The Roman Republic: The American Obsession

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photoThe Roman Republic is once again flashing across the American imagination and the American television screen with HBO's new series "Rome."

The Senate is divided, the Republic is decaying, Caesar is grabbing for empire, and Americans may be watching to see what they might learn from the Roman story. It seems, some might say, like deja vu all over again.

Ever since Goose Creek in Washington D.C. was renamed "The Tiber" in the early 1700s, Americans have been obsessed with the Roman Republic. The founding fathers focused on the lessons of the Roman Republic as they framed a government they hoped was steeled against 52 BC-style decay.

Hear about the Roman Republic, the American Republic, and the endless parable Americans find in the Roman past.


Gordon Wood, Professor of History at Brown University.

Elaine Fantham, professor of Classics at Princeton University.

Alessandra Stanley, New York Times television critic.

This program aired on August 31, 2005.


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