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Rome: Engineering an Empire (2007)

Peter Weller  |  NR |  DVD
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)

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Rome: Engineering an Empire + The History Channel Presents Egypt - Engineering an Empire
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Product Details

  • Actors: Peter Weller
  • Producers: Christopher Cassel
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: A&E Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: September 25, 2007
  • Run Time: 94 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000S0GYNE
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #204,463 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

One of the most powerful civilizations in history, the Roman Empire roled the world for more than five centuries. Although renowned for its military prowess, Rome s real power stemmed from its unprecedented mastery of urban planning and engineering.

Hosted by Peter Weller, ROME: ENGINEERING AN EMPIRE chronicles Rome s spectacular structural history from the rise of Julius Caesar in 55 BC to the Empire s eventual collapse in c. 537 AD. Each of Rome s legendary rulers left their mark on the city--some stately, some sordid--and their collective ambition caused a surge of innovation and ingenuity that led to Rome s glorious ascendance. Examine the planning and construction of the city s greatest masterpieces, including the awe-inspiring Colosseum and its mysterious subterranean aqueducts, and piece together Rome s magnificent past through its architectural triumphs.

Abundant in exclusive location footage and cutting-edge CGI graphics, the multiple Emmy Award-winning ROME: ENGINEERING AN EMPIRE breathes new life into the incredible history and majesty of the epic Roman Empire.

DVD Features: Behind the Scenes Featurette History in the Making: Rome: Engineering an Empire

Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
4.1 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars 7th grade CA curriculum September 29, 2008
I rented this video for my 7th grade son. It was interesting to see how things were accomplished by the Romans. It talked about the Roman Emperors during that time, but the engineering feats that they accomplished really kept my son's attention and helped him gain more understanding. I would highly recommend this for any 7th grader in addition to their textbook. Parents, be aware there are a couple sexual references, but shown as a historical educating perspective.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Rome: Engineering a solid Foundation April 11, 2009
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I used this video with my high school mythology class. Most classes are not impressed with Roman mythology since it is borrowed from the Greeks. After seeing this video, they leave with a new respect for the Roman Empire. With their engineering marvels, the Romans were too busy to come up with a good mythology.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great to see before going to Rome January 6, 2010
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My boyfriend and I watched this video before going to Rome last October. It did a wonderful job introducing us to the overall timeline of Roman emperors and their architectural accomplishments. While it may not be 100% historically accurate, the very minor misrepresentations do not take away from the excellent introduction to Roman history. Since we were using it only as an introduction to Rome, all we needed were the major facts and timeline.
If you're traveling to Rome in the near future I'd HIGHLY suggest you watch this video (which you may be able to catch for free on cable TV). It was a beautiful experience to walk through the city and point at a building and say "Aren't those the markets that Damascus built for Trajan?"
The video is slightly dry and long, but it's definitely worth the time to watch.
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20 of 30 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars More sensationalist than accurate August 24, 2008
I don't own the DVD, but I'm watching the show on the History Channel as I write this. It certainly has its share of interesting tidbits, especially when discussing Roman engineering and architecture. Unfortunately, it clearly values sensationalism over accuracy in retelling the history - for example, it states that Nero was the prime suspect for starting the Great Fire of Rome, retelling the story about him playing the lyre ("fiddling") while Rome burned. However, the most reliable Roman historian, Tacitus, who was alive during the fire and who generally was anti-Nero, informs us that Nero wasn't even in Rome when the Great Fire started (and even praises his reactions to the fire); as this wouldn't fit in with the overly simplistic portrait the show paints of Nero, though, it is not mentioned. When a show makes mistakes such as these, common knowledge among Roman historians and easily researched, it is difficult to trust any of the history it relates. Most of the commentary by experts is fairly basic, with little that is particularly insightful or thought-provoking.

To sum up, the program is fairly strong when covering the specific engineering feats, but unreliable whenever it moves to Roman history and culture.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Liked it! March 24, 2014
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Enjoyed the video. It helped my students understand the great things that Rome left behind and helped bridge our Rome unit into our Feudalism unit.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Interesting and informative! December 10, 2013
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Saw this on television and purchased it after traveling to Rome. Wish I would have had it before. It was thorough and comprehensive. If you want to know what lies beneath Rome- this is the DVD for you!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent - July 18, 2013
I was amazed by the feats depicted in this DVD. The first depicted was building a 1,000 foot wooden bridge over the Rhine in just ten days that allowed Caesar's legions to cross. Then came construction of the well-known cobblestone roads of the Roman Empire - laid straight as could be with the aid of their early surveying tools. Roman aqueducts also were built in straight lines, tunneling through mountains and bridging valleys using arches to limit the amount of material needed. A key component - Rome's unique cement that was much stronger than the version used elsewhere at the time. Building the Colosseum, the Forum, and Hadrian's Wall across Northern Britain were also covered, all sandwiched in-between a long list of murders that targeted its emperors, starting with Caesar.
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I know that there exists a longer review of the history of Rome's buildings and architecture, yet this relatively short documentery does an excellent job at quickly presenting some of the great masterpieces. I thought it was all was handled deftly, and with insight. Further, it was a delight seeing former actor turned historian, Peter Weller, adding commentary. And this is not at all just for elementary school students; as with most history channel specials, it is meant for the general layman. A typically excellent history channel presentation!
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