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Eight Days That Made Rome

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Award-winning historian Bettany Hughes takes viewers on an adventure, from the defeat of the Carthaginian Empire, Julius Caesar crossing the Rubicon River, and Constantine's conversion to Christianity. Her travels take her across Italy's ancient sites and into the psyches of the emperors, gladiators, and generals of the Roman Empire. Join her as she explores the rise and fall of one of history's most incredile reigns -- and it all took eight days.

Latest episodes

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Bettany Hughes tells the story of Octavian's rise to power by looking at the day he stole the will of political rival Marc Antony; evidence of Antony's devotion to Cleopatra undermines Antony's popularity and paves Octavian's path to power.
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Bettany Hughes revisits the iconic moment when Julius Caesar led his army across the River Rubicon, ignoring the orders of the Roman Senate and effectively declaring war on his rivals in Rome; Hughes analyzes Caesar's character and health.
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Bettany Hughes looks at the day which marked Rome's symbolic break with its 1,000-year pagan past, the moment in 337 AD when Emperor Constantine the Great was baptized as a Christian; Hughes shows monuments combining Christian and pagan imagery.
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Bettany Hughes looks at the day Spartacus broke out of gladiator school and started the most terrifying slave revolt in Roman history; Hughes examines the realities of slavery in ancient Rome and how Sparacus' exploits attracted a mass following.
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Bettany Hughes explores Rome's defeat of the mighty Carthage at the Battle of Zama, which marked the end of Carthage's hold over the western Mediterranean and the downfall of the great army led by Carthaginian general Hannibal.
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Bettany Hughes relives opening day at Rome's Colosseum in 80 AD; the lavish arena is a giant new landmark for the world's greatest city where people can revel in bloodthirsty entertainments.
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Nero takes his own life as troops come to arrest him for crimes against the state; Bettany Hughes reveals how Nero's early reign was dominated by his mother, Agrippina, while exploring a new theory that his mood was undermined by a serious illness.
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Bettany Hughes turns her focus to the day when Roman troops invaded Boudica's settlement in East Anglia, provoking the disgraced Iceni queen into a revolution that threatened the Roman occupation of Britannia.

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