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Caligula with Mary Beard


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Old 02-08-2013, 09:19
piimapoika
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In whose Temple of Venus would you erect your obelisk? Mary Beard's or Catherine Edwards's?
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Old 02-08-2013, 10:18
MikeySaint859
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I like to think I'm above judging people on their appearance, but Mary Beard is so horrendous and unkempt that I now switch off anything I see her in. It's not just that awful hair, either. The way she gurns and slumps around the screen is very unappealing, and that's before getting to her Wikipedia-lite level of knowledge.
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Old 03-08-2013, 21:29
Mallyminx
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Is this post about the programme Caligula or Mary Beard? I found it quite interesting although it didn't really tell you that much about Caligula himself. A lot of his reputation is based on heresay...we will never really know if he slept with his sisters!
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Old 03-08-2013, 21:34
Kapellmeister
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I like to think I'm above judging people on their appearance, but Mary Beard is so horrendous and unkempt that I now switch off anything I see her in. It's not just that awful hair, either. The way she gurns and slumps around the screen is very unappealing, and that's before getting to her Wikipedia-lite level of knowledge.
What a repellent comment.
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Old 03-08-2013, 21:45
MikeySaint859
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What a repellent comment.
Please explain why. If someone can't be bothered to look after their appearance why should people bother to watch them?

The only thing repellent is Mary Beard's disgraceful lack of respect for her audience.
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Old 03-08-2013, 21:53
Dan Fortesque
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Mary's an eccentric in the British tradition, isn't she? As long as people are clean then why care what they look like? As for the show, I just thank God I wasn't around back then. Complete nut-jobs these Emperors seemed to be. Also, I thought the bust of the young Caligula looked a bit like Joffrey from Game of Thrones, so I now know where they got his character from.
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Old 03-08-2013, 23:17
Daisy_Duke
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Mary's an eccentric in the British tradition, isn't she? As long as people are clean then why care what they look like? As for the show, I just thank God I wasn't around back then. Complete nut-jobs these Emperors seemed to be. Also, I thought the bust of the young Caligula looked a bit like Joffrey from Game of Thrones, so I now know where they got his character from.
That's how I see her, as an eccentric. She obviously does take a certain pleasure in her appearance anyway, with her bright blue coat and gold Converse boots
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Old 03-08-2013, 23:34
jasonisbest
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I just want to go on record as one who likes Mary Beard; I like her method of presentation, and as far as physical appearance, maybe I spend too much time at University, but she looks like people I see in real life. I do *not* get what the complaints are about, except the notion that women are only allowed to be visible in public if they are young and meet whatever standard of feminine beauty is in place for the given society at the time. Last I checked, this is the 21st century: I'd like to think we'd transcended that primitive mindset, but perhaps I've been over-confident in the evolution of my fellow primates?

It is pure refreshing to see a woman on telly who is not injected, trimmed, and shellacked to abstraction. Bravo, Mary!

As for the content of Caligula With Mary Beard, quality, as usual. My only complaint was there was an insinuation that we'd be getting some radical, new insight to Caligula that would portray him in a different light, which was not borne out.

I learned new stuff, the most significant was that we actually have very little contemporary information about Caligula's reign.

The most telling, for me, was one I'm embarrassed I'd never realised before, especially since I have had one year of Latin: the name Caligula = "wee boots." I definitely learned the "-ula" ending functions in Latin like "-chen" in German, "-kin" in English, and why I never applied that to Caligula ... it's shameful! In my first year Latin, he was not mentioned by any name, but it's merely that in hearing the name in anecdote, I never drew the connection that the end of his name was actually a diminutive. In the programme, as soon as she began to explain "Bootykins," it was an instant epiphany, and yes: it does speak volumes about the effectiveness of his enemies that he is known as Caligula and not Gaius. I don't know how it will be for people who have never had any Latin, but for me, I will always now hear the name as "calig-ula," much as I hear the "-ula" in the terms anaticula (little duck) and canicula (little bitch).

Watching Horrible Histories, I learned about the interchangeable heads/arms of Roman statues; I enjoyed seeing real examples in this documentary.

I only wish there had been more tangible artifacts/architecture from his reign extant. I suppose that also was a wee disappointment of the programme, for me. I had expected to see more buildings/ruins, not merely a piece of brick and a bridge pier.

So, hataz gonna hate, I know that, but I, for one, delight in Mary Beard's presentations. Straightforward, unpretentious, informative, and fun. The world needs to see more women of age, in their natural form, sharing their wisdom and intellect, and having fun. Kinda brings me down that this is considered "eccentric." I hope when I'm pushing 60 I can still hop around and bike as she does.
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Old 03-08-2013, 23:46
Gort
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I really enjoyed this programme a lot. I know a little bit about Roman/Classical history, but she added to my knowledge, which is what's important in a documentary.

As to her appearance, I couldn't care one jot. I remember such programmes like Civilisation hosted by Kenneth Clark and The Ascent of Man hosted by Jacob Bronowski, both of which would have shallow posters crying about their looks and mannerisms, but totally missing the point and remaining ignorant. It's a shame that they get distracted by the banal, but I suppose it's not too surprising...

More of this kind of programme, please.
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Old 04-08-2013, 00:00
barbeler
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I started watching with the opinion that anybody who criticised her appearance was a shallow, sexist moron. Then, after about ten minutes, I have to admit that her godawful hair started to become a distraction. It's not as if it takes a huge amount of effort or self respect on her part to make it look at least presentable.
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Old 04-08-2013, 01:32
SteveOwen
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In whose Temple of Venus would you erect your obelisk? Mary Beard's or Catherine Edwards's?
I like to think I'm above judging people on their appearance, but Mary Beard is so horrendous and unkempt that I now switch off anything I see her in. It's not just that awful hair, either. The way she gurns and slumps around the screen is very unappealing, and that's before getting to her Wikipedia-lite level of knowledge.
Mary read your comments... Congratulations.
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Old 04-08-2013, 03:16
Gutted Girl
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I found the Wiki-lite comment to actually be far more offensive than the comments about her looks, though they were very offensive.

This is a respected expert in her field, who cares what she looks like.

One thing I do know though is that unlike those who were criticising her she knows what she's talking about.
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Old 04-08-2013, 09:01
owllover
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She was probably hurt. She wants to be respected for her knowledge.

On the subject of looks for women on TV, Sister Wendy Beckett isn't a looker but I'd choose to spend the rest of my life with her over any of today's numpties.
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Old 04-08-2013, 10:08
horwichallstars
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Well I loved it. I went to Pompeii with my 7 year old 2 weeks ago, mainly inspired by Mary's programme, and had a fabulous time. Also went yo Rome. Turned out the tunnel my daughter had a bit of a tanty in, was near where Caligula was murdered (I reckon she was possessed by his spirit for a while.)

I have no idea why her looks ever come into things, whenever see threads about what David Starkey happens to be wearing, or whether you would shag him. I find is disheartening that we are still judging women in these terms, that out acceptability is based on our shagability rating. How would I sooner my daughter turned out, like Mary Beard or someone from TOWIE? It would be the former for me every time.

And, if you are reading this Mary - there are some morons around, but there are plenty of nice people who hang round here to !
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Old 04-08-2013, 10:09
Dan Fortesque
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Perhaps it will make some people think twice now and realise that it's a real person they're criticising, who has feelings just like them. I also agree that it's the content of the programme that people should be concentrating on. I like Mary, btw.
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Old 04-08-2013, 10:19
owllover
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Well I loved it. I went to Pompeii with my 7 year old 2 weeks ago, mainly inspired by Mary's programme, and had a fabulous time. Also went yo Rome. Turned out the tunnel my daughter had a bit of a tanty in, was near where Caligula was murdered (I reckon she was possessed by his spirit for a while.)

I have no idea why her looks ever come into things, whenever see threads about what David Starkey happens to be wearing, or whether you would shag him. I find is disheartening that we are still judging women in these terms, that out acceptability is based on our shagability rating. How would I sooner my daughter turned out, like Mary Beard or someone from TOWIE? It would be the former for me every time.

And, if you are reading this Mary - there are some morons around, but there are plenty of nice people who hang round here to !
** Applause**
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Old 04-08-2013, 10:23
soullover
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Well I loved it. I went to Pompeii with my 7 year old 2 weeks ago, mainly inspired by Mary's programme, and had a fabulous time. Also went yo Rome. Turned out the tunnel my daughter had a bit of a tanty in, was near where Caligula was murdered (I reckon she was possessed by his spirit for a while.)

I have no idea why her looks ever come into things, whenever see threads about what David Starkey happens to be wearing, or whether you would shag him. I find is disheartening that we are still judging women in these terms, that out acceptability is based on our shagability rating. How would I sooner my daughter turned out, like Mary Beard or someone from TOWIE? It would be the former for me every time.

And, if you are reading this Mary - there are some morons around, but there are plenty of nice people who hang round here to !
Bless you, you've restored my faith in the human race.
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Old 04-08-2013, 10:31
stud u like
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I like to think I'm above judging people on their appearance, but Mary Beard is so horrendous and unkempt that I now switch off anything I see her in. It's not just that awful hair, either. The way she gurns and slumps around the screen is very unappealing, and that's before getting to her Wikipedia-lite level of knowledge.
Oh dear, what a nasty thing to write! Mary is lovely.
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Old 04-08-2013, 10:32
Granny McSmith
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I have no idea why her looks ever come into things, whenever see threads about what David Starkey happens to be wearing, or whether you would shag him. I find is disheartening that we are still judging women in these terms, that out acceptability is based on our shagability rating. How would I sooner my daughter turned out, like Mary Beard or someone from TOWIE? It would be the former for me every time.

And, if you are reading this Mary - there are some morons around, but there are plenty of nice people who hang round here to !
Seconded.

I wonder what piimopoika and MikeySaint have done, or indeed how they look, that makes them think they are able to criticise Ms Beard for looks or anything else. I have my opinion of them, but I'll keep it to myself or I'll get banned. Let's just say it couldn't get any lower.
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Old 04-08-2013, 11:39
Mystic Dave
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It is only a short step from that kind of stupid abuse to the more serious threats made against Mary Beard in the past few days, culminating in a bomb threat.

Whatever we might think of her (and she reminds me of Sister Wendy!), we must get behind her and help to put a stop to the kind of stupid nonsense aimed at her here and on Twitter.

I am not denying freedom of speech - if you think she is a bit scruffy or good/not good at her job, fine, say so, but keep the idiotic nonsense out of it.
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Old 04-08-2013, 12:51
dsimiller
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I really enjoyed this programme a lot. I know a little bit about Roman/Classical history, but she added to my knowledge, which is what's important in a documentary.

As to her appearance, I couldn't care one jot. I remember such programmes like Civilisation hosted by Kenneth Clark and The Ascent of Man hosted by Jacob Bronowski, both of which would have shallow posters crying about their looks and mannerisms, but totally missing the point and remaining ignorant. It's a shame that they get distracted by the banal, but I suppose it's not too surprising...

More of this kind of programme, please.
Exactly.I thought it was most interesting.Just the way that history should be taught.She looked ok to me,don't know why people are getting uptight about it.
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Old 04-08-2013, 13:34
lundavra
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It is only a short step from that kind of stupid abuse to the more serious threats made against Mary Beard in the past few days, culminating in a bomb threat.

Whatever we might think of her (and she reminds me of Sister Wendy!), we must get behind her and help to put a stop to the kind of stupid nonsense aimed at her here and on Twitter.

I am not denying freedom of speech - if you think she is a bit scruffy or good/not good at her job, fine, say so, but keep the idiotic nonsense out of it.
I commented in another thread that I see parallels between the abuse given to some people on Digital Spy to the more extreme forms on Twitter that have been leading to criminal prosecutions.

The people doing it must be incredibly stupid because every case on Twitter seems to have resulted in the source being identified and details passed to the police.
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Old 04-08-2013, 14:54
dorydaryl
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People who are trying to be more inventive in their ways of denigrating/ insulting Mary Beard relative to her appearance don't have the wit to match her intellectually. I guess that's what marks out the difference between a respected professor and image-conscious armchair critics who happen to have read a few history books (and some won't have even managed that!).
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Old 04-08-2013, 15:06
saralund
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I thought it was an excellent programme, and I was surprised to find that a lot of what I thought I 'knew' about Caligula was quite probably propaganda and misinformation. I find Mary Beard's style engaging - she's definitely talking to me rather than reading a lecture from an autocue. And she's a classics Professor at Cambridge - just how much stronger could her academic credentials be?

The double standards for male vs female appearance dismays me. David Starkey is all over our screens, and no-one complains that he's dumpy, grey, wears disconcerting tortoiseshell-rimmed spectacles, and has a delivery style whereby they must have to keep the camera at a careful distance to avoid constant splattering. Do those facts cease to matter when the subject is a bloke?

Michael Scott - mentioned in the TLS article - is an attractive younger male, but personally I find myself much less engaged by his programmes, entirely on account of his style. His words have clearly been written down in proper sentences and correct literary format, unlike Mary Beard, who is happy to growl, exclaim, use slang, update terms to modern usage, and pretty much do anything to grab and sustain my attention. She's the kind of university lecturer that students love to have, because she's a natural teacher rather than a cerebral academic.
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Old 04-08-2013, 18:04
niceguy1966
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How sad.

I opened this thread to read what others thought about a program I just watched on iPlayer. I really wish the OP and several others could grow up.

I didn't watch the program to spend an hour looking at a Dolly bird. I wanted to learn more history than i previously knew, from an expert.

I'm even more shocked that Mary read the ignorant remarks at the start of this thread.

I'd watch a show made by Mary over most of the brain dead programs on these days.
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