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Wed 17 Apr As part of the same feature, Article source presenter and queen of classicists Professor Mary Beard reflects on the legacy of Http://piptomagkay.ml/the/italy-by-the-sea.php Caesar. Mary Beard is on a mission to uncover the real Carsar Caesar, and to challenge public perception, exploring Caesar's surprising legacy. This programme is not currently available on BBC iPlayer. The TLS gave her a reason to get out of Cambridge.
By Charlotte Higgins. The 30 Jan T he first time I saw Mary BeardI was It wasand she was speaking at a joint open day for the Oxford and Cambridge classics faculties. She was utterly unlike the other speakers, who, as I recall them, were Oxbridge dons straight from central casting: tweedy, forbidding, male. Instead of standing at a lectern like everyone else, she perched rakishly on the edge of a desk.
She was dressed in a vaguely hippyish, embroidered black dress, the a julius of black hair tumbled around her shoulders. Greg Woolf, now director congress the Institute what Classical Studies at the University of London, recalls another one of those open days, in the early s.
Everyone who has met Beard seems to have a story about encountering her for the first time — usually involving her beard intellect, her total lack of formality, and her sense of mischief. One of her former students, Emily Kneebone, remembers supervisions — one-to-one or two-to-one teaching sessions — at Newnham, the women-only Cambridge college to which Beard has been attached for most of her adult life, first as a student, then as a don.
In public, in private and in her academic writing she is sceptical, wary of consensus, beard kind of person who will turn any question back on itself and examine it from an unexpected angle.
It was an extremely unusual thing for a scholar to do. The learned but approachable link you see on TV translating Beard inscriptions, carving up mary pizza to explain the division of the Roman empire, or arguing about public caesar on Question Time, is precisely the Beard more gallery encounter in private, except that in real life, she swears magnificently and often.
In a Greek restaurant in London one January afternoon, her long grey hair uncharacteristically glossy and fresh from the stylist, Beard talked about everything from Islamic State to academic freedom.
Her case rested what the very nature of democracy, for which the presence of a ballot box was a necessary but not sufficient condition. Democracy cannot properly operate without knowledge, she said — which the entire electorate of summer lacked. Later in lovely the conversation, she told me she was planning to get a pink streak in her hair. Her latest book, Women and Powerabout the long history caesar the silencing of female voices, was a Christmas bestseller on just click for source sides of the Atlantic.
In the eight years since her debut TV documentary, Congressshe has conquered the small screen. A mark of her leap into the celebrity stratosphere is the julius of daily requests she receives.
These have included, aside from several politely declined offers of a makeover from the Daily Mail, invitations also politely declined to appear on the diving show Splash! Out and about, she is regularly flagged down by fans, often, but not always, young women.
Characteristically, Beard befriended Beech after they connected on social media, and Beech is now studying for a PhD at Newnham. As recently as a decade ago, it would have the lovely unlikely, even outlandish, that a middle-aged classics don, her appearance a million miles away from the groomed perfection expected of women in the public sphere, would end up so famous and, by and large, so loved.
But it was Gill who was what of tune with the times. Beard radiates mary and expertise, but she does not hesitate to get mixed up in messy public arguments, which often puts her on the frontline of the culture wars.
Last year, when a far-right conspiracy theorist attacked a BBC cartoon that showed a man of sub-Saharan appearance as a Roman in Britain — political correctness gone mad! For most people, this would be a cautionary tale; for Beard, it was evidence that such battles cannot be shirked. Embedded in her refusal to be silenced, in her endless online engagement, mary a kind mary optimism: the idealistic, perhaps totally unrealistic, notion that if only we listened to each other, if caesar we argued more cogently, more tolerantly and with better grace, then we could make public discourse something better than it is.
In her 20s she had produced some significant scholarly articles on Roman history — the kind featuring great chunks of untranslated Latin, German and Greek, and thick wads of footnotes. They included, inher pioneering work on the Vestal Virgins, which, fashionably, used techniques borrowed from anthropology to reshape thinking about the priestesses who served the Roman goddess of the hearth.
But she did not turn her PhD, on state religion in the Roman republic, into a book, nor produce a serious monograph setting julius her stall, as an ambitious young scholar would usually do.
Her first books, when she got round to writing them in the late s and s — on Roman religion, on Rome in the late republic, and an introductory book on classics — were, unconventionally, written with fellow scholars. Zoe and Raphael Cormack are both now academics, working on South Sudanese anthropology and Egyptian literature respectively.
With her husband, art historian Robin Cormack, working in London, she lacked the uninterrupted stretches of time needed to concentrate on serious research. But, in retrospect, all that teaching — quite broadly spread through archaeology, ancient history and Latin literature — had its advantages: she was amassing knowledge, not least of how to make the ancient world seem exciting. Even in those apparently unpromising days, the Beard of was being forged. It was not until that she published the first book under her name alone — and it was nothing to do with classics.
This work of no-nonsense feminism was a first step beyond the academy. She had pitched it to Duckworth, which had already taken one of her co-authored classics books. Its boss, an old-school publisher called Colin Haycraft, hosted famously dissolute parties, the kind of julius at which you would drink too many champagne cocktails and get introduced to authors whose books you had read.
Congress the late s, yale started writing for both the London Review of Article source and the Times Literary Mary — and inFerdinand Mount, then editor of the TLS, asked her to take over its classics coverage. Not the writing an article for the Journal of Roman Studies.
Her natural frankness was well suited to addressing an audience beyond academia. So was her ability to make eye-catching connections between the ancient and contemporary worlds, and her tendency to argue from an unexpected position. Some of her articles were controversial enough to be source in the papers, generally with the nuance stripped out. She began to acquire a certain notoriety. One piece described her own experience of sexual assault, by way of demonstrating that rape is not just an act, but a story — the frequently a contested one.
Recent topics have included the future of MeTooher views on book blurbs, and the museums she enjoyed on a recent trip to Bologna. The TLS gave what a reason to get out of Cambridge. I was congress. Around that time, inshe won a one-year fellowship, which she hoped would give her space and time for research. Another example of total failure by Beard.
I wrote pages of crap. I wept over endless drafts. Her career stands, in a way, as a corrective to the notion that life runs a smooth, logical path. Up yours, actually. Some people get lapped after an early sprint. Whatever she is doing — writing books, or reviews, or blogging, or tweeting, or working on TV programmes — she takes the same intellectual approach. T he classics faculty in Cambridge is a modest, s building on visit web page leafy Sidgwick Avenue — the same street as Newnham, which was convenient for Beard during the child-raising years.
One morning in November I watched her lecture around 60 undergraduates. She was dressed in a bright-blue mac and perched on julius high stool at the edge of the dais. It works by inscribing the autocrat indelibly into the world of his mary her subjects. It would not have taken much to have transformed the lecture into a television programme — the tone, smart caesar clear but not condescending, what very BBC2.
Instead of burrowing into one small area — a single Latin author, for example, or Roman religion in a given period — she has darted between topics; and, perhaps because of her gregarious nature, has preferred gmail reminders topics not to be especially obscure.
Her next, more academic, book, after a TV tie-in for Civilisations, is another departure — about images of the Caesars in art since the Renaissance. This eclecticism has given her the means to range widely through the ancient world in her public work. So has the fact that her scholarship has been relatively mainstream, rather than caesar the bleeding edge of academic fashion.
She likes to do interesting things from the canon. That position, poised between tradition and transgression, holds true for public life, too. That she is able to draw on this double identity — a fierce feminist with an unassailable expertise in Julius someone whose leftwing politics are twinned with a deep knowledge of Cicero — is part of the reason she appeals so broadly.
She is as much of interest to the readers of the Telegraph as the Guardian. As time has passed, her writing style, compared with the early, careful academic articles, has become more like her spoken voice. The Beard of the first Vestals article of would never have used, as an epigraph, a quote from a Procol Harum lyric — as did the Beard of the later Vestals paper repudiating her earlier ideas.
Her breakthrough book, Pompeiicombined her academic methods with a relaxed, approachable address. The idea had come from the late Peter Carson, a classicist and her editor at Profile Books.
It was a work of sceptical history that debunked source after myth, and battled against received opinion. At the same time, its traces provided vivid glimpses of the lives of ordinary people, from unlucky lovers to hotel guests pissing in their beds. Hitherto, her readers had caesar in their thousands. The documentary was watched by 3. Her tutor was Joyce Reynolds, who is now 99 years old. Is that the only way you can interpret the evidence?
But once you have stripped away the myths, the misapprehensions and the literal mistranslations that come between us and an understanding of congress ancient world — once you have acknowledged that much can never be known for sure — the problem becomes what, if anything, to put in that void.
We cannot ever know, for example, the motives of Brutus in assassinating Julius Caesar. But we can know a great many other things: how, for example, Roman parents commemorated their dead children source tombstones; how Cicero fashioned an image of himself as the saviour of the Roman beard how Augustus wanted to be remembered.
The sources themselves — read article original texts and artefacts, as well as the accretions http://piptomagkay.ml/the/what-is-the-heartland.php later scholarship — combine to create our view of the past, and they can be unpicked so that they offer up clues about the anxieties and worldview that formed them.
The early history of Rome, the era of its fabled seven kings, is notoriously difficult to untangle. There are few, if any, contemporary sources. The whole story slides frustratingly away into legend, with the later Romans just as confused as we are about go here an unremarkable town on a malarial swamp came to rule a vast empire.
In her teens she started to take part click at this page local excavations, at places like Wroxeter, where there are the remains of a Roman town. Her school steered her to Newnham. Beard I worked really, really hard. I am not of the view that people get firsts effortlessly.
She found herself drawn to older, sometimes married, men. You can accuse me of, and I can never defend myself against, mammoth miscognition. One of the great problems of today, she said, was deciding how far current rules of behaviour could be projected back on the past.
This question also informs her academic work: she is more likely to point out how different we are from the Romans than how similar. But actually, they were. I do not think that the lives of women of my generation as a class were blighted by the way the power differentials beard men and women operated.
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