Get Ready for Rome helps the thoughtful traveler prepare to visit the Eternal City by introducing the city’s main monuments and the sometimes acrimonious dialogue they imply. Add value to your visit to Rome by getting to know in advance the ideas and history that stand behind St. Peter’s Basilica, the Colosseum, the Sistine Chapel and other familiar but put poorly understood sites of one of the world’s greatest cities.
Going Up! Rome's Changing Ground Levels
We here visit several places in Rome that offer dramatic evidence of how much ground level has changed over Rome’s long history. Doing so deepens our understanding of how much time has passed since antiquity, of how depopulated Rome became during the Middle Ages, and of how much we need to use our mind’s eye if we are to going to see Ancient Rome well. My main goal is to help you imagine a once-great imperial capital becoming so neglected that it fills up with mud.
Introduction to Christian Rome
This pod presents a quick overview of how Rome changed after it became Christian, both in its prevailing art and architecture and in its soul. It notes that at the same time as official Christianity took over Rome in the fourth century, there was a precipitous decline in Rome’s prominence, wealth, population, security, and political order. Rome then became a city of churches and of fortifications within the city walls.The tough question concerns the relationship between these developments.
Rome's Talking Statues
Rome is home to Pasquino and five other “Talking Statues.” For the last three centuries of Papal Rule, the statues were used like social media bulletin boards, with anonymous postings pinned up at night. They were often witty and irreverent toward the established authorities, and irreverence is delightful when it teases authorities we don’t revere!
We here discuss these statues, but I conclude by suggesting that all Roman statues have much to say, even if they are more difficult to interpret.
Introduction to Ancient Rome
This pod introduces the features that most identify Ancient Rome, especially in her differences from Christian and Modern Rome. These include the extent of her empire, her long-lasting rule, her ability to turn human beings into citizens, her reception and imitation of Greek culture, and her pagan intermixing of politics and religion.
A First Trip to Castelgandolfo
Castelgandolfo is one of the dozen hill towns known as the Castelli Romani. It sits on a rim above a beautiful crater lake, and we discuss how it housed summer villas enjoyed by wealthy Romans, and, later, the popes. We visit both papal and ancient sites, and even slip in a discussion of World War II, during which Castelgandolfo was caught in the crossfire between Germans in the hills and the Allies down on the beaches. Another surprise: the papacy supports an astronomical institute located here.
The Three Romes
I here use historical and cultural differences to divide Rome into three radically different cities. Doing so helps to organize Rome's many sites and the art we see at them and makes them participants in fascinating theological and ideological quarrels. This episode explains this approach and begins to identify the differences of opinion that divide Christian Romans from the ancient pagans, and modern Romans from the the popes who ruled Rome for centuries.
Customer ReviewsSee All
Prof Ambler offers a wonderful look into the history of Rome - perfect companion for travelers seeking a deeper understanding of the "eternal city" and for history enthusiasts of all stripes. Have enjoyed the episodes thus far
Get Ready For Rome
I am hooked!!!! Very interesting and eagerly awaited for future episodes!!!
Perfect podcast for history and travel, 6/5 stars