Rome (TV series)

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Television series
German title Rome
Original title Rome
Country of production United States ,
United Kingdom ,
original language English
Year (s) 2005-2007
length 50 minutes
Episodes 22 in 2 seasons
genre History , drama
idea Anne Thomopoulos ,
William MacDonald,
John Milius
music Jeff Beal
First broadcast May 28, 2005 (USA) on HBO
first broadcast
January 15, 2006 on premiere

Rome is a television series produced by HBO , BBC, and RAI that first aired on August 28, 2005. In a fictional story, it describes the fall of the Roman Republic and the emergence of the empire under Caesar and Augustus .

It is one of the most expensive television productions to date. Production costs were about $ 100 million for the first season at about $ 9 million per episode. Scriptwriters and directors of several well-known television series were involved in it, for example various directors of series such as Desperate Housewives , The Sopranos , Six Feet Under or Band of Brothers as well as screenwriters of Sex and the City . Some roles were prominently cast.

In April 2006, the production of the second and final season began, which aired in early 2007. In Germany, the first season of Premiere was shown from January 15, 2006 and from July 8 to August 12, 2007 on RTL II on German free TV. The ORF 1 broadcast the series since 11 July 2007, a week. In Switzerland, Rome ran on 3+ from July 8, 2007 .


The series takes place in the final phase of the Roman Republic from 50 BC. Until 29 BC It begins with the surrender of the Gallic general Vercingetorix to Caesar after the battle of Alesia and ends with Octavian's triumphal procession after his victory over Marc Anton and Cleopatra .

1st season

The first season describes the events of the years from 52 to 44 BC. Chr .: from the subjugation of Vercingetorix shortly before the end of the Gallic War to the Roman Civil War and Caesar's rise to sole power to his assassination . Against the background of the power struggles between the supporters of Caesar and the conservative senate aristocracy around Pompeius , Cato and Brutus , people like the centurion Lucius Vorenus and the legionnaire Titus Pullo act. These two are the protagonists of the series. It acts with them, although historical are forms (the only mating station is in Caesar's writing " About the Gallic War ", where she appeared in a famous scene, the "Certamen Centurionum" as equal, rival to the transport centurions in a spectacular contest occur, BG 5.44), but their actions in the series are completely fictional.

1.01 The Stolen Eagle

After his victory in Gaul, Caesar received the news that his daughter Julia had died in childbirth. She was the wife of the powerful general Pompey, who together with Caesar formed the first triumvirate ; therefore her death has political ramifications. The blood ties between Caesar and Pompey no longer exist. Caesar asks his niece Atia to find a new wife for Pompey. She forces her daughter Octavia to leave her husband Glabius to serve Pompey as his new wife. This fails because Pompey marries another woman, Scipio's daughter .

Atia then sends her son Gaius Octavius, Caesar's great-nephew, who later became Emperor Augustus, to see Caesar in Gaul. When the legionary eagle of Caesar is stolen at the instigation of Pompey, the centurion Lucius Vorenus and the legionnaire Titus Pullo receive the order to retrieve the standard. In Gaul, Octavius ​​is attacked and taken prisoner. By chance Vorenus and Pullo are able to free him and discover that the robbers are also the thieves of the legionary eagle accompanied by a slave of Pompey. They return to Caesar with the eagle and Octavius.

First broadcast in German (D): January 15, 2006

1.02 How Titus Pullo Brought Down the Republic

Julius Caesar sends Marc Antony to Rome with troops on leave, where he is elected tribune of the people . The soldiers Lucius Vorenus and Titus Pullo also come home. Vorenus returns to his wife and is surprised to learn that his 14-year-old daughter has since given birth to a son. In reality it is the child of his wife Niobe, who comes from a relationship with her brother-in-law Evander.

In the Senate, Pompey urges Cicero to create a majority against Caesar for tactical reasons and to have him declared a traitor. Marcus Antonius is to use his veto; the whole procedure is intended as a warning to Caesar, who should realize that he has no support, but should not be forced to take action. The Senate meeting ends in turmoil and Mark Antony, as tribune of the people, cannot veto. The meeting on the next day does not take place, as there is already a tumult on the forum , the involuntary trigger of which is Titus Pullo. In the course of this, Vorenus is injured. In Ravenna , Caesar, meanwhile declared a traitor, decides to advance to Rome. As a pretext, he uses the attacks against the sacred office of the tribune of the people, Marcus Antonius. With his troops he crossed the Rubicon .

First broadcast in German (D): January 22, 2006

1.03 An Owl in a Thornbush

Caesar approaches the walls of Rome with his 13th legion. Vorenus is well again, but he regards the march on Rome as a sacrilege against the gods. Meanwhile, the residents of Rome panic. Pompey is unable to hold the city with his troops and flees. Before that, he orders some soldiers to have the entire state treasure removed from the city. The soldiers, however, steal the treasure for themselves and flee north. On the way they take the slave Irene prisoner and then encounter Caesar's vanguard under Vorenus' command. A fight ensues, but because Vorenus has orders to advance further, he does not examine the cargo of the inconspicuous-looking car. In Rome, Vorenus leaves the legion and becomes a simple citizen. Pullo examines the car on the way back, frees Irene and discovers the gold.

First broadcast in German (D): January 29, 2006

1.04 Stealing From Saturn

Caesar makes Pompey an unacceptable armistice command. To celebrate Caesar's return to Rome, his niece Atia holds a feast. Vorenus celebrates his new life as a businessman. But the festival comes to an abrupt end when Evander, in an argument with Lyde, Niobe's sister , breaks a picture of Janus , to whom the festival is dedicated. Because Lyde threatens to betray Niobe's relationship with her husband Evander. The gold is missing from both Caesar and Pompey, who need immense sums of money to pay followers and their soldiers.

Pompey learns from a survivor of the gold transport that it was intercepted by Caesar's vanguard. He sends his son Quintus to Rome with company. Quintus arrives in Rome shortly after Vorenus' unsuccessful festival and threatens him and Niobe. Due to the timely arrival of Pullo, Quintus can be captured and his company driven away. Pullo receives advice from Vorenus to hand Quintus over to Caesar and to inform him of the hiding place of the gold. Pullo obeys and as a result Caesar can improve his financial situation significantly. The slave Irene initially stays with Titus Pullo.

First broadcast in German (D): February 5, 2006

1.05 The Ram Has Touched The Wall

Pompey accepts Caesar's offer of an armistice, but refuses to meet. Meanwhile, Caesar forgives all who turn away from Pompey and makes them docile with bribes.

Despite initial objections of his own, but at the urging of his wife Niobe, Vorenus finally agrees to his older daughter Vorena's marriage to Crito, the alleged father of little Lucius. Vorenus and Pullo find the slave Irene and Vorenus buys the woman for his friend. She is supposed to give Niobe a hand, but she fears that the young woman might discover her relationship with brother-in-law Evander.

Vorenus' entry into business life fails: With the exception of little Rubio, all of the slaves brought from Gaul died of black dysentery. Erastes offers him a job as a debt collector, but Vorenus refuses to kill a debtor. He'll be a soldier again.

When Marc Anton Atia tells of Caesar's affair with Servilia , which prevents the general from persecuting Pompey, she has obscene sayings painted on the walls of houses that thematize Caesar's affair. Caesar is forced to give in. Servilia finally learns who is behind the intrigue and curses both Caesar and his niece Atia, who has no idea that Servilia has seen through her intrigue.

Meanwhile, Pullo teaches Octavius ​​the art of sword fighting. But the young aristocrat must also learn to kill. Together they make Evander. When the latter denies his relationship with Niobe, Octavius ​​tells Pullo to torture the man. When Evander finally confesses, Pullo kills him; Octavius ​​and Pullo decide to keep the secret.

First broadcast in German (D): February 12, 2006

1.06 Egeria (Egeria)

While Caesar pursues Pompey to the east, Marc Antony has the reins in hand in Rome. But then Pompey turns the tables and hunts Caesar. Marc Antony has to decide whether he wants to remain loyal to Caesar or should take Atias and Pompey's side. Vorenus and Niobe are getting closer again, if only for a short time.

First broadcast in German (D): February 19, 2006

1.07 Pharsalus (Pharsalus)

On the way to Greece, Vorenus and Pullo along with the 13th Legion are shipwrecked. The soldiers fight for survival with a daring rescue operation. Despite their numerical inferiority, Caesar's troops overwhelm Pompey's army at the Battle of Pharsalus . Pompey fled to Egypt under a false identity, where he was murdered on behalf of the Ptolemies .

First broadcast in German (D): February 26, 2006

1.08 Caesarion (Caesarion)

On the hunt for Pompey, Caesar and his troops reached Egypt. Caesar seeks the Egyptian ruler Ptolemaios in his palace, who is still a child and rules under the influence of his councilors. Here Caesar learns of the violent death of Pompeius and demands the extradition of the murderer.

Vorenus and Pullo are tasked by Caesar with the freeing of Cleopatra , who has been held captive by Ptolemy , and they arrive just in time to prevent an assassination attempt on them initiated by their brother. The queen asks Vorenus to have sexual intercourse, since she is at the most fertile point of her menstrual cycle and Caesar can thus give birth to a child, but he refuses and passes the duty on to the delighted Titus Pullo.

They bring Cleopatra to Caesar, who then overthrows Ptolemy, has his councilors executed and installed Cleopatra as queen. Subsequently, riots break out in Alexandria and Caesar holed up with his troops in Cleopatra's palace. In Rome, Cicero and Brutus later received the news that Caesar had defeated the rebels and that Roman supremacy over Egypt was secured. Cleopatra gives birth to a boy ( Ptolemy XV , called Caesarion), who is presented to the cheering legionaries by Caesar, the alleged father.

First broadcast in German (D): March 5, 2006

1.09 Utica (Utica)

Cato and Scipio have been crushed at Utica and take their own lives. In Rome, Caesar wants to renew the republic as dictator , while the lover Servilia, whom he has cast out, becomes the bitter enemy of the new ruler. Pressured by Servilia, Octavia seduces her brother Octavius ​​to learn the secret of Caesar's disease ( epilepsy ).

Vorenus and Pullo work in the butcher shop that Niobe and Lyde successfully ran in Vorenus' absence. When Vorenus is threatened by Erastes, Caesar appears at the right moment and protects him. He convinces Vorenus to run as a magistrate in the upcoming elections. Servilia is attacked in the street by the men of Timon, their slaves are killed, their hair is partly cut off and they are left half-naked.

First broadcast in German (D): March 12, 2006

1.10 triumph (triumph)

The Senate appoints Caesar emperor for ten years and thus gives him absolute power. Vorenus is preparing for his new office as magistrate . Pullo, meanwhile a civilian, wants to marry the slave Irene and buys her free in order to start a new life with her. But another slave confesses to Pullo the love between him and Irene. Out of anger, Pullo lets himself be carried away to an act of violence and murders him. This leads to a break between Pullo and Vorenus.

First broadcast in German (D): March 19, 2006

1.11 The Spoils

Vorenus receives supplicants in his house, including Mascius, a former comrade. Mascius demands land for himself and his friends as recognition for the military service performed under Caesar. Vorenus succeeds in offering him land outside Italy on Caesar's behalf, but neither of them is satisfied with the trade and Vorenus realizes that he was not born for political tactics.

Meanwhile, Pullo works as a hit man for Erastes. When he kills a man, he is watched and thrown into the dungeon. Octavius ​​feels sorry for the soldier, but Caesar refuses to stand up for his former legionary Pullo. It would be too easy to get the impression that Caesar had commissioned the murder of a political opponent.

Vorenus follows Caesar's argument, but Octavius ​​hires a lawyer through Timon, but he can do little. Pullo is sentenced to death in the arena. It is only when the gladiators insult the 13th Legion that Pullo fights and kills them all; then he sinks to the ground, exhausted. When the last gladiator enters the arena, Vorenus no longer holds it in his place: he pushes into the arena and saves his friend.

Atia warns Caesar about Brutus, who is shown on wall drawings as the murderer of Caesar. When Caesar now offers him the governorship of Macedonia , Brutus realizes that Caesar no longer trusts him and wants to keep him away. He declines the offer. While Posca is now paying Erastes for the contract killing, Brutus decides to take action against Caesar together with Cassius .

First broadcast in German (D): March 26, 2006

1.12 The Kalends of February

Vorenus has Pullo nursed back to health in his house. One night Irene is standing by the defenseless person's bed with a knife in her hand, but Niobe joins them and prevents the worst. Pullo and Vorenus have gained some popularity from appearing in the arena. In order not to lose the people's favor, Caesar, now dictator for life, appoints Vorenus as senator. With this he aroused the anger of the patricians, especially Brutus, Cicero and Cassius. They forge a murder plot, for the success of which Servilia begs the assistance of her ancestors.

Caesar's wife, Calpurnia , is tormented by gloomy premonitions and the dictator also realizes that the number of his opponents is growing. In order to increase Caesar's personal safety, the newly appointed Senator Vorenus should not leave his side. But Servilia knows a sure way to lure Vorenus away: Her slave Eleni reveals the secret of Niobe's misstep to Vorenus. Vorenus stays away from the decisive Senate meeting, so that Caesar is defenseless at the mercy of his murderers, who strike him down with numerous stab wounds. Brutus himself stays in the background, only executing the final blow at the urging of his friends. Marc Anton arrives too late to be able to intervene. At the same time, Servilia invited Atia over. She tells the unsuspecting and her son Octavius ​​about the murder of Caesar. And she announces that she will take cruel vengeance on Atia, no matter where she takes refuge.

Vorenus confronts Niobe with Eleni's revelation, whereupon she admits to having had a relationship with Evander because she thought Vorenus was dead. Vorenus grabs a kitchen knife in anger. In order not to turn her husband into a murderer, Niobe falls from the balcony and dies. Pullo goes out into the country to ask the gods for forgiveness for his misdeeds at a certain altar. In the final shot he walks away hand in hand with Irene, who accompanied him on his way.

First broadcast in German (D): April 2, 2006

2nd season

The second season was filmed in the Cinecittà studios in Rome in autumn 2006 and deals with the rise of the young Gaius Octavius and his rise as Emperor Augustus. It ran on the American pay station HBO until mid-March . The tenth and final episode covers the final ascent of Augustus, as well as Cleopatra and Marc Anton's suicide. The pay TV broadcaster Premiere showed the second season from September 2007. In free TV it was originally intended to be shown for the first time on RTL II from February 14, 2009 , but was taken out of the program again at short notice. The season finally aired on July 4, 2009.

2.01 Pesach (Passover)

Julius Caesar was murdered. Marc Anton has narrowly escaped Brutus' henchmen and plans to raise an army. But Caesar named his great-nephew Octavius ​​the sole heir in his will. Vorenus blames himself for the death of his wife Niobe and Caesars and curses his family in front of their corpse. Pullo and Irene are in the country and have no idea of ​​the dramatic events.

First broadcast in German (D): September 16, 2007

2.02 Son of Hades

Cleopatra visits Rome to demand that Caesarion be recognized as the legitimate son of the murdered Julius Caesar. Marc Anton, now consul of Rome, refuses. The disputes between him and Octavius, who was named Caesar's sole heir, are getting sharper. On behalf of Marc Anton, Vorenus and Pullo try to bring the power struggle between the rival colleges on the Aventine under control after they have murdered Erastes.

First broadcast in German (D): September 27, 2007

2.03 These are the words of Marcus Tullius Cicero (These Being the Words of Marcus Tullius Cicero)

Brutus and Cassius try to raise an army in the east of the empire. Marc Antony meanwhile presses Cicero in Rome to transfer the province of Gaul to him. But Cicero has his account with Marc Antony read out in the Senate and calls on Octavius ​​to rally his armies. Vorenus moves north with Marc Anton's army. Meanwhile, Pullo learns that Vorenus' children are alive.

First broadcast in German (D): October 4, 2007

2.04 Testudo et Lepus (Testudo et Lepus)

Atia's cook tastes poisoned food and dies. Under torture, Duro, the poisoner, reveals his client: Servilia. In Gaul, there is a confrontation between Marc Anton and Octavius. Surprisingly, Octavius ​​wins the battle of Mutina . Pullo finds Vorenus among Marc Anton's beaten men and brings him the news that his children are still alive.

First broadcast in German (D): October 11, 2007

2.05 Heroes of the Republic

Cicero enforces Octavius' appointment as consul. But he demands that Brutus and Cassius be declared enemies of the state. Cicero fears a new dictator and asks Brutus and Cassius to move to Rome with their armies. Given the overwhelming power, Atia tries to reconcile her son Octavius ​​and her lover Marc Anton. Meanwhile, Vorenus and Pullo return to Rome with the children who have been enslaved.

First broadcast in German (D): October 18, 2007

2.06 Philippi (Philippi)

Octavius ​​and Marc Anton ally against Brutus and Cassius. They instruct the colleges of Rome, under Vorenus' leadership, to kill the friends of their opponents so that they are not warned. Cicero is one of the first to die under Pullo's sword. The armies of Octavius ​​and Marc Anton move to Greece, Brutus and Cassius against. In view of the supposed superiority, Brutus seeks the decision in the Battle of Philippi .

First broadcast in German (D): October 25, 2007

2.07 Death Mask

The decisive battle is over: Brutus and Cassius are dead. Octavius ​​proposes a triumvirate to his allies Marc Anton and Lepidus , but Marc Anton wants to divide the empire. When Marc Anton lets Herod bribe him, a dispute breaks out. Atia ensures a debate that is to be sealed by marriage: Marc Anton marries Atia's daughter Octavia.

First broadcast in German (D): November 1, 2007

2.08 A Necessary Fiction

By order of Octavius, his sister Octavia has to marry Marc Anton. Vorenus is commissioned to have Herod's bribe brought to Rome, but the troop is attacked and the gold disappears without a trace. Vorenus and Pullo are looking for the traitor. Meanwhile, Octavius ​​learns the truth about his sister's marriage: She and Marc Anton continue to have their own affairs. Octavius ​​puts his mother and sister under house arrest and forces Marc Antony to withdraw to Alexandria.

First broadcast in German (D): November 8, 2007

2.09 Deus Impeditio Esuritori Nullus (Deus Impeditio Esuritori Nullus)

A few years later: Marc Anton and Cleopatra spend their days on drug intoxication in Alexandria, while Rome suffers from famine. Octavius ​​is willing to pay three times the price for grain, but Marc Anton makes unfulfillable additional demands. Octavius ​​sends Atia and Octavia to him to convince him to give in or to disenchant the darling of the masses by rejecting his wife so that he can declare war on him.

First broadcast in German (D): November 15, 2007

2.10 De Patre Vostro (De Patre Vostro)

Cleopatra's fleet is defeated by Octavius in the battle of Actium . Marc Anton and Cleopatra hide in the palace. He wants to go to death with her, but Octavius ​​offers Cleopatra her life if she surrenders her lover. In reality, Octavius ​​wants to have Caesar's supposed son Caesarion killed and to bring his mother up in Rome as a prisoner. Octavian is almost there. All of his opponents are dead and he can now implement his sole rule.

First broadcast in German (D): November 22, 2007


Further seasons are not planned. Speculations, especially the exceptionally high costs, would speak against a sequel, are not commented on by the producers. With hindsight, however, the producers admitted that one of their biggest mistakes was abandoning the series.

People and actors

actor role Historical character German voice actor Role description
Kevin McKidd Lucius Vorenus Lucius Vorenus Tobias Kluckert Officer of the 13th Legion, named after a soldier from De Bello Gallico (5.44)
Ray Stevenson Titus pullo Titus pullo Torsten Michaelis Legionnaire of the 13th Legion, named after a soldier from De Bello Gallico (5.44)
Ciarán Hinds Gaius lulius Caesar Julius Caesar Helmut Gauss Roman politician and general who became a dictator
Kenneth Cranham Pompey Gnaeus Pompey Magnus Jürgen Kluckert Roman politician and opponent of Caesar
James Purefoy Marc Anton Mark Antony Peter Flechtner General, friend of Caesar and lover of Atia
Polly Walker Atia from the Julians Atia Sabine Arnhold Caesar's niece, Marc Anton's lover and mother of Octavia Minor and Gaius Octavius, who later became Emperor Augustus
Lindsay Duncan Servilia from the Juniors Servilia Caepionis Viola Sauer Beloved Caesar and mother of Brutus
Kerry Condon Octavia from the Julians Octavia Minor Luise Helm Daughter of Atias and older sister of Octavian, the later Roman emperor Augustus
Indira Varma Niobe Claudia Urbschat-Mingues Wife of Lucius Vorenus
David Bamber Marcus Tullius Cicero Marcus Tullius Cicero Lutz Mackensy Roman politician, speaker and philosopher
Rick warden Quintus Valerius Pompey Gnaeus Pompey the Younger Kaspar Eichel Roman politician and military man, son of Pompey
Karl Johnson Cato Marcus Porcius Cato the Younger Friedrich G. Beckhaus Roman politician, opponent of Caesar
Guy Henry Cassius Gaius Cassius Longinus Thomas Nero Wolff a murderer of Caesar
Lyndsey Marshal Cleopatra Cleopatra VII. Manja Doering Queen of Egypt
Max Pirkis
(Season 1)
Simon Woods (Season 2)
Octavius Gaius Octavius ​​Thurinus Vanya Gerick Son of Atias, great-nephew and heir to Caesar and later Emperor Augustus
Tobias Menzies Marcus Junius Brutus Marcus Junius Brutus Matthias Hinze
(Season 1)
Alexander Doering (Season 2)
Son of Servilias and murderer of Caesar
Lee Boardman Timon Jörg Hengstler Jewish mercenary and bodyguard in Atia's service
Nicholas Woodeson Posca Uli Krohm Body slave of Caesar, later a merchant and advisor to Antonius and Octavius
Alex Wyndham Maecenas Gaius Maecenas Marcel Collé Roman poet and poet, a friend of Octavius
Allen Leech Agrippa Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa David Nathan Roman general, friend of Octavius ​​and lover of Octavia
Rafi Gavron Duro Timm new Young poison bomber hired by Servilia to kill Atia
Chiara Mastalli Irene Angela Ringer Germanic slave, later wife of Titus Pullo
Nigel Lindsay Levi Detlef Bierstedt Jewish zealot, brother of Timon
Haydn Gwynne Calpurnia Calpurnia Helga Sasse Caesar's wife
Zuleikha Robinson Gaia Alexandra Wilcke Oriental slave, mistress of Titus Pullo
Lorcan Cranitch Erastes Fulmen Till Hagen roman businessman and underworld greatness
Max Baldry Caesarion Ptolemy XV Leo Vornberger Son of Cleopatra
Coral Amiga Vorena the elder Catrin Dams Eldest daughter of Lucius Vorenus and Niobe
Paul Jesson Scipio Quintus Caecilius Metellus Pius Scipio Roland Hemmo Roman politician, friend of Catos and enemy of Caesar
Michael Nardone Mascius Marco Kroeger Roman businessman
Daniel Cerqueira Memmio Martin Keßler Roman businessman
Lidia Biondi Merula Sonja German Atia's body slave
Esther Hall Lyde Carola Ewert Sister Niobes, sister-in-law of Lucius Vorenus
Rene Zagger Herod Herod the Great Jaron Lowenberg Prince of the Roman province of Judea
Camilla Rutherford Iocasta Sarah Riedel Roman nobleman, later wife of Posca
Alice Henley Livia Livia Drusilla Marie Bierstedt Wife of Octavius
Kathryn Hunter Charmian Regina Lemnitz Cleopatra's body slave
Suzanne Bertish Eleni Marianne Lutz Servilia's body slave
Ronan Vibert Lepidus Marcus Aemilius Lepidus Jan Spitzer Roman politician, ally of Octvian and Marc Antons
Tony Guilfoyle Pothinus Potheinos Santiago Ziesmer Body servant of the Egyptian Pharaoh


The episode 1.11 “Die Beute” was not approved for young people by the FSK . The remaining episodes were released from the age of 12 or 16, which is why the episodes shown at 8:15 p.m. were partially cut. Nevertheless, this version was also sharply criticized in advance because of the drastic depiction of violence and sex, although the FSF gave approval for broadcasting from 8 p.m. The gong criticizes "the confrontation of twelve-year-olds with excessive depictions of sexuality and violence". The commission for youth media protection has so far refused to review the series.


The first season was released on DVD in August 2006 in the USA and Great Britain. In addition to all twelve episodes, the six DVDs contain many extras, as well as background information on life in ancient Rome, and customs in the individual episodes are specifically explained. In addition to the original sound, the “UK box” also contains a German soundtrack. This DVD set has also been available for rental in Germany since the end of August 2006.

The first season has been available as a rental version for a long time. The “Kauf-Box” was published uncut in Switzerland in April 2007 ( no youth release ) and can be purchased there.

On August 13, 2007, the commercial version was also released in Germany and Austria. There is a cut version, which is released from the age of 16, and an uncut version (also "no youth release").

The second season was released in Germany on November 7th, 2008, it is released from the age of 16.

A "Rom Superbox", which contains both seasons, was released at the end of 2008 in Germany.


Almost all of the important protagonists of the late Roman republic, who were often overshadowed by Caesar, Marc Anton and Octavian in previous productions, are featured in “Rome”, including Cicero, Gnaeus Pompeius Magnus, Cato the Younger and even women like Atia and Servilia Caepionis. The plot is imaginatively framed by the experiences of two Roman soldiers, Lucius Vorenus and Titus Pullo, for whose historical existence there is at least a written reference through a brief mention in Caesar's De Bello Gallico (5.44).

The production design is characterized by a meticulously researched attention to detail that is not even realized in more recent adaptations of antiquity (Vercingetorix, Gladiator , Caesar and Cleopatra , Julius Caesar , Alexander ). A colorful and lifelike panorama of antiquity is created less by means of large-format computer effects than by authentically restored and lively backdrops (mosaics and pictures on house walls, calendar and time measurement, heralds, barkers, dirty streets, stray animals). This gives the series less the appearance of a monumental film than a documentary painting of customs. Instead of a one-sided military perspective, the social classes and classes of the Roman state ( plebeians , patricians ), the relationship between slaves and masters, but also the importance of the Roman religion are extremely differentiated, even if not always completely correct (see below historical inaccuracies ), worked out. The often criticized portrayal of sexuality and violence primarily dismantles the idea of ​​the splendor and glory of Rome, which has been partially idealized by some scholars of antiquity, but especially in popular depictions. The use of vulgar expressions also corresponds to the reality of the time, as shown by the poems of the Roman poet Catullus , but also by the graffiti found on house walls in Pompeii (see also publications by John Clarke, Marilyn B. Skinner, Marguerite Johnson, Terry Ryan, Kenneth Dover and Wilfried Stroh ; there further literature). Last but not least, the political intrigues and power struggles, which in their cynicism are reminiscent of the historiography of Tacitus, are modeled on recent research.

In the overall assessment, however, the producers and authors John Milius and Bruno Heller, in collaboration with the British documentary filmmaker and ancient historian Jonathan Stamp, succeeded in taking a big step beyond the limits of a genre that has not been adequately hit since "Rome" with the name " sandal film " .

HBO actually wanted to discontinue the series after the first season. A second, shorter season (ten episodes) was then decided, but immediately after the shooting, the actors were dismissed and the sets began to be demolished. When the rest of the shooting set fell victim to a fire on August 10, 2007, the continuation of the series seemed to be impossible. Plans for a movie or another season were no longer pursued.


“Plus: This series is the really big hit that fans of the genre have been waiting for so long! The characters speak freely of artificial pathos and act as lifelike and fresh as if one were looking straight into ancient Rome through a window. All of that - plus the fantastic, carefully researched equipment - raise the series almost to the rank of a documentary - what more could you want? (...) "


Historical inaccuracies

Rome surpasses the standard of historical accuracy common in similar series, but is also not always correct according to current research in historical studies . For example, the series allows for freedom with regard to the characterization of people and the presentation of historical processes, as the producers openly admit:

“This series is much more about how the psychology of the characters affects history than simply following the history as we know it. There is a tendency in dramas about Rome to take a stiff, formal approach, which is certainly a valid way to treat the material, but we're more interested in the living, breathing people. "

“This series is more about how the characters' psychology affects the story than simply following the historiography as we know it. There is a tendency to take a rigid, formal approach in dramas about Rome, which is certainly a valid way of preparing the material, but we are more interested in the living, breathing people. "

- Bruno Heller

The ancient film database compared historical accuracy:

“The series reproduces most of the historical events correctly, with the exception of a few minor artistic freedoms. As a rule, it shortens longer processes and developments [...], as is customary. "


Some examples of generous use of historical material are:

  • The protagonists Titus Pullo and Lucius Vorenus are described as hierarchically equal in De Bello Gallico, 5.44 , since both already have the highest rank classes (primi ordines) in prospect. In the series, however, this is only Vorenus Centurio and is promoted accordingly.
  • Cleopatra appears only briefly in connection with Caesar. In fact, she stayed in Rome for at least two years and did not return to Egypt until after Caesar's death.
  • The murder of Caesar differs in essential features from the sources: The historical Caesar was murdered in the Pompeius Theater in a meeting room for the Senate (so-called curia Pompeia) at the feet of the statue of his temporary ally and later opponent Gnaeus Pompeius (see Theater des Pompeius ) . In the series, Caesar dies in front of the benches of the curia in the forum. Suetonius (De Vita Caesarum, Divus Iulius, 82.2-3) reported in a version of the story, Caesar have at the moment of the assassination proclaimed " Ista quidem vis est " (German: "This is violence!") And shortly before his Tod zu Brutus uses the Greek phrase “ Καὶ σὺ τέκνον ” (German: “Also you, my child”), which is later often called “ Et tu, mi fili Brute! ”(German:“ You too, my son Brutus! ”) Or“ Tu quoque, mi fili? ”(German:“ You too, my son? ”) Was reproduced. The dying Caesar in the series, on the other hand, says nothing at all - as Suetonius portrays it as more likely.
  • Octavius, who later became Emperor Augustus, was in Rome at the time of Caesar's assassination. In fact, the then 18-year-old Octavius ​​was staying in Apollonia in what is now Albania, where he was making preparations for the planned campaign against the Parthians.
  • The personality of Atia is not correctly represented on the basis of the historical sources: The mother of Octavius ​​is described in the sources as a decent woman, in complete contrast to the person in the series. In addition, she died in 43 BC. Chr.
  • The murder of Marcus Tullius Cicero in the film takes place in the summer, which can be seen from the ripe peaches on the trees, when in reality the killing took place on December 7th. In addition, according to historical sources, Cicero was stabbed to death in his litter on the Via Appia while fleeing from a military tribune named Gaius Popilius Laenas (according to Livius ). In the series, Cicero is killed by Pullo in his house. Before that, a long conversation ensues in which Cicero is very composed and instead of fleeing he writes a letter to warn Brutus about the combined army of Octavian and Markus. In addition, in the series Cicero's secretary Tiro (called Tyro in the series) is released by his will. However, the actual Tiro was already in April 53 BC. BC (before the events of the series) was released and thus a free man for ten and a half years at Cicero's death (although still a loyal companion of his former master).
  • The division of Rome by the triumvirate took place before the occupation of the city in an army camp and was later corrected. In the series, this happens after the conquest in a meeting within the city.
  • Animals and plants of the new world can be seen in several scenes , e.g. B. Macaws . These were unknown to the ancient world before America was discovered .
  • Caesarion was probably the son of Caesar and Cleopatra and not, as indicated in the series, the son of the protagonist Titus Pullo - for whose presence in Egypt there is no evidence or any probability whatsoever. Caesarion was also 17 years old when Cleopatra and Marcus Antonius died. In addition, he could not be saved from the murder by Octavian.
  • In the episode These Are the Words of Marcus Tullius Cicero (These Being the Words of Marcus Tullius Cicero) of Season 2, the province of Bithynia is relocated to eastern Turkey. The province was in the northwest of what is now Turkey.
  • The bronze statue, which can often be seen in the house of Atia, is the statue of Hebe (first version), which the Danish sculptor Bertel Thorvaldsen created in Rome in 1815.
  • The Arch of Septimius Severus can be seen in scenes in the Roman Forum , although it was not erected until AD 203, about 240 years after the time shown in the series.


  • Monica Silveira Cyrino (ed.): Rome, Season One: History Makes Television . Wiley, 2009, ISBN 9781444301557
  • Monica Silveira Cyrino (ed.): Rome Season Two . Edinburgh University Press, 2015, ISBN 9781474400282

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Jason Deans: Rome to fall after second series on on July 13, 2006
  2. (accessed July 12, 2015)
  3. Producers admit mistakes . On:
  4. ^ Certificate of Release for Rome - (11) The Booty . Voluntary self-regulation of the film industry , June 2006 (PDF; test number: 106 446 DVD).
  5. Stern 28/2007, p. 144, "Sex and Crime in Ancient Rome"
  6. Gong 27/2007, p. 22, "Bloody slaughter in front of children's eyes"
  7. On the historical background for the time of the outgoing republic, cf. among other things the overview with Karl Christ : Crisis and fall of the Roman republic . 6th edition Darmstadt 2008 and Wolfgang Will: The Roman Mob . Darmstadt 1991.
  8. ^ A b Rome: Are you planning a movie? On:
  9. a b c d Rome . Retrieved May 22, 2015.
  10. ^ Executive Producers Bruno Heller and John Melfi put a Human Face on World-Changing Events in the Second Season of HBO's Emmy-Winning Epic Drama Series Rome, Kicking off Jan. 14 ( Memento April 8, 2009 in the Internet Archive ). On: January 8, 2007.
  11. ^ Suetonius, Divus Iulius 82 .