Mr. Bookworm and I just finished watching the second and last season of Rome, the series. At the IMDB link I just gave, 7,600 viewers gave it a staggeringly high rating of 9.2 out of 10 — and, I think, deservedly so. Zhombre suggested that I start a thread on the show, and I think that’s a good idea. To get it going, here’s his original comment, and my response:
[Zhombre] We ought to start a thread on Rome, the series. I watched every episode. It was a Sunday night ritual. Titus Pullo and Lucius Vorenus (who actually do make cameo appearances in the historical record) were vivid characters as portrayed by Ray Stevenson & Kevin McKidd. The problem I had with the series is that it departed from historical accuracy, acceptable for a drama, but veered into the lurid, even misogynist.
[Bookworm] I think it kept to the big picture, Z. I also think it did a very good job of showing how similar and yet how different Rome was. We know so much about it, and we trace so many Republican ideas to Rome, and yet, as the historical expert said on one of the first season discs, they were completely amoral as we understand morality. Indeed, to the extent they were driven by honor, they were closer to the Arab or Eastern societies, where “face” matters, more than doing the right thing. Also, even though Roman women had more rights than any other ancient women but for Jewish women, it was a misogynistic society.
Having said that, by the second season, I think the producers/directors/writers were getting carried away with depicting how lurid it was. Stamp, the historical expert, did say, though, that the Egyptian court as Antony and Cleopatra declined was an exceptionally debauched place, and that Caesar Augustus used the effeminacy of Antony’s new sensuality (as opposed to just being a Roman stud), as part of the justification for turning on him.
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