The glories of Ancient Rome are explored in this Emmy Award-winning animated and live-action video. Roman City recounts life in Verbonia, a fictional city in Gaul. A well-planned town with all modern conveniences, Verbonia is threatened by conflict between conquerors and conquered. Macaulay also visits Pompeii, Herculaneum, Ostia, Nimes, Orange, and Rome, to view actual Roman architecture and engineering greatness.
Around the turn of the third century, Roman art began to move away from classical traditions. Some say the change indicates a civilization in decline, but in this program Alistair Sooke shows that the imperial style was actually invigorated at this time by ideas from the provinces. Sooke explores the site of Leptis Magna in Libya, where the Gladiator Mosaic raises an old art form to new heights, and admires indigenous influences in Roman British silver and glassware; then goes to Ravenna to see how Roman motifs live on in early Christian art. Works studied include the Portrait of Artemidorus, the Lycurgus Cup, Portrait of the Four Tetrarchs, and others.
Ancient buildings and sculptures were actually really colorful. The Greeks and Romans painted their statues to resemble real bodies, and often gilded them so they shone like gods. So why is seemingly every museum on planet earth full of white marble sculptures?