Rome, Season 1: Episode 3– An Owl in a Thornbush

Julius, called Caesar, is returning to Rome. Lucius Vorenus is unhappy about this. Overthrowing the government isn’t just a political matter for him, it’s a religious one.  He’s in a deep dilemma, stuck between his duty to Caesar and the 13th Legion, and his sense of what is morally right. He’s convinced that Caesar’s actions are deeply disrespectful to the Gods.

Earlier, on the Religio Roma discussion list, there were some people of the opinion that of our two plebeian heroes, Titus Pullo was sincerely religious where Lucius Vorenus was simply going through the motions because it’s advantageous for him to do so. Here we see that he does indeed have sincere religious convictions, and a very strong sense of duty.  He’s very much a “by the book” sort of person, both in his execution of his military duties and in his sense of what’s right and wrong. Pullo is not one to support any authority that isn’t acting in what he perceives as a just manner. It’s two different approaches to sincere religious life, two different philosophies, and two different ways of relying on the Gods.

My favorite scenes are once again Atia related. Atia and Octavia bickering over who should kill whom when they think the mob is about to descend, and Atia lording over her clients. She tells one that she’ll sacrifice an owl for his continued good health. I’m left wondering. . . why an owl?

Vorenus is sure the Gods are going to send retribution at any moment in answer for the desecration of Rome. And once again Pullo is an instrument of wiley Fate.

Vorenus sacrificing at a shrine to Venus was a tender and heartbreaking moment in juxtaposition with the scenes of his wife, Niobe, trying to resist the temptations of her former lover.  I like Vorenus more with each episode; Pullo as well.

Previous Episode

Rome, Season 1 Episode 2–How Titus Pullo Brought Down the Republic


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