Rome is a British-American historical drama television series created by Bruno Heller, John Milius and William J. MacDonald. The show’s two seasons premiered in 2005 and 2007, and were later released on DVD. Rome is set in the 1st century BC, during Ancient Rome’s transition from Republic to Empire. The series begins with Julius Caesar’s conquest of Gaul, and the first season concludes with the assassination of Caesar followed by the rise of the first Emperor Augustus, also known as Gaius Octavian.
The series features a sprawling ensemble cast of characters, many of whom are based on real figures from historical records, but the lead protagonists are ultimately two soldiers, Lucius Vorenus and Titus Pullo, who find their lives intertwined with key historical events. Rome was a ratings success for HBO and the BBC. The series received much media attention from the start, and was honored with numerous awards and nominations in its two-season run. Co-creator Heller stated in December 2008 that a Rome movie is in development. The series was filmed in various locations, but most notably in the Cinecittà studios in Italy.
The series primarily chronicles the lives and deeds of the rich, powerful, and historically significant, but also focuses on the lives, fortunes, families, and acquaintances of two common men: Lucius Vorenus and Titus Pullo, two Roman soldiers mentioned historically in Caesar’s Commentarii de Bello Gallico. The fictionalized Vorenus and Pullo manage to witness and often influence many of the historical events presented in the series. However, not all the events are accurate.
The first season depicts Julius Caesar’s civil war of 49 BC against the traditionalist conservative faction in the Roman Senate (Optimates), his subsequent rise to absolute dictatorship over Rome, and his eventual fall, spanning the time period from the end of his Gallic Wars (52 BC or 701 ab urbe condita) until his assassination on 15 March 44 BC (the infamous Ides of March). Against the backdrop of these cataclysmic events, we also see the early years of the young Octavian, who is destined to become the first Emperor of Rome, Augustus. The second season chronicles the power struggle between Octavian and Mark Antony following Caesar’s assassination, spanning the period from Caesar’s death in 44 BC to Octavian’s final victory over Antony at Actium in 31 BC.
Learn more about the concepts, principles and symbolism behind the subliminals found in this television series: