Jan 20, 2022 • 14M

A Podcast about Rome. Part I: Before the Beginning.

The Temple of Hercules Victor in the Forum Boarium

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Appears in this episode

Agnes Crawford
A chronological history of Rome focusing on a building, a sculpture, a painting, or an artefact each episode.
Episode details
The Temple of Hercules Victor, 2nd century BCE. 18 January 2022.

Many, many years ago I had a thought of tracing Rome’s history through places, buildings, and artefacts. A prism through which to view just one of the infinite threads that make up what I think is the most enthralling city on earth. This podcast seemed like a good place to finally do that. As the King of Hearts advised the White Rabbit in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, when telling a story “one should begin at the beginning and go on until you come the end. Then stop.” So that it what I shall try to do.

Santa Maria in Cosmedin. 20 January 2022

To this end my first episode is about the Temple of Hercules Victor in the Forum Boarium, and the rich interweaving of legend and history it represents: Evander king of Arcadia; Aeneas; Romulus, Remus and the She-Wolf; a merchant giving thanks for protection against pirates. The history of Rome, tangible in its matter, is built on the shifting quicksands of legend; the two are inextricably connected.

Santa Maria in Cosmedin, interior. 20 January 2022.

Blocks of the Altar of Hercules visible in the crypt of Pope Adrian I under the high altar. 20 January 2022