The series was made back in 2005 and I remember watching a few episodes and really enjoying it although I can never religiously follow a series. This has now changed because you can watch one after the other on sites like Netflix and Amazon prime. I am still re cooperating and so I need to keep myself occupied, which usually means writing, reading, watching and doing my exercises.I decided to pick up the series ROME once again and have enjoyed every minute of it. History is a topic I loved at school and continue to enjoy through documentaries, films and books. Rome gives you a look into the life of a Roman and believe me it is not for the faint hearted. They were a very clever, but extremely brutal race of people and determined in their pursuit of world rule.
There were only two series made but they were actioned packed with many of the well known historical villains and heroes of that time. Julius Caesar has not yet gained power, but is hungry to do so as he tries to usurp Pompey with cunning and force. He is not a man scared to go behind a friends back if need be and will certainly kill to get what he wants. Love is way down the list if it means that his dream can be forfilled, which his wife soon realises. The power does become his but in Rome you are always at risk from schemers and the black coffin is never too far away. Brutus and Caesars scorned wife are his main protagonists, but there are also the famous Mark Anthony and Cleopatra who would also be willing to do anything to place Rome under their feet. The series does not just look at the most powerful, but also the common soldier and you can really delve into the normal Romans life.
Two men making up the bulk of the story are Lucius Veronus and Titus Pullo who are brave warriors returning from battle. Luscius has a family to go back to where as Titus only ever had the army, making it difficult for him to find a role in Roman life. You see their pitfuls and how the Roman soldier struggles to fight what is natural to him and that is shedding blood. So often this leads to the smell of death around the home or on the streets. You see that Post Traumatic Stress Disorder goes back thousands of years as the two men cope with what they have seen and done. There is a great distance between Luscius and his family due to his long absence and the love that was once so strong needs to be built again. The two men are complete opposites and Titus often does the wrong thing, but they remain close friends. Where Luscius soars Titus falls although both struggle with life and are never too comfortable away from the army. In war they are warriors and heroes where as in Rome they are just like everyone else.
There is blood and guts in almost every episode as arguments, scheming and war spill out into the city. There are very few with morals and the people have a strong lust for life and an even stronger lust for recreating it, whether that be with their wife, mistress, servant, prostitute and in some cases their own brothers and sisters. Nudity is common, both male and female, front and back, which you would no doubt expect back then. Rome was full of “Bastards” in its literal sense.You can imagine a man and woman having to go without for many years as war is going on has quite a strong urge for sex. Some of the women could not wait believing that their husbands were dead and ended up with a man back home. Prostitutes eyes lit up with gold coins as soldiers returned wanting an easy lay. It sure was a colourful life to live back then if not a long one. There were very few grey hairs and wrinkles simply because many did not live long enough to gain them.
The relationship between Octavian who would later become first Emperor of Rome and his sister was one of love, hate and at some point completely inappropriate. Their mother Atia was the devil incarnate as she schemed to gain her place amongst the elite. She made many enemies and wasn’t scared to use her body to gain favour and torture those that crossed her. She never used her own hand of course because why get stains on your pretty attire when your thuggish henchmen can do the job. There was love for Mark Anthony, but we all know who he was devoted to, don’t we? Octavians sister never amounted to anything and her kind heart soon became bitter and her poor decision making and the need for love gave her a great deal of pain. There were many dysfunctional families back then, so it is not a modern day thing.
The sets are amazing and really give you a taste for Roman life. The simple homes of the common Roman gave you that warm and cosey feel. Then there is the enormous regal buildings where the most powerful lived, ate and came to a bitter end. The lavish lifestyles of the rich really paint a picture of excess and there were no holes bard making life seem more civilised today, although humans haven’t changed a great deal over the centuries. The beautiful white togas against the mucky streets and the sack like clothes that the ordinary man wore showed the difference between the elite and the poor. Life was never dull and days were never quiet and you most certainly couldn’t turn your back on someone because before long you would feel the cold steel running through you.