Rome had overthrown its monarchy in 509 BC, and legislative power was thereafter vested in the people’s assemblies: political power in the senate, and military power with two annually elected magistrates known as consuls.The acronym ‘SPQR’, for Senatus Populusque Romanus (‘the Senate and People of Rome’) was proudly emblazoned across inscriptions and military standards throughout the Mediterranean – a reminder that Rome’s people (theoretically) had the last word.Or, like me, do you spend a few minutes ensconced under the cosy covers, trying to remember what day it is?The latter is easily defensible; sleep is a physiological necessity, but so is comfort and warmth.It’s for this reason that your mattress – though expensively sprung and quilted in memory foam – is not entirely a recent invention.Archaeologists in South Africa have found mattresses woven from leaves and rushes dating back 77,000 years to the Middle Stone Age.Both myths helped establish the Romans as a divinely chosen people whose ancestry could be traced back to Troy and the Hellenistic world.
He is the most widely read of all Authors and the popularity of the Life and Works of Shakespeare, in English speaking countries, is second only to the Bible.
Kate teaches at Royal Holloway, University of London, and is the social historian on BBC Two’s Restoration Home. My period is rich in women’s stories as it is the first time that women began expressing themselves on paper in significant numbers.
Women’s stories have been neglected for so long – unless they were queens.
Like all ancient societies, the Romans possessed a heroic foundation story.
What made the Romans different, however, is that they created two distinct creation myths for themselves.