When Rome Ruled
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Episodes include Secrets of the Gladiators, The Real Caligula, Doomsday Pompeii, Killing Ceasar, Birth of Rome, and Ancient Superpower.
Top Customer Reviews
This is a very good six part 270 minute documentary and I would recommend it to anyone who has an interest in this subject, or who just likes good, entertaining and informative documentaries. They have done a good job of walking a line between making a lively and entertaining TV show about the Roman world, and an intelligent treatment about this amazing civilization that informs so much of the modern western world. When I saw titles like "The Real Caligula" and "Secrets of the Gladiators" I thought it might be just a rehash of series like "Rome: Power and Glory" which aired some years ago on I believe the History Channel, but this series is more informative, with discussions of current archaeology and interviews with scholars like Andrew Wallace-Hadrill and many others, and visits to places I've always wondered about but have never seen pictures of, such as Tiberius' villa on the island of Capri.
They seem to have spent more than the usual amount of money for a TV documentary, creating a look that almost rivals that of HBO's dramatic series ROME, with street scenes and convincing recreations of ancient homes and gardens. I was impressed with the attention to detail and realism, such as when the victorious gladiators hold their palm branches in the air in victory in an exact reenactment of a scene from a well-known graffiti from Pompeii.Read more ›
The first, Secrets of Rome is more about the coliseum and some little known facts, such as, Rome was one of the last cities to build a stone structure to house their games because they didn't trust their citizens to gather in large groups, also how the coliseum would have been filled with water. On the other hand, they tell about the wonderful emergency evacuation system, but never even hint at how it would have worked.
Doomsday Pompeii purports itself to be the never before told story of the common people, which is a bit of an exaggeration.
Birth of Rome is also a slight misnomer, it really tells how Caesar constructed many of Rome `s structures (the city was already built) and how the city was controlled by Caesar Augustus after Caesar is murdered, the building of the aqueducts and turning a city of brick into marble. Hadrian's rule is mentioned, but nothing of his most famous work Hadrian's Wall.
There are extras and a bonus program' Treasure Seekers' much of which consists of close ups of carvings and a montage of information that it seems couldn't have been fitted in elsewhere.
`In the Shadow of Ancient Romeis not captioned and the volume is much softer than the rest of the programs.
For all of these episodes they have the usual talking heads - historians giving their opinions and facts; however all of them had the extremely irritating habit of looking off to the side of the camera, as if they are staring at someone to the left or right. Some scenes, such as people strolling through villas, adjusting their tunics, eating and reclining in their villas are used multiple times in every episode.
This is, in total though is a very good lesson on Rome.
There is a pull out flyer inside the box with the DVD's that I found to contain some interesting facts it's worth the read. Over all if you have seen other films on Rome you can pass on this one. If you are just starting to look at Rome in its past glory you might want to add this one to your collection of past empires.
Worderful for anyone who wants to understand and for those who would desire not to repeat disaster.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
DVDs are fine, but the program is slow and lousy. Not the fault of the seller.Published 5 days ago by chuckju
This DVD features six 45-min segments on Rome. They vary in quality of content. Among the ones I enjoyed were the "Birth of Rome" (which oddly appears on the 3rd disc),... Read morePublished 16 months ago by Rob
It's okay for a light history lesson, but one should expect more from National Geographic. I think we all want to overlook the fact that this civilization was highly successful... Read morePublished 23 months ago by sammy
Well, this video collection is a nice one but the way that it is narrated is not the way that i was expecting it.Published 24 months ago by J. Rod
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