THE REBIRTH OF ROME
Premieres Monday, February 18 at 8 p.m.
Hughes looks at the day which marked Rome’s symbolic break with its thousand-year pagan past – the moment in 337 AD when Emperor Constantine the Great was baptized as a Christian. Hughes travels to both the old and the “New Rome,” as Constantinople was known, to study the complex and contradictory life of this brilliant emperor. Hughes shows how many of Constantine’s greatest monuments combine Christian and pagan imagery – almost certainly reflecting the emperor’s own religious outlook. She also gets to explore recently discovered traces of Constantine’s original palace at his new capital, its entrance now hidden below the shops and cafés of modern Istanbul.