlds How story and myth are embedded into the monuments and artefacts of ancient Greece and Rome. Play now A330: Myth in the Greek and Roman worlds
9 Myth and the Roman Empire Open University academic Valerie Hope talks about choices behind the material in this album. Play now Myth and the Roman Empire
10 Why study myth? Chris Emlyn-Jones, Valerie Hope and Paula James reveal the enduring importance of myth. Play now Why study myth?
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