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Rome: Season 2

4.6 out of 5 stars 5,975 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Rome: The Complete Second Season (DVD)

The year is 44 B.C. Julius Caesar has been assassinated and civil war threatens to destroy the Republic. In the void left by Caesar's demise, egos clash and numerous players jockey for position. The brutally ambitious Mark Antony attempts to solidify his power, aligning himself with Atia, but coming to blows with her cunning son Octavian, who has been anointed in Caesar's will as his only son and heir. Meanwhile Titus Pullo attempts to pull his friend Lucius Vorenus out of the darkness that has engulfed his soul in the wake of personal tragedy. For once again, the fates of these two mismatched soldiers seem inexorably tied to the fate of Rome itself.


Unlike another certain celebrated HBO series, Rome's end will satisfy those swept up in its lavishly mounted spectacle and invested in the human dramas of the historical figures and fictional characters. Season 2 begins in the wake of Julius Caesar's assassination, and charts the power struggle to fill his sandals between "vulgar beast" Mark Antony (James Purefoy) and "clever boy" Octavian (Simon Woods), who is surprisingly named Caesar's sole heir. The series' most compelling relationship is between fellow soldiers and unlikely friends, the honorable Lucius Vorenus (Kevin McKidd) and Titus "Violence is the only trade I know" Pullo (Ray Stevenson), who somewhat reverse roles when Vorenus is overcome with grief in the wake of his wife's suicide. Season 2 considerably ups the ante in the rivalry between Atia (an Emmy-worthy Polly Walker), who is Antony's mistress, and Servilia (Lindsay Duncan) with attempted poisonings and sickening torture. Another gripping subplot is Vorenus's estrangement from his children, who, at the climax of the season opener are presumed slaughtered, but whose true fate may be even more devastating to the father who cursed them.

Rome's second season does not scrimp on the series' sex and violence, in both cases exceedingly brutal. But in this cauldron of treachery and betrayal, words, too, are vicious, as when a defiant Atia ominously tells Octavian's new wife, Livia, "Far better women that you have sworn to [destroy me]. Go look for them now." In writing Rome's epitaph, we come to praise this series, not to bury it. Although two seasons was not enough to establish a Rome empire, it stands as one of HBO's crowning achievements. --Donald Liebenson

Special Features

  • Ten episodes on five discs
  • Commentary by cast and crew on five episodes
  • All Roads Lead to Rome: interactive on-screen guide
  • A Tale of Two Romes: how the patricians and plebs differed
  • The Making of Rome, Season 2
  • The Rise of Octavian: Rome's First Emperor
  • Antony & Cleopatra

Product Details

  • Actors: James Purefoy, Kevin McKidd, Ray Stevenson, Polly Walker, Lindsay Duncan
  • Directors: Various
  • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Box set, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Dubbed, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English, Spanish
  • Subtitles: English, French, Spanish
  • Dubbed: Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 5
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: HBO Studios
  • DVD Release Date: October 21, 2014
  • Run Time: 600 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5,975 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000PGTPH8
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #27,051 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Rome: Season 2" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By ScrabbleMaven VINE VOICE on May 27, 2007
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I thought Rome Season 1 was excellent. Season 2 I didn't think was as enthralling, but when you come from 'excellent', the next place down is 'very, very good' and that's what this is.

Others have expounded on inaccuracies as to the history. As a student of history myself, I can understand the frustration. However, these things do not bother me generally as I watch series like these to escape. All I generally ask is that I be entertained. (NOTE: I admit that my 'laidbackness' did not extend to the massacred 'Troy' which was so very inaccurate in so many particulars and not even that entertaining).

So that entire paragraph above was meant to convey the following: Put aside your history books, forget the 'true' story and allow yourself to be immersed in the grandeur and sumptiousness that is this BBC/HBO production.

I believe that you will love many of the characters (notably Atia) - and love to hate others (notably Atia). You will be sad and happy and yes - horrified at times, but you will not say that you were not invested in some measure. Note that even those not as enamoured of the series as I, watched every episode AND took the time out to write reviews. That must tell you something. Rome is something to witness and talk about, whatever your view.

WARNING: If the DVD is the first time you are watching this, clear hours of your day. You will be captivated in one way or another and that smell wafting through your living room will be the forgotten pot on your stove.

I highly recommend this series and enthusiastically give it 5 stars (wish there were 6).
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Format: DVD
Rome. Once the center of power for most of Europe, the coast of North Africa and portions of the Middle East for several centuries until its collapse in 476 C.E., continues to leave its mark on the modern world; but what of the people that lived there when Rome ceased being a Republic beginning in 48 B.C.E. to become, instead, the empire that ruled for over 5 centuries? Yes, we have studied their surviving writings, their surviving buildings & infrastructure, as well as their impact upon societies; but as individuals who lived their lives there from day to day, few have grasped what their lives may have been like. Yes, there have been various films, such as "Spartacus" (1960) and various films that focused more on Christian themes within the Roman Empire; but these films typically portray Romans negatively rather than focusing on the Romans themselves and their lives in the capital.

In 2005, a new television series aired on HBO with the simple name "Rome". It's second season continued in 2007. Unlike past negative portrayals of ancient Rome, this fictional series (based on factual events) focuses on the lives of various individuals, including Julius Caesar's former mistress Servilia (Lindsay Duncan); the power-hungry Atia (Polly Walker), who was related to Caesar; Atia's son Gaius Octavian (Max Pirkis as a teenager, Simon Woods as a young man); Octavian's friend & general Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa (Allen Leech), who falls in love with Octavian's sister Octavia (Kerry Condon); Mark Antony (James Purefoy), who is forced to marry Octavia to keep peace with Octavian; Servilia's son Marcus Junius Brutus (Tobias Menzies); Cleopatra (Lyndsey Marshal); Senator Marcus Tullius Cicero (David Bamber); and two Roman soldiers: Lucius Vorenus (Kevin McKidd) and Titus Pullo (Ray Stevenson).
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As the second, and final, season of HBO's lavishly produced Rome begins, saying that things aren't good is saying it quite lightly. Caesar (Ciaran Hinds) is dead, Mark Antony (James Purefoy) prepares to go to war with Brutus (Tobias Menzies), and Lucius Vorenus (Kevin McKidd) mourns his dead wife (Indira Varma) as the fate of his children hang in the balance. Later on, alliances are broken, re-forged, and broken again, as the series propels itself through a breakneck pace throughout these ten episodes that find Vorenus and Titus Pullo (Ray Stevenson) in new business situations, Atia (Polly Walker) and Servilia (Lindsay Duncan) schemeing against each other to new heights, Octavian (played by Max Pirkis in his young days, and later by Simon Woods) rising to power and seemingly defying everyone, and concluding in the blood stained sand of Egypt as Antony and Cleopatra (Lyndsay Marshall) make a stand against Octavian, and Vorenus helps Pullo unite him with the child he never knew he had. What makes Rome so good are the performances from everyone involved. Not only are McKidd and Stevenson perfect together, but James Purefoy steals the entire show with his swaggery and arrogant performance as the womanizing, battle hungry, and life loving Mark Antony. The production values, which have always been a standout of the series, are still lavishly re-created, and the violence is still incredibly graphic and blood curdling at spots. All in all, while the usual twelve episodes would have been more than welcome instead of ten, the final season of Rome is a brilliantly realized vision of the rise and fall of the powerful empire, and the performances from all involved are worth the price of admission alone. If you missed this underrated series when it originally ran on HBO, now has never been a better time to take a trip to Rome.
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