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  • Season 2 Episode 10: De Patre Vostro (About Yo...

  • The episode's title About Your Father in should be De Patre Tuo rather than De Patre Vostro (vostro is the modern Italian equivalent of the Latin vestro, which is plural). However, it could be argued that the plural adjective is intentional - the title might refer both to Caesarion and the Vorenae.

  • Atia Balba Caesonia (historial basis for Atia of the Julii) was already dead at the time of Antony's defeat at Actium; in the series she is depicted attending Octavian's triumph ceremony, but there are no grounds to support the "confrontation" with Livia, Augustus's wife, about precedence.
    The triumph itself, which was portrayed relatively faithfully in the episode Triumph, is here incorrect. Octavian wears a white toga instead of the crimson of the triumphor; moreover, his face is not painted red as was the custom. It is also recorded that Octavian's stepsons Tiberius and Nero Claudius Drusus rode with him in his chariot, they are not shown here.

  • In the series, Caesarion appears as a young child at the time of his "death". The historical Caesarion was 17 years old by the time of Antony's defeat in Actium.

  • Of Mark Antony's seven children, only Alexander Helios, Cleopatra Selene and Antonia Major are depicted in the series. Missing are his children by Fulvia: Marcus Antonius Antyllus and Iullus Antonius Creticus; his other daughter with Octavia Minor, Antonia Minor; and his youngest child with Cleopatra VII, Ptolemy Philadelphus. Similarly, Antonia Major is the only one of Octavia's five children featured.

  • Season 2 Episode 9: Deus Impeditio Esuritori ...

  • Historically, by the time Octavian and Mark Anthony headed for war, Lepidus had been forced by Octavian to retire (in 36 BC) and give up his provinces after Octavian defeated an attempted coup led by Lepidus.

    There was no need for Posca to steal Antony's last will and testament. Antony made public his intentions about the future of Selene and Helios, his daughter and son with Cleopatra, as rulers of Egypt and about Caesarion as "king of Rome" in the so-called Donations of Alexandria.

    This episode gives the impression that Octavian had the entire support of the Senate, however in reality over half the Senators left Rome to go East and join Antony.

  • Vorenus' daughters are still portrayed by adolescents, even though the characters are in their mid and late 20's by now.

  • Although her character died at the end of season 1, Indira Varma returns briefly as Niobe at the beginning of this episode. The scene is part of one of Vorenus's dream. In it, he wakes up next to a very much alive and very much in love Niobe. But, when he finally wakes up for real, he realizes the woman lying next to him is in fact an Egyptian prostitute he had hired for the night.

  • Season 2 Episode 8: A Necessary Fiction

  • In the scene where Maecenas and Vorenus discuss the missing gold, there is a bust of Caesar behind them. However, it is not a bust of the historical Julius Caesar, but a likeness of Ciaran Hinds, who portrayed Caesar in the first Season.

  • Season 2 Episode 6: Philippi

  • Historically, in addition to his hands, Cicero's head was also nailed to the rostrum, and pins and nails were stabbed through his tongue, as a symbolic gesture of the great orator being silenced forever.

  • Season 2 Episode 4: Testudo Et Lepus (The Tor...

  • Nitpick: While being on the run in the Alps, Marc Antony receives information about his soldiers from Lucius who says that the Fourth Legion is in very bad shape. However, several scenes before when Caesar Octavian makes his speech before his troops, we can see that one of the standards under which his troops are standing is the standard of the Fourth Legion, which means that the Fourth fought on Octavian's side.

  • Season 2 Episode 3: These Being the Words of ...

  • In Rome saffron was used as a dye, in perfumes and for cooking. It was also associated with love and used by men and women as a stimulant.

  • Season 2 Episode 2: Son of Hades

  • Timon's brother Levi left Jerusalem while Phasael was Governor of the city. During this time there were frequent conflicts between the supporters of the Hasmonean Antigonus and the supporters of Phasael. Phasael was Idumaean and even though his family had converted to judaism they were disliked by the perspicacious and nationalist Jews for their perceived non-Jewish and Arab ancestry.

    So Levi fleeing from Jerusalem is historically acurate for anyone that might have been supporting the Hasmonean cause and facing persecution from Phasael or the Romans in the region.

  • The term collegium (collegia being the plural word) is a latin phrase that roughly translates to a "club" or "guild".

    Its equivalent in modern times would be about the same as the term "Union" that is used today to represent a group of people that all work in a particular profession.

  • Season 2 Episode 1: Passover

  • Goof: Near the end of the episode, when Erastes is talking to his men in the bar, in the background we see a woman performing oral sex to a man. The next moment, when Erastes is leaving, there's no woman.

  • When Caesar was killed in 44 BC, Octavius was studying in Apollonia, Illyria and was not actually in Rome to receive the reading of Caesars will.

  • Season 1 Episode 12: Kalends of February

  • The title was deliberately chosen to mislead the audience. This is because Caesar was killed on the Ides of March (March 15) not the Kalends of February (February 1). Instead the Kalends of February is only a minor day in comparison to what unfolds later in the episode.

  • Season 1 Episode 4: Stealing From Saturn

  • Goof: The poem that Octavia recites is from a verse of the Aeneid, written by Virgil. It dates to the last decade of Virgil's life, written sometime after the year 20 B.C. This episode takes place roughly 30 years prior to that.

  • Season 1 Episode 3: An Owl in a Thornbush

  • In this episode, Atia is seen to be "holding court"; obviously wealthy people coming to her, as Caesar's Legion approaches. This was a custom of the Roman nobility known as Clientela.

    If one needed support, or help, or a favor of some kind, one often appealed to a more powerful (or rich, or influential) family or person for a "favor", which they might grant. If they did so, you were a cliens of that person, or family, and they were your patronus until your obligatio was discharged by returning some favor that the patronus asked of you (clearly these terms are where we get the words client and patron). Cliens were required, by custom, to report to their patronus every morning to see if there was anything they could do for them. Note Atia chiding one of her cliens for being so long absent. Additionally, cliens were required to show public support for their patronus, such as accompanying them when they went to the Forum. Patroni also had obligations to take care of their cliens.

    A great family's prestige was often enhanced by the number and quality of their cliens; if you had a lot of rich, powerful, and important people owing you favors, you must be rich, powerful, and important as well.

    Clearly the various people coming to Atia are her cliens, or those wishing to become cliens, in hopes that an affiliation with the Julii clan will spare them from the ravages of Caesar's Legion. Atia is obviously not above abusing the system of Clientela, extorting 5,000 denarii from one factory owner for her "patronage".

  • The term "war chest", meaning the money that a politician has for his/her campaign goes back to Roman times. When a general was sent off to war he was given a chest of gold and/or silver to pay his legions expenses, hence his "war chest".

  • When the soldiers salute the officers by putting the hand across their chest and then stretch their arm out they are pledging their heart and their sword to the general. Some historians believe this to be the forerunner of the Fascist salute of Mussolini and possibly even the Nazi salute of Hitler.

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Drama

Themes

narcisists, not for the faint of heart, historical people as characters, moral dilemmas, keeping secrets