Of all the periods of earlier times, we are probably most familiar with (or more accurately think we are familiar with) that of the Roman empire because of the heavy focus of commercial films dealing with it. But how accurate are the perceptions we gleaned from them? Dave Davies of Fresh Air has a fascinating interview with historian Mary Beard about her new book SPQR: A History of Ancient Rome, where she discusses some of the myths about the rise and fall of Rome and describes what life then was really like, and discusses the many films and TV series made about that period.
The whole interview lasts slightly less than 40 minutes but the time just flew by.
(Note: For some reason, the embedding of the audio link sometimes does not work for me. If that is the case for you, follow the link above. Or you can read the transcript.)