I started watching the Rome series a couple of years ago but got derailed by missing disks in my video store’s collection. Now I’m starting over again, renting it from Netflix.
Rome is a historical fiction series set around the rise and fall of Julius Caesar. It’s interesting because it portrays not only the lives of the high and mighty, but also a couple of ordinary Roman soldiers, Lucius Vorenus and Titus Pullo. Although Vorenus and Pullo were actual people, these are fictional characters named after real persons and not meant to portray actual persons who left little but their names and ranks behind in the historical accounts. It’s important to remember that everything in the series is fictionalized, and so a lot of the details are slaved to make good drama instead of following a strict historical presentation.
That being said, the attention to detail in the costuming, set design and such is astonishing. I read that the extras who portrayed Caesar’s legion went to a five week boot camp and lived in Roman tents while practicing formations and such. Makes me wonder if I could have a Roman style boot camp for my teenage son and his friends!
I thought about putting in a synopsis, but that will simply bore you if you’ve seen it already or spoilerize you if you haven’t, so I’ll stick with some hopefully non-spoilery observations.
My favorite part of the entire episode was Titus Pullo praying to Forculus: “I would kill for you a fine white lamb, or failing that if I couldn’t get one at a decent price, at least 6 pigeons!” My second favorite part was when the teenage Octavian explains a fine bit of politics to Vorenus and Pullo, who had previously been quite ready to ignore him as a spoiled and useless little boy.
The women of Rome are portrayed as being quite political, cunning and motivated to move power behind the scenes if not openly. Even Lucius Vorenus’s wife is full of plots and schemes, though she’s a mere beginner compared to Octavian’s mother Atia. I find it interesting that the series intends to portray the women as strong, intelligent people instead of as meek, powerless and housebound. And all the beautiful hairdressing makes me very envious indeed!
If you’ve seen this episode, what was your favorite part?