HBO (ended 2007)
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  • "Rome" is the saga of two ordinary Roman soldiers and their families. An intimate drama of love and betrayal, masters and slaves, and husbands and wives, it chronicles epic times that saw the fall of a republic and the creation of an empire. The series begins in 52 BC, as Gaius Julius Caesar has completed his masterful conquest of Gaul after eight years of war, and is preparing to return to Rome. He heads home with thousands of loyal battle-hardened men, huge amounts of loot in gold and slaves, and a populist agenda for radical social change. Terrified, the aristocracy threatens to prosecute Caesar for war crimes as soon as he sets foot in Rome. Caesar's old friend and mentor, Pompey Magnus, attempts to foment mutiny in order to maintain the balance of power. Two of Caesar's soldiers, Lucius Vorenus and Titus Pullo, thwart Pompey's plan and in the process, win the eternal gratitude of Caesar and the Julian clan, affording the two plebian officers an intimate view of the ruling class. The fates of Pullo and Vorenus become entwined with those of Caesar, Mark Antony, Cleopatra and the boy Octavian, a strange and awkward child who, by political guile and bloody force, will become the first emperor of Rome.(Source: HBO Press Release)moreless

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  • Episode Guide
  • S 2 : Ep 10

    De Patre Vostro (About Your Father)

    Aired 3/25/07

  • S 2 : Ep 9

    Deus Impeditio Esuritori Nullus (No God Can Stop a Hungry Man)

    Aired 3/18/07

  • S 2 : Ep 8

    A Necessary Fiction

    Aired 3/11/07

  • S 2 : Ep 7

    Death Mask

    Aired 3/4/07

  • S 2 : Ep 6


    Aired 2/18/07

  • Cast & Crew
  • Kenneth Cranham

    Pompey Magnus

  • CiarĂ¡n Hinds

    Julius Caesar

  • Lindsay Duncan

    Servilia of the Junii

  • Ray Stevenson

    Titus Pullo

  • Karl Johnson

    Porcius Cato

  • Photos (26)
  • Trivia & Quotes
  • Quotes (179)

    • Vorenus (to Pullo): When was the last time you were with a woman who wasn't crying or wanting payment?

    • Octavian: I am Gaius Octavian of the Julii. Great newphew of Julius Caesar. Pullo: Gaius who? Octavian: I am a Roman citizen of noble birth, and I order you to cut these ropes. Pullo: Say "please". Octavian: (pause) Please.

    • Servilia: How is Caesar? Brutus: Who? Servilia: Don't be cruel. Is he well? Did he ask of me? Brutus: (ponders) Did he? I can't recall. I think not. He did write you a letter though. Servilia: Oh you beast.

    • Marc Antony: Lucius Vorenus. You have a brain. Or so the tribune's say...

    • Marc Antony: Brutus, me old cock. What on earth are you doing here? Brutus: (displeased) Marc Antony, how nice.

    • Octavian: Caesar has taken the love of the common people from Pompey, and that was his most prized possession. A battle is inevitable.

    • Pullo: I have simpler tastes. I like to kill my enemy, take their gold and enjoy their women. That's it. Why tie yourself to one? Where's the flavor? Where's the joy?

    • Pullo: I won't even stand next to this short-assed shit [Vorenus], leave alone serve under him. I'll stay here [locked-up], thanks very much.

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    Notes (51)

    • Awards: Joseph Bennett, Domenico Sica, Carlo Serafin, Dominic Hyman andDaniela Giovannoni won the 2006 Excellence in Production Design Award for "Television - Single Camera Television Series" for this episode. Michael Apted, Stan Wlodkowski, Sergio Ercolessi, Julie A. Bloom, Tommy Gormley, Barbara M. Ravis and Kiersten Pilar Miller won the 2006 DGA Award for "Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Dramatic Series' - Night" for this episode. Barrie Hemsley, James Madigan, Duncan Kinnaird and Joe Pavlo won the 2006 VES Award for "Outstanding Visual Effects in a Broadcast Series" for this episode. Barrie Hemsley, James Madigan, Joe Pavlo, Duncan Kinnaird, Daniel Pettipher, Michele Sciolette, Charles Darby, Clare Herbert and Anna Panton won the 2006 Emmy Award for "Outstanding Special Visual Effects for a Series" for this episode.

    • Rome was a collaborative effort between HBO and the BBC.

    • Rome is the first English-language series to be filmed entirely in a non-English speaking country.

    • The Italian set of Rome took up five acres.

    • HBO spent a reported $100 million on the Rome miniseries.

    • Mark Anthony sits vigil (very impatiently) in the temple of Jupiter Maximus as part of his investiture as Tribune of the Plebes Jupiter Maximus was the supreme God of the Roman pantheon and was the patron deity of Laws, Social Order, and Rome itself. This seems a very appropriate God to traditionally appeal to when one is becoming a high government official.

    • Roman Republican Government: The Tribune of the Plebs Mark Anthony is elected Tribune of the Plebes, one of 10 officers of the Plebeian Assembly which was one of the two ruling bodies of Rome, given over the common people of Rome, as the Senate was given over the Patrician classes. (In case you're wondering, yes the government of the Roman Republic was very complicated, and sometimes contradictory). The Plebeian Assembly had as much power as the Senate in many areas of Roman politics - in fact part of the political destabilization of Rome leading up to the time of this series arises from the growing practice of political factions to bypass the Senate entirely and simply use the Plebeian Assembly to enact their proposed laws. The Tribune of the Plebes could convene the Senate, and propose legislation before it - as well as before the Plebeian Assembly. However, the power of the Tribune of the Plebes seems to be mostly negative in that a Tribune of the Plebes had a veto by which he could stop any proposed vote, law, trial, or proposed action, even those of a Consul! It is Anthony's power of veto that is crucial in this episode.

    • Aldo Signoretti, Ferdinando Merolla, Stefano Ceccarelli and Gaetano Panico won the 2006 Emmy Award for "Outstanding Hairstyling for a Series" for this episode.

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    Trivia (37)

    • The story of Julius Caesar's conquest into Rome is detailed in De Bello Gallico, one of the most prized and important texts in Latin.

    • Titus Pullo was written as a poor horseman, since most Romans were quite bad riders. However, according to Bruno Heller (on the DVD commentary), Ray Stevenson turned out to be the best rider of the cast, so they dropped the idea of Pullo being a bad horseman.

    • Octavia of the Julii: Some historical liberties The character of Octavia of the Julii is based on the historical person of Octavia Thurina Minor: ( 69 - 11 BC.). As such, it's clear that the show's writers have taken some artistic liberties with her. Octavia Thurina Minor was not the scared young woman, depending on her mother, and divorced from a "nobody" for political maneuvering, depicted here. She is thought of as one of the most prominent women in Roman history - although many of the historically significant events and roles that she played take place in the future of the current show. She was known for her loyalty, nobility and humanity, and for maintaining traditional Roman feminine virtues. At the time that Rome occurs, Octavia would have been married to Gaius Claudius Marcellus, to whom she would be married until his death in 40 B.C. - after the death of Julius Caesar, or all through the first season on the series, at least. Octavia and her husband also had three children, although the years of their births are 44,43, and 42 B.C.E. - so the eldest would not be born until the same year as the assassination of Julius Caesar. If the show was true to history, Octavia's eldest child might be born in the last episode of the season. Octavia would go on to be wife of Mark Anthony and mother of his children as well. - travelling with him over much of the Empire. She was noted for advising and mediating between Anthony and Octavian/Augustus. She was one of the first Roman women to have coins minted in her image. During her life, Augustus built two monuments for his public works program in her honor:: The Colonnades of Octavia and the Paragon of Virtue. She died a rather sad death, retreating into mourning and isolation at the death of her son Marcus Claudius Marcellus. Her brother Augustus gave her the highest posthumous honors; he built the Gate of Octavia in her memory, declared her as a goddess and built temples for her.

    • Vorenus and Pullo: More than fictional characters It is interesting to note that Lucius Vorenus and Titus Pullo are not inventions of the show's creators. They are explicitly mentioned in the De Bello Gallico, Caesar's history of his Gallic wars. In fact, the scene in this episode with Titus Pullo charging into the line of the Gauls, and being rescued by Vorenus is clearly inspired by - but not identical to - the anecdote of Vorenus and Pullo described in Book 5, Chapter 44 of De Bello Gallico.

    • Vercingetorix:

      Early in the episode we see Vercingetorix subdued, required to kiss an eagle. Vercingetorix was leader of a recently beaten tribe of gauls.
      Vercingetorix was the inspiration behind "Asterix the Gaul".

    • Goof: In the 8th minute of the 1st episode after Julia had died you can actually see her swollow.

    • There's a missing Roman! The show implies that there are two contenders for power in Rome, Pompey and Caesar - when in fact there should be three. At the time Caesar was wrapping up his Gallic wars, Pompey and Marcus Licinius Crassus were Consuls together, and not, as it's implied, Caesar and Pompey. Crassus, Pompey, and Caesar had more-or-less total control of Rome between the three of them, prior to the events of the first episode - a period known as the First Triumvirate. A short time after the death of Julia (Pompey's wife and Caesar's daughter) - an event that occurs within the time frame of the series - Crassus decided he wanted military glory to compare with Caesar's and Pompey's. He decided to campaign against the Parthian Empire - and proceeded to get himself killed, losing 30,000 troops in the process, and having the standards of all his Legions captured (something that this episode deems very important). This was one of the worst Roman military disasters to date. There is no mention of Crassus, or the war with the Parthian Empire within the series, even though they are part of the historical background, and are events that are occurring (historically) along with the events depicted in the series. However, as Crassus is only "alive" for the first episode, it seems clear that he just go 'written out' to make things simpler. It might be noted that the loss of 30,000 Roman soldiers sometime in the first couple of episodes might also explain why Pompey is having such a hard time 'scraping up' Legions to meet Caesar with later.

    • The Tribunes of the Legion Anthony tell Vorenus that "the Tribunes" have noted him for his intelligence. The rank of Tribuni Angusticlavii was similar to the modern rank of Lieutenant Colonel, and were officers who had often commanded one or two Cohorts of about 480 men, comprised of 6 "centuries" each lead by a Centurion - Voresnus' rank. Not only had Vorenus caught the eye of his superior officer, but had distinguished himself to all the Tribunes - standing out amongst the 60 or so Centurions of the Legion. He must be a superlative officer.

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    Allusions (11)

    • The Roman Eagle was a military symbol of the Roman era. It stood for the values of the Republic. Losing an eagle in battle was considered one of the greatest shames a general could endure.

    • In discussing Caesar's march on Rome, Pompey starts tell an anecdote about when he destroyed pirates, but is cut off by Cato This is an allusion to Third Mithridatic War, where Mithridates VI of Pontus allied himself with bands of pirates in the eastern Mediterranean against Rome. The pirates were immensely successful: attacking Roman shipping, threatening the supply of grain to Rome; conducting inland raids to capture and ransom prominent Roman citizens - including an ex-Consul's daughter, and two Praetors; and even attacking the Roman fleet while it was in harbor! Pompey was given a 3-year Imperium Infinitium over all the Mediterranean, all islands in the Mediterranean, and all land within 50 miles of the coast. This was unprecedented, controversial, and highly contested in the Senate - although this action was supported by a young Senator called Gaius Julius Caesar at the time. In 3 months (67-66B.C.E.) Pompey had smashed the pirates (but resettled them as landholders in Roman controlled territory, gaining hundreds if not thousands of new cliens and supporters amongst the ex-pirates), but went on to "tour" the east for the next 6-years, acting like a king. He founded the Roman province of Syria, insulted and alienated the king of Parthia, and committed sacrilege in Jerusalem by barging into the "Holy of Holies" in the temple to see what all the fuss was about, before coming home. Pompey was so successful that he alarmed his fellow Consul, Marcus Licinius Crassus, who scrambled to find ways to counteract Pompey's "run away power" - most of which failed. Finally, Crassus decided to counter-balance Pompey by creating an 'anti-Pompey', and threw his support behind the career of an up-and-coming Patrician, Gaius Julius Caesar.

    • The word Egeria is an Ancient Gallic word for Beginner

    • Mark Antony makes reference to "Cincinnatus", who is Lucius Quinctius Cincinnatus (c.519 BC). Cincinnatus is semi-legendary figure from Roman history. He was - apparently - a Patrician in the early days of the Republic, noted for his leadership, civic virtue, and modesty. According to Roman historians, he was a simple country nobleman, who put aside his personal needs as a simple country squire, assumed military and dictatorial command of the entire Roman Republic, defeated her enemies, restored the Republic to safety, and then voluntarily divested himself of his extraordinary powers and returned to quiet country life. He is said to have done this not only once, but twice, having dealt with an invasion by the Aequi and the Volscians, and again later with a plebeian revolt. See:

    • "Passover" is a Jewish holiday commemorating a time, during their Egyptian captivity, that the angel of death sent by God "passed over" the homes of the Hebrew slaves' while taking the first-born of every other Egyptian household (See Exodus, 12:5-14)

    • Hades - who Vorenus invokes to keep the Collegium cowed - was actually the Greek name for the god of the dead and the underworld. The Roman name which Vorenus should have used is Pluto. This was most likely changed because the name Hades is better known. Many people in Roman times feared Hades because they feared death, and the mere act of speaking his name (much less swearing oaths by Hades) was shocking. However, in Roman times, Hades did not have connotations of evil - but was a dark, morbid, morose, and passive God maintaining balance and jealously protecting and confining the souls of the dead. Medieval thought which associated Hades and the Roman underworld with Hell and Satan later added this element of evil to the idea of Hades. While Vorenus' claim would be shocking and fearful to Romans of the time, it would not have the same connotations as someone in a Christian era claiming to be a "Son of Satan".

    • Concordia (or Concord as she is referred to in this episode), was the Roman incarnation of the Greek goddess Harmonia: goddess of agreement, understanding, and marital harmony. In medieval art, she is sometimes depicted standing between two members of Royal Houses shaking hands, and this appears to be how she is depicted in the episode, although without the two "disputants" - presumably she is meant to symbolically "stand" between the disputing parties in the Collegium. It should be noted that not only was Concordia goddess of harmony, truce, and peace, but that the Roman Senate often met within the temple of Concordia. Invoking Concordia to preside over a meeting to resolve the civil disturbances could be seen and symbolically lending both religious and political authority to Vorenus' ultimatum to the underworld figures - doubly so as he explicitly has Anthony's political and financial backing.

    • The act of kidnapping and selling people (usually travelers) into slavery was a practice of Roman slavers, so the fate of the Vorenii children in the last scene of the episode is historically accurate - although the idea of someone coming into the house of a Roman citizen and dragging them off into slavery would have been unthinkable. This kind of slavery was later deterred by Augustus (Octavian) and his successor Tiberius, but the practice did not completely die out for at least a century following their reigns. See:

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  • Fan Reviews (124)
  • Outstanding TV Series Ended Way too Early

    By sleeknight, May 04, 2015

  • Still fresh

    By watznot2like, Nov 16, 2014

  • bring it back

    By hershelduvall, Apr 23, 2013

  • Perfect show

    By FX, May 14, 2012

  • Rome -series1

    By wavyline, Mar 10, 2012