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Why Ancient Rome Matters - with World Renowned Classicist Mary Beard



Why Ancient Rome Matters - with World Renowned Classicist Mary Beard

This event starts at 5:30 PM 
 ** No phone or email reservations accepted **  

The Embassy of Italy and Italian Cultural Institute in Washington D.C., in collaboration with the American University of Rome, present a special evening with world renowned classicist Mary Beard. The historian and bestselling author of SPQR: A History of Ancient Rome, together with Richard Hodges, professor of Archaeology at the University of East Anglia, UK, will discuss why ancient Rome still matters to us in 2018 and what can we learn about ourselves and the U.S. by studying its extraordinary rise and fall.


Embassy of Italy 
3000 Whitehaven Street NW 
Washington, DC 20008




Dr. Beard, professor of Classical Studies at the University of Cambridge, England, is credited with making ancient Rome come alive to wider audiences with her books (SPQR at 600+ pages is a New York Times Bestseller and Wall Street Journal Best Books of 2015) and as a popular BBC TV host (2012’s Meet the Romans and 2016 Mary Beard’s Ultimate Rome: Empire Without Limit).

Despite her world-class reputation as a scholar, however, Dr. Beard came under severe attack on Twitter in 2017 for making a seemingly innocent comment about how ancient Britain, under Roman rule, was “ethnically diverse.” The firestorm that erupted, in fact, is evidence of how ancient Rome continues to impact discussions today.

In her latest book, Women & Power: A Manifesto (2017), she explores misogyny from its ancient roots up to contemporary times, including her own personal examples. In it, The Financial Times called her “an irrepressible enthusiast with a refreshing disregard for convention.”

An activist for women’s rights, Dr. Beard stands out as one of the few women at the top of the male-dominated world of academia. She graduated from Newnham College, Cambridge and went on to do a PhD with a thesis entitled The State Religion in the Late Roman Republic: A Study Based on the Works of Cicero. She lectured in Classics at King's College London from 1979 to 1983 and returned to Cambridge in 1984 as a fellow of Newnham College (and the only women lecturer in the Classics Faculty). She became Classics Editor of The Times Literary Supplement in 1992 and Professor of Classics at Cambridge in 2004.

Her previous books include: the bestselling, Wolfson Prize-winning PompeiiThe Roman Triumph; The Parthenon; and Confronting the Classics: Traditions, Adventures and Innovations. Her blog has been collected in the books It's a Don's Life and All in a Don's Day.

Both speakers were appointed the Order of the British Empire.  Dr. Beard also received an honorary Doctor in Humane Letters from the American University of Rome in 2014.


DR. RICHARD HODGES, Archaeologist/Author

Dr. Hodges studied archaeology and history at Southampton University where he completed his doctorate. He is a professor of Archaeology at the University of East Anglia, UK, and was formerly the Williams Director of the Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, USA (2007-12).

He was appointed president of AUR in 2012 and currently serves on the board of the Istituto Packard, Italian affiliate of the David & Lucile Packard Foundation.

Dr. Hodges is the author of many books, including Dark Age Economics; Mohammed, Charlemagne and the Origins of Europe; The Anglo-Saxon Achievement; Wall to Wall History; Towns and Trade in the Age of Charlemagne; and Goodbye to the Vikings? Re-Reading Early Medieval Archeology. 

His latest publication, Travels with an Archaeologist: Finding a Sense of Place, is a collection of vignettes from his contributions to Current World Archeology and revisits the sites and people he encountered throughout his distinguished career.

In reviewing his book, Dr. Beard described it as “An insider’s view of archaeology for the curious! Hodges claims he became an archaeologist ‘to travel to the past’. Here is a wonderful and intriguing collection of his postcards from that journey.”

During his long career, Dr. Hodges has focused on the archaeology of the later Roman world and the early Middle Ages in western Europe.  He launched excavations in England and Italy and, as scientific director of the Butrint Foundation from 1993-2012, oversaw new excavations and management of the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Butrint, Albania.

From 1988-95, Dr. Hodges was the director of the British School at Rome, during which time he enlarged the excavations at San Vincenzo al Volturno in Italy with support from the Abbey of Monte Cassino.

He was director of the Prince of Wales’s Institute of Architecture (1996-98), served in the Ministry of Culture in Albania (1999) and as adviser to the Packard Humanities Institute during the Zeugma, Turkey excavations (2000).

He has been a visiting professor at SUNY-Binghamton (1983), the University of Siena (1984-87), the University of Copenhagen (1987-88) and the University of Sheffield (2006-2007).



The American University of Rome (AUR) is the oldest degree-granting American university in Rome. Founded in 1969 by journalist David Colin, it has become a first-choice university for students seeking a 4-year degree or study abroad experience in a small, multi-cultural liberal arts college. All programs are taught in English by an international faculty. AUR offers 11 undergraduate programs – ranging from archeology and art to business and digital media -- as well as master’s degrees in sustainable cultural heritage, food policy, peace studies and art management. AUR is accredited by the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools and the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.



Data: Ven 23 Feb 2018

Orario: Dalle 17:30 alle 19:30

Organizzato da : Embassy of Italy, IIC Washington

In collaborazione con : American University of Rome

Ingresso : Libero


Embassy of Italy