The Radio Times logo

Eight Days That Made Rome

  • 2017
  • Season 1
  • 8 episodes
  • Documentary and factual
  • News and current affairs

Summary

Award-winning historian and broadcaster Bettany Hughes presents a new landmark history of ancient Rome. Across the series Hughes explores eight key days that she believes define the Roman Empire and help us to understand its remarkable success.

Advertisement

Episode 6: The Downfall of Nero

Summary

Bettany Hughes focuses on events leading up to and after 9th June 68AD, when Emperor Nero took his life. She examines his relationship with his mother, fondness for debauchery and how casual violence and murder began to destabilise what had once been touted as a new `Golden Age" for Rome. Nero's death plunged the empire into anarchy and civil war. From here on in, the Roman Empire would be plagued by military coups and revolt, one of the crucial factors in its eventual decline. Dramatisations featuring Adam Drew, Sarah-Jane Potts and Richard Brake bring the key moments to life

Review

He fiddled while Rome burned, bribed the Roman plebs with bread and circuses, outraged the senate and murdered his mother Agrippina. But was the emperor Nero really the dissolute monster who brought the first imperial dynasty to its knees? Bettany Hughes does a good job of explaining Nero’s place in the history of the empire.

It’s his life (and sorry end in AD 68) that we tend to turn to when we imagine the decadence of Rome, but she does point out that contemporary writers deliberately portrayed his family badly – moral corruption equalled political corruption.

There’s a scientific theory that might explain his clearly aberrant behaviour, but it can’t whitewash the fact that he destroyed the institution of emperor, ushering in a period of chaos. It’s still a gripping story, though, and the dramatic reconstructions in this series have actually helped rather than hindered Hughes’s retelling.

How to watch

Next showing

There are no live broadcasts scheduled for this show. But it is available via the streaming provider below.

Streaming

Details

Released on
2017-12-01
Languages
English
Formats
Colour

Credits

Cast

rolename
NeroAdam Drew
AgrippinaSarah-Jane Potts
SenecaRichard Brake

Crew

rolename
PresenterBettany Hughes
DirectorJim Greayer
Series producerJim Greayer
Executive producerAdam Bullmore
Executive producerMatt Robins

All episodes

  • Summary

    Bettany Hughes focuses on events leading up to and after 9th June 68AD, when Emperor Nero took his life. She examines his relationship with his mother, fondness for debauchery and how casual violence and murder began to destabilise what had once been touted as a new `Golden Age" for Rome. Nero's death plunged the empire into anarchy and civil war. From here on in, the Roman Empire would be plagued by military coups and revolt, one of the crucial factors in its eventual decline. Dramatisations featuring Adam Drew, Sarah-Jane Potts and Richard Brake bring the key moments to life

    Review

    He fiddled while Rome burned, bribed the Roman plebs with bread and circuses, outraged the senate and murdered his mother Agrippina. But was the emperor Nero really the dissolute monster who brought the first imperial dynasty to its knees? Bettany Hughes does a good job of explaining Nero’s place in the history of the empire.

    It’s his life (and sorry end in AD 68) that we tend to turn to when we imagine the decadence of Rome, but she does point out that contemporary writers deliberately portrayed his family badly – moral corruption equalled political corruption.

    There’s a scientific theory that might explain his clearly aberrant behaviour, but it can’t whitewash the fact that he destroyed the institution of emperor, ushering in a period of chaos. It’s still a gripping story, though, and the dramatic reconstructions in this series have actually helped rather than hindered Hughes’s retelling.

    How to watch

    Next showing

    There are no live broadcasts scheduled for this show. But it is available via the streaming provider below.

    Streaming

    Details

    Released on
    2017-12-01
    Languages
    English
    Formats
    Colour

    Credits

    Cast

    rolename
    NeroAdam Drew
    AgrippinaSarah-Jane Potts
    SenecaRichard Brake

    Crew

    rolename
    PresenterBettany Hughes
    DirectorJim Greayer
    Series producerJim Greayer
    Executive producerAdam Bullmore
    Executive producerMatt Robins
Powered By
IMDB

How to watch

Next showing

There are no live broadcasts scheduled for this show. But it is available via the streaming providers below.

Streaming

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Sponsored content