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Mary Beard - Author

About the Author

Mary Beard is a professor of classics at Newnham College, Cambridge, and the Classics editor of the TLS. She has world-wide academic acclaim, and is a fellow of the British Academy and a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Her previous books include the bestselling, Wolfson Prize-winning Pompeii, Confronting the Classics, The Roman Triumph and The Parthenon. Her TLS blog has been collected in the books It’s a Don’s Life and All in a Don’s Day.

 

Mary Beard's Inheritance Books...

1. Charlotte Bronte, Jane Eyre
The classic novel about what women want, or think they want, or don't. Is 'Reader, I married him' the ultimate happy ending or not? It's a book that changes in all kinds of interesting ways as you re-read it over a lifetime.

2. Homer, The Odyssey
At the very start of Western literature, the Odyssey underlies so much of what we read right down to the present day. A story of homecoming, temptation and the perilous boundary between civilisation and barbarism.

3. Germaine Greer, The Female Eunuch
The liveliest and punchiest classic of feminism: something every woman and man should read. It still changes lives, like it changed mine.

 

Author photo © Catarina Turroni Lion TV

Featured books by Mary Beard

Other books by Mary Beard

A Short History of the American Labor Movement

A Short History of the American Labor Movement

Author: Mary Beard Format: Paperback Release Date: 28/05/2018

Frauen und Macht

Frauen und Macht

Author: Mary Beard Format: eBook Release Date: 08/03/2018

Das entscheidende Buch zur groen aktuellen Debatte Feminismus, Gleichberechtigung und #MeToo: Ein leidenschaftlicher Aufruf an Frauen, sich jetzt die Macht zu nehmen. Das Buch, das weltweit Furore macht! Spiegel-Bestseller und Nr. 1-Bestseller in Grobritannien.Mary Beard ist eine der fuhrenden Intellektuellen weltweit. Die Historikerin hat zahlreiche Bestseller geschrieben. Immer wieder mischt sie sich leidenschaftlich, streitbar und humorvoll in aktuelle Debatten ein. Frauenfeindlichkeit und Sexismus sind Themen, die sie seit langem begleiten - auch personlich - und die sie nicht mude wird anzuprangern."e;Ein kraftvolles Manifest."e; New York Times "e;Ein moderner feministischer Klassiker."e; The Observer "e;Mary Beard zeigt, wie Frauenfeindlichkeit funktioniert und warum sie sich so hartnackig halt."e; The Guardian "e;Ein unwiderstehlicher Aufruf an Frauen, sich zu Wort zu melden, Macht zu nutzen und neu zu definieren."e; People Magazine

Civilisations: How Do We Look / The Eye of Faith As seen on TV

Civilisations: How Do We Look / The Eye of Faith As seen on TV

Author: Mary Beard Format: Hardback Release Date: 01/03/2018

Companion to the major new BBC documentary series CIVILISATIONS, presented by Mary Beard, David Olusoga and Simon Schama The idea of 'civilisation' has always been debated, even fought over. At the heart of those debates lies the big question of how people - from prehistory to the present day - have depicted themselves and others, both human and divine. Distinguished historian Mary Beard explores how art has shaped, and been shaped by, the people who created it. How have we looked at these images? Why have they sometimes been so contentious? In Part One, she examines how the human figure was portrayed in some of the earliest art in the world - from the gigantic stone heads carved by the Olmec of Central America to the statues and pottery of the ancient Greeks to the terracotta army of the first emperor of China. And she explains how one particular version of representing the human body, which goes back to the ancient world, still influences (and sometimes distorts) how people in the West see their own culture and that of others. Throughout this story, she is concerned not only with the artists who made images, but with those who have used them, viewed them and interpreted them. In other words: How Do We Look? In Part Two, Mary Beard turns to the relationship between art and religion. For centuries, religion has inspired art: from the Hindu temple at Angkor Wat to the Christian mosaics of Ravenna to the exquisite calligraphy of Islamic mosques. But making the divine visible in the human world has never been simple. All religions have wrestled with idolatry and iconoclasm, destroying art as well as creating it - and asking how to look with The Eye of Faith.

Women & Power A Manifesto

Women & Power A Manifesto

Author: Mary Beard Format: Hardback Release Date: 02/11/2017

THE NUMBER 1 SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER 24 CONSECUTIVE WEEKS IN THE SUNDAY TIMES TOP 10 Why the popular resonance of 'mansplaining' (despite the intense dislike of the term felt by many men)? It hits home for us because it points straight to what it feels like not to be taken seriously: a bit like when I get lectured on Roman history on Twitter. Britain's best-known classicist Mary Beard, is also a committed and vocal feminist. With wry wit, she revisits the gender agenda and shows how history has treated powerful women. Her examples range from the classical world to the modern day, from Medusa and Athena to Theresa May and Hillary Clinton. Beard explores the cultural underpinnings of misogyny, considering the public voice of women, our cultural assumptions about women's relationship with power, and how powerful women resist being packaged into a male template. With personal reflections on her own experiences of the sexism and gendered aggression she has endured online, Mary asks: if women aren't perceived to be within the structures of power, isn't it power that we need to redefine? From the author of international bestseller SPQR: A History of Ancient Rome.

Pompeji

Pompeji

Author: Mary Beard Format: eBook Release Date: 26/10/2017

Im Jahr 79 n. Chr. regnete gluhende Asche auf Pompeji nieder. Lava uberflutete Menschen, Tiere und Gebaude - und konservierte sie fur die Ewigkeit. Jahrhunderte spater ist Pompeji eine der wichtigsten Fundstatten der Archaologie. Die weltweit bekannte Historikerin Mary Beard nimmt uns mit auf einen faszinierenden Spaziergang durch die Geschichte Pompejis. Sie schildert, wie die Menschen dort gelebt und geliebt haben, beschreibt Hauser, Kneipen und Garten, Kunstwerke und Dinge des Alltags. Zugleich entlarvt sie die Irrtumer, die Forschern immer wieder unterliefen, und zeigt, wie es wirklich war. Mit jedem faszinierenden Ratsel, das sie dabei prasentiert, wachst die Sehnsucht, diesen Ort mit eigenen Augen zu sehen."e;Pompeji"e; wurde 2008 mit dem renommierten Wolfson History Prize ausgezeichnet."e;Dieses fantastische Buch ... ist ein Vorbild fur ebenso scharfsinniges wie spannendes Erzahlen uber die Vergangenheit."e;The Guardian

Kleopatras Nase

Kleopatras Nase

Author: Mary Beard Format: eBook Release Date: 22/06/2017

Die international bekannte Althistorikerin Mary Beard hat uns schon in "e;SPQR"e;, der groen Geschichte des Romischen Reichs, die Welt der Antike so nah gebracht wie nie zuvor. Auch in "e;Cleopatras Nase"e; unterhalt sie mit erstaunlichen Geschichten aus dem alten Griechenland und Rom, deckt Irrtumer auf und zerstort Mythen. In kurzweiligen und unterhaltsamen Essays schildert sie unbekannte Details aus dem Alltagsleben von Sklaven, Soldaten, Frauen und Kindern. Wir erfahren, woruber die Griechen lachten und wie gro Alexander wirklich war, warum die Asterix-Comics so erfolgreich sind und die Ruinen Pompejis zum Hotspot fur Touristen wurden. An Beispielen von Sappho bis zu Julius Casar, von der unbekannten griechischen Sklavin bis zum romischen Senator behandelt Mary Beard grundlegende Fragen und zentrale Momente der Alten Geschichte. So zeigt sie, wie gegenwartig die Antike immer noch ist.

SPQR

SPQR

Author: Mary Beard Format: eBook Release Date: 13/10/2016

Die Geschichte Roms fur unsere Zeit:Wer hatte gedacht, dass Alte Geschichte so spannend und gegenwartig sein kann?Unkonventionell, scharfsinnig und zugleich akademisch versiert - dies trifft nicht nur auf die hochrenommierte Althistorikerin und Cambridge-Professorin Mary Beard selbst zu, sondern auch auf ihre neue groe Geschichte des Romischen Reichs und seiner Bewohner.Scharfsinnig und lebensnah erzahlt Mary Beard die Geschichte eines Weltreichs, lasst uns Kriege, Exzesse, Intrigen miterleben, aber auch den romischen Alltag - vom Arger in Mietshausern bis zu Ciceros Scheidung. Sie lasst uns hinter die Legenden und Mythen blicken, hinterfragt sicher Geglaubtes und kommt zu uberraschenden Einsichten. So erscheint Rom ganz nah - etwa in seinen Debatten uber Integration und Migration - und doch auch faszinierend fern, wenn es beispielsweise um Sklaverei geht. Ein neuer Blick auf das alte Rom.In prachtiger Ausstattung, mit uber hundert s/w Abbildungen und umfangreichem farbigem Bildteil.

Laughter in Ancient Rome On Joking, Tickling, and Cracking Up

Laughter in Ancient Rome On Joking, Tickling, and Cracking Up

Author: Mary Beard Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 23/10/2015

What made the Romans laugh? Was ancient Rome a carnival, filled with practical jokes and hearty chuckles? Or was it a carefully regulated culture in which the uncontrollable excess of laughter was a force to fear a world of wit, irony, and knowing smiles? How did Romans make sense of laughter? What role did it play in the world of the law courts, the imperial palace, or the spectacles of the arena? Laughter in Ancient Rome explores one of the most intriguing, but also trickiest, of historical subjects. Drawing on a wide range of Roman writing from essays on rhetoric to a surviving Roman joke book Mary Beard tracks down the giggles, smirks, and guffaws of the ancient Romans themselves. From ancient monkey business to the role of a chuckle in a culture of tyranny, she explores Roman humor from the hilarious, to the momentous, to the surprising. But she also reflects on even bigger historical questions. What kind of history of laughter can we possibly tell? Can we ever really get the Romans' jokes?

Laughter in Ancient Rome On Joking, Tickling, and Cracking Up

Laughter in Ancient Rome On Joking, Tickling, and Cracking Up

Author: Mary Beard Format: Hardback Release Date: 13/06/2014

What made the Romans laugh? Was ancient Rome a carnival, filled with practical jokes and hearty chuckles? Or was it a carefully regulated culture in which the uncontrollable excess of laughter was a force to fear--a world of wit, irony, and knowing smiles? How did Romans make sense of laughter? What role did it play in the world of the law courts, the imperial palace, or the spectacles of the arena? Laughter in Ancient Rome explores one of the most intriguing, but also trickiest, of historical subjects. Drawing on a wide range of Roman writing--from essays on rhetoric to a surviving Roman joke book--Mary Beard tracks down the giggles, smirks, and guffaws of the ancient Romans themselves. From ancient monkey business to the role of a chuckle in a culture of tyranny, she explores Roman humor from the hilarious, to the momentous, to the surprising. But she also reflects on even bigger historical questions. What kind of history of laughter can we possibly tell? Can we ever really get the Romans' jokes?

Confronting the Classics Traditions, Adventures and Innovations

Confronting the Classics Traditions, Adventures and Innovations

Author: Mary Beard Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 13/03/2014

Mary Beard is one of the world's best-known classicists - a brilliant academic, with a rare gift for communicating with a wide audience both though her TV presenting and her books. In a series of sparkling essays, she explores our rich classical heritage - from Greek drama to Roman jokes, introducing some larger-than-life characters of classical history, such as Alexander the Great, Nero and Boudicca. She invites you into the places where Greeks and Romans lived and died, from the palace at Knossos to Cleopatra's Alexandria - and reveals the often hidden world of slaves. She takes a fresh look at both scholarly controversies and popular interpretations of the ancient world, from The Golden Bough to Asterix. The fruit of over thirty years in the world of classical scholarship, Confronting the Classics captures the world of antiquity and its modern significance with wit, verve and scholarly expertise.

Confronting the Classics Traditions, Adventures and Innovations

Confronting the Classics Traditions, Adventures and Innovations

Author: Mary Beard Format: Hardback Release Date: 07/03/2013

Mary Beard is one of the world's best-known classicists - a brilliant academic, with a rare gift for communicating with a wide audience both though her TV presenting and her books.In a series of sparkling essays, she explores our rich classical heritage - from Greek drama to Roman jokes, introducing some larger-than-life characters of classical history, such as Alexander the Great, Nero and Boudicca. She invites you into the places where Greeks and Romans lived and died, from the palace at Knossos to Cleopatra's Alexandria - and reveals the often hidden world of slaves. She takes a fresh look at both scholarly controversies and popular interpretations of the ancient world, from The Golden Bough to Asterix. The fruit of over thirty years in the world of classical scholarship, Confronting the Classics captures the world of antiquity and its modern significance with wit, verve and scholarly expertise.

All in a Don's Day

All in a Don's Day

Author: Mary Beard Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 05/04/2012

Her central themes are the classics, universities and teaching - and much else besides. In this second collection following on from the success of It's a Don's Life, Beard ponders whether Gaddafi's home is Roman or not, we share her 'terror of humiliation' as she enters 'hairdresser country' and follow her dilemma as she wanders through the quandary of illegible handwriting on examination papers and 'longing for the next dyslexic' - on whose paper the answers are typed, not handwritten. Praise for It's a Don's Life 'Delightful... it has the virtues of brevity, eclecticism and learning worn lightly... if they'd had Mary Beard on their side back then, the Romans would still have their empire' Daily Mail

The Parthenon

The Parthenon

Author: Mary Beard Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 20/05/2010

The ruined silhouette of the Parthenon on its hill above Athens is one of the world's most famous images. Its 'looted' Elgin Marbles are a global cause celebre. But what actually are they? In a revised and updated edition, Mary Beard, award winning writer, reviewer and leading Cambridge classicist, tells the history and explains the significance of the Parthenon, the temple of the virgin goddess Athena, the divine patroness of ancient Athens.

Pompeii The Life of a Roman Town

Pompeii The Life of a Roman Town

Author: Mary Beard Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 16/07/2009

WINNER OF THE WOLFSON HISTORY PRIZE 2008 'The world's most controversial classicist debunks our movie-style myths about the Roman town with meticulous scholarship and propulsive energy' Laura Silverman, Daily Mail The ruins of Pompeii, buried by an explosion of Vesuvius in 79 CE, offer the best evidence we have of everyday life in the Roman empire. This remarkable book rises to the challenge of making sense of those remains, as well as exploding many myths: the very date of the eruption, probably a few months later than usually thought; or the hygiene of the baths which must have been hotbeds of germs; or the legendary number of brothels, most likely only one; or the massive death count, maybe less than ten per cent of the population. An extraordinary and involving portrait of an ancient town, its life and its continuing re-discovery, by Britain's favourite classicist.

The Roman Triumph

The Roman Triumph

Author: Mary Beard Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 05/05/2009

Mary Beard's richly illustrated work is a testament to the profound importance of the triumph in Roman culture - and for monarchs, dynasts and generals ever since. But how can we re-create the ceremony as it was celebrated in Rome? How can we piece together its elusive traces in art and literature? Beard addresses these questions, opening a window on the intriguing process of sifting through and making sense of what constitutes 'history'.

The Invention of Jane Harrison

The Invention of Jane Harrison

Author: Mary Beard Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 07/05/2002

Jane Ellen Harrison (1850-1928) is the most famous female classicist in history, the author of books that revolutionised our understanding of Greek culture and religion. A star in the British academic world, she became the quintessential Cambridge woman - as Virginia Woolf suggested when, in A Room of One's Own , she claims to have glimpsed Harrison's ghost in the college gardens. This innovative portrayal of a fascinating woman raises the question of who wins (and how) in the competition for academic fame. Mary Beard captures Harrison's ability to create her own image. and she contrasts her story with that of Eugene Sellers Strong, a younger contemporary and onetime intimate, the author of major work on Roman art and once a glittering figure at the British School in Rome - but who lost the race for renown. The setting for the story of Harrison's career is classical scholarship in this period - its internal arguments and allegiances and especially the influence of the anthropological strain most strikingly exemplified by Sir James Frazer. Questioning the common criteria for identifying intellectual influence and movements , Beard exposes the mythology that is embedded in the history of classics. At the same time she provides a vivid picture of a sparkling intellectual scene.

Classical Art From Greece to Rome

Classical Art From Greece to Rome

Author: Mary Beard, John Henderson Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 26/04/2001

The stunning masterpieces of Ancient Greece and Rome are fundamental to the story of art in Western culture and to the origins of art history. The expanding Greek world of Alexander the Great had an enormous impact on the Mediterranean superpower of Rome. Generals, rulers, and artists seized, imitated, and re-thought the stunning legacy of Greek painting and sculpture, culminating in the greatest art-collector the world had ever seen, the Roman emperor, Hadrian. This exciting new look at Classical art starts with the excavation of the buried city of Pompeii, and investigates the grandiose monuments of ancient tyrants, and the sensual beauty of Apollo and Venus. Concluding with that most influential invention of all, the human portrait, it highlights the re-discovery of Classical art in the modern world, from the treasure hunts of Renaissance Rome to scientific retrieval in the twenty-first century.

Rome in the Late Republic

Rome in the Late Republic

Author: Mary Beard, N. Crawford Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 27/01/2000

This textbook outlines the factors that every student must assess for a proper understanding of the period, from the attitudes of the aristocracy and the role of state religion to the function of political institutions. This second edition also contains a new introduction and an updated bibliography.

Religions of Rome: Volume 1, A History

Religions of Rome: Volume 1, A History

Author: Mary Beard, John North, Simon Price Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 28/06/1998

This book offers a radical new survey of more than a thousand years of religious life at Rome. It sets religion in its full cultural context, between the primitive hamlet of the eighth century BC and the cosmopolitan, multicultural society of the first centuries of the Christian era. The narrative account is structured around a series of broad themes: how to interpret the Romans' own theories of their religious system and its origins; the relationship of religion and the changing politics of Rome; the religious importance of the layout and monuments of the city itself; changing ideas of religious identity and community; religious innovation - and, ultimately, revolution. The companion volume, Religions of Rome: A Sourcebook, sets out a wide range of documents richly illustrating the religious life in the Roman world.

Religions of Rome: Volume 2, A Sourcebook

Religions of Rome: Volume 2, A Sourcebook

Author: Mary Beard, John North, Simon Price Format: Paperback Release Date: 28/06/1998

Volume two reveals the extraordinary diversity of ancient Roman religion. A comprehensive sourcebook, it presents a wide range of documents illustrating religious life in the Roman world - from the foundations of the city in the eighth century BC to the Christian capital more than a thousand years later. Each document is given a full introduction, explanatory notes and bibliography, and acts as a starting point for further discussion. Through paintings, sculptures, coins and inscriptions, as well as literary texts in translation, the book explores the major themes and problems of Roman religion, such as sacrifice, the religious calendar, divination, ritual, and priesthood. Starting from the archaeological traces of the earliest cults of the city, it finishes with a series of texts in which Roman authors themselves reflect on the nature of their own religion, its history, even its funny side. Judaism and Christianity are given full coverage, as important elements in the religious world of the Roman empire.

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