Friday, August 18, 2006

It Came, We Saw, It Rules!

Hubby and I just discovered the HBO series Rome on DVD, and we're totally hooked. It offers what looks like a realistic depiction of Roman life at the time of Julius Caesar's ascension to power. It's full of blood, gore, sex, and classic lines like the one uttered by debauched soldier Titus Pullo, "I kill my enemies, take their gold, and enjoy their women." Not a million miles away from this classic line (warning: sound), which may or may not have something to do with the fact that the man who wrote it, the legendary John Milius, is a writer/producer on this series.

Rome unfolds on two levels: that of the powerful and privileged ruling/royal class, and that of the common soldier. You get a sense of the discipline, the debauchery, and the brutality of the age. You see Roman life depicted from the female, as well as male, perspective; those who think women had no power prior to the 1960s should take special note of Caesar's niece, Atia.

The series is filled with outstanding British actors, many of whom I recognized from my favorite Jane Austen adaptations. Particularly good are CiarĂ¡n Hinds as Gaius Julius Caesar and Polly Walker as the scheming Atia, whose performance in Rome is all the more electric if you remember her as an exceedingly demure Jane Fairfax in Emma.

I heartily recommended Rome to fans of historical fiction, but it is not recommended for those with a low tolerance for gore and sexuality.


Blogger BobG said...

I watched the series when it first came out on HBO, and enjoyed it because of the research they did on the subject. I have been a student of culture for many years (three years of Latin in high school for a start), and find the series an interesting interpretation.

8/18/2006 11:59 AM  
Blogger Ed said...

The link to your "classic line" appears to be incorrect... and I'm assuming it is this classic line:

"What is best in life? To crush your enemies. To see them driven before you. And to hear the lamentations of their women... "

8/18/2006 2:43 PM  
Blogger Stickwick Stapers said...

Incorrect, Ed? Do you mean the link is broken? I've tried it again just now, and it works fine.

8/18/2006 11:34 PM  

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