Rome (TV series): Wikis



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Rome title card.jpg
Title screen (1st season)
Genre Historical Drama
Created by Bruno Heller
John Milius
William J. MacDonald
Directed by Michael Apted
Starring Kevin McKidd
Ray Stevenson
Polly Walker
Simon Woods
Lindsay Duncan
James Purefoy
Ciaran Hinds
Tobias Menzies
Kerry Condon
Indira Varma
Allen Leech
Camilla Rutherford
Composer(s) Jeff Beal
Country of origin United Kingdom
Language(s) English
No. of seasons 2
No. of episodes 22 (List of episodes)
Executive producer(s) Bruno Heller
John Milius
William J. MacDonald
Frank Doelger
Anne Thomopoulos
John Melfi
Location(s) Lazio, Italy
Cinematography Martin Kenzie
Running time 50 minutes
Original channel BBC / HBO / RAI
Picture format 1080i (HDTV)
Original run August 28, 2005 (2005-08-28) – March 25, 2007 (2007-03-25)
External links
Official website

Rome is a British-Italian historical drama television series created by Bruno Heller, John Milius, and William J. MacDonald. The show's two seasons premiered in 2005 (2006 in Italy) and 2007, and were released on DVD soon afterwards.

Rome is set during Ancient Rome's transition from Republic to Empire, from Caesar's invasion of Gaul to the death of Mark Antony and the rise of the first Emperor Augustus. The series follows the two main characters, soldiers Lucius Vorenus and Titus Pullo, who find their lives intertwined with the key events.

The series was a ratings success for HBO and the BBC. The show received much media attention from the start, and Rome 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.


Plot overview

Ray Stevenson as Titus Pullo (left) and Kevin McKidd as Lucius Vorenus (right), seen in the episode "Pharsalus".

The series primarily chronicles the lives and deeds of the rich, powerful, and "historically significant," yet it 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.

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.


  • Kevin McKidd as Lucius Vorenus (Season 1 and 2) – Is depicted as a staunch, traditional, Roman soldier, who struggles to balance his personal beliefs, his duty to his superiors, and the needs of his family and friends. The basis for this character is the historical Roman soldier of the same name, who is briefly mentioned in Julius Caesar's De Bello Gallico.
  • Ray Stevenson as Titus Pullo (Season 1 and 2) – A friendly, upbeat, devil-may-care soldier with the morals of a pirate, the appetites of a hedonist, and a total lack of personal responsibility, who discovers hidden ideals and integrity within himself. The basis for this character also comes from the books by Julius Caesar named De Bello Gallico and Commentarii de Bello Civili.
  • Ciarán Hinds as Julius Caesar (Season 1 main, 2 recurring) – Caesar is ambitious and unscrupulous. His aims and motives are often kept ambiguous to further complicate the plot and test the personal loyalties of the other characters. He advertises himself as a reformer who sides with the Plebians, even though he is himself a Patrician. He is also merciful to his beaten enemies, genuinely distressed by their deaths and relieved at their willingness to make peace where a more vindictive individual would have simply killed them.
  • Kenneth Cranham as Pompey Magnus (Season 1) – A legendary general, past the days of his prime, who tries to recapture the glories of his youth as well as to do what is right for the Republic. The real Gnaeus Pompeius Magnus was a Roman general and politician who was as ambitious as Caesar, and just as unorthodox in his youth. He chose to ally himself with the optimates in opposing Caesar and supporting the traditional Roman Republic.
  • Polly Walker as Atia of the Julii (Season 1 and 2) – The niece of Julius Caesar and mother of Octavian/Augustus and Octavia. She is depicted as a cheerfully amoral and opportunistic manipulator. Her family connections and sexual liaisons have brought her into contact with some of the most powerful individuals in Rome, making her a highly influential figure in Roman society. Atia is very loosely based on the historical figure Atia Balba Caesonia about whom little detail is known. Rome Historical Consultant Jonathan Stamp identifies the historical figure Clodia as the primary basis for the character of Atia.
  • James Purefoy as Mark Antony (Season 1 and 2) – A Roman general and politician and a close supporter of Julius Caesar in season 1. In season 2, he fights for power in the Roman Republic against Octavian and eventually loses.
  • Tobias Menzies as Marcus Junius Brutus (Season 1 and 2) – Portrayed as a young man torn between what he believes is right, and his loyalty and love of a man who has been like a father to him. The real Marcus Junius Brutus was the most famous of Julius Caesar's assassins, and one of the key figures in the civil wars that followed the assassination.
  • Lindsay Duncan as Servilia of the Junii (Season 1 and 2) – The mother of Marcus Junius Brutus, lover of the married Julius Caesar, and enemy of Atia of the Julii. Servilia is depicted as a sophisticated and regal Roman matron who follows her heart to her detriment, betrayed by love, and hungering for revenge. She slowly becomes as cruel as those whom she would destroy. Servilia is loosely based on the historical personage of Servilia Caepionis, mother of Marcus Junius Brutus, and famous lover of Julius Caesar.
  • Indira Varma as Niobe (Season 1 main, 2 recurring) – A beautiful woman devoted to her family. Niobe is a proud Plebeian from a large clan. After marrying Lucius Vorenus and giving birth to their two daughters, she functioned as a single parent when Lucius went off to war.
  • Max Pirkis (season 1 and early 2) and Simon Woods (season 2) as Gaius Octavian – Portrayed as a shrewd, if somewhat cold, young man, with an understanding of the world, people, philosophy, and politics that go well beyond his years. The basis for this character is the early life of Augustus, the first Roman Emperor.
  • Nicholas Woodeson as Posca (Season 1 and 2) – A slave of Julius Caesar, yet also his friend, aide-de-camp, and confidante in most things personal and professional. As a slave, he will seldom receive credit, but it appears that many of the more simple and elegant solutions to Caesar's problems come from the mind of Posca. Posca is freed and given a stipend in Caesar's will at the start of the second season. He throws his support behind Antony in later episodes, but later strategically defects to Octavian.
  • Kerry Condon as Octavia of the Julii (Season 1 and 2) – The character is based on the Roman matron Octavia Thurina Minor, sister of Roman Emperor Augustus, born to one of the most powerful families in Rome, the Julii. Octavia is the only daughter and elder child of Atia of the Julii, who is the niece of Gaius Julius Caesar.
  • Rick Warden as Quintus Pompey (Season 1 and 2) – The son of Pompey. The basis for this character is unclear. There is no historical mention of a Quintus Valerius Pompey, but the character may be meant to represent both of Pompey's historical sons Sextus Pompeius and Gnaeus Pompeius.
  • Karl Johnson as Porcius Cato (Season 1) – An extreme traditionalist, against political and social decay, and a staunch defender of the Roman Republic. The real Cato the Younger was a Roman orator, author, and politician.
  • David Bamber as Marcus Tullius Cicero (Season 1 and 2) – A moderate politician and scholar, who is challenged with trying to save the traditional Republic from the ambitions of the various characters on the show. The real Cicero was a Roman politician, writer, and orator.
  • Lee Boardman as Timon (Season 1 and 2) – A Roman-Jew, depicted as a "hired sword" — from bodyguard to assassin — for Atia of the Julii, from whom he is quite willing to take her body in lieu of coin.



The series was begun after William J. MacDonald and John Milius pitched the idea to HBO as a mini series. HBO then added a writer, after reading three one-hour scripts. The network made it a full-fledged series.[1] In 2002, HBO and the BBC agreed to co-produce a new series based on the events of the "Roman Revolution". Towards that end, the two networks committed a $100-110 million (£62.7 million) budget to the production of twelve 1-hour episodes, with HBO contributing $85 million, and the BBC contributing $15 million.[2] BBC contributed with £800,000 pounds to every episode of Rome in its first season.[3] The last major collaboration effort before Rome, was the Emmy awarded series, Band of Brothers. Rome was and still is the biggest co-produced series with the American film market in BBC's history. The series also marked the first co-produced series with HBO and BBC, while both companies had worked together in earlier series', the last being Band of Brothers and The Gathering Storm.[4]

When Bruno Heller met with HBO executive producer Anne Thomopoulos, he wanted to pitch an idea about "white-trash America." Thomopoulos then asked what he thought about "white-trash Rome". Heller replied: "Love ancient Rome," after a while they started talking about their "love" for I, Claudius a BBC series about ancient Rome released in the mid 1970s. By coincidence both the HBO and the BBC were working on a series involving Ancient Rome. When Heller visited Los Angeles a year later, he was given a script for the upcoming series which would later be known as Rome. Tranter from the BBC has said this about the development of Rome: "It felt like something that could have been developed by us, and HBO felt like natural partners for the BBC."[4][5] On 20 April 2006, Carolyn Strauss, president of the HBO announced the development of a second season for Rome.[6]


Set of Rome in Cinecittà studios, Rome

Between March 2004 and May 2005, Rome was filmed, in co-production with RAI, in the Italian countryside, on six sound stages at Rome's Cinecittà studios, and in a collection of massive sets in Cinecittà studios' back lots of outdoor sets which comprised an elaborate "period reconstruction" of sections of ancient Rome.[7] It was a huge undertaking, with an international crew of 350, and more than 50 local Italian interns.

The production is regarded as one of the most expensive in the history of TV series. Funding was generously employed to recreate an impressively detailed set featuring a number of Roman Villas, the forum and a vast slum area of the ancient city of Rome. A significant part of this set was later destroyed by a fire that burned down a portion of the Cinecittà Studios on 10 August 2007.[8] According to HBO, the fire started after they had finished filming the second season of Rome.[9] A portion of the set was also used in late 2007 by the crew of the long-running BBC sci-fi drama series Doctor Who, for the fourth season episode "The Fires of Pompeii".

Audio commentary on the Season 1 DVD indicates that many of the background performers used in the series were also their true professional counterparts. One example is that the actor shown in the series working as a butcher on the streets of Rome was in fact a real-life butcher.[10]


In a separate move, the BBC also decided to re-edit the first three episodes (all directed by Michael Apted) into two episodes. BBC claimed that this was because the British audience were more familiar with the history of Rome than their American counterparts and so much of the history was unnecessary; however, Apted claims that the purpose was to boost the ratings by increasing the prominence of the scenes of sex and violence. In an interview with The Times,[11] Michael Apted was quoted saying:[12]

"I'm really pissed off with the BBC for bringing down my first three episodes to two and, in doing so, taking out much of the vital politics. What also makes me very grumpy is that I was told that the cuts had been introduced by the BBC because they thought British viewers already knew the historical background. But all that's happened as far as the viewer is concerned is that it has made 'Rome' hard to follow."

Apted also said that he only found out about the cuts by accident, "...a couple of weeks ago when one of the actors told me." Since then, the original uncut Season 1 episodes aired on UKTV Drama, two episodes each Saturday, coincident with the UK screenings of Season 2 on BBC Two.

The Italian broadcast of the series was also marred by controversy. Strong language was removed in the Italian dubbing process; as for the more explicit sex scenes and disturbing violence, they were replaced by "safe" alternative versions shot during production especially for the Italian market.[13] Rai 4 started showing the original version of the series on the Italian TV on 7 September 2009 [14].


Jeff Beal got involved with the project later known as Rome after finishing his work on another HBO series, entitled Carnivàle. The producers of Rome invited Beal for an audition because they were having problems with choosing a composer for the series. The Rome producers sent a short cut of episode seven; Beal then started writing a demo score for the Rome staff. According to Beal himself "quite a few themes and ideas from that first pass made it into the show." Beal described the period working with the Rome staff as a "very interesting process." Beal spent much time working on the first three episodes. Beal used his first week to write and record the different instruments used on the soundtrack. He would then start working on the producer notes, orchestrate and record other live instruments used on the soundtrack in the second week. Head writer Bruno Heller wanted to "spice up" the soundtrack by using a more traditional approach for the soundtrack score. Heller was also against heavy use of orchestrated instruments.[15]

Broadcast and DVD releases

Rome's first season originally aired on HBO in the United States between 28 August and 20 November 2005, subsequently being broadcast on the United Kingdom's BBC Two between 2 November 2005 and 4 January 2006, and on Rai Due in Italy between 17 March 2006 and 28 April 2006. The second season aired on HBO in the US from 14 January 2007 to 25 March 2007.

International syndication

The series was launched in the United States on 24 August 2005, at Wadsworth Theatre in Los Angeles, California. HBO broadcast the series pilot "The Stolen Eagle" four days later. According to the Nielsen ratings system, the pilot was seen by 3.8 million viewers, ultimately attracting more than 8.9M over eleven broadcasts, and achieved a 9.1 household rating for Sunday primetime.[16][17] After the broadcast of only three first season episodes, HBO announced plans to produce a second season of Rome in 2006, for release in March 2007.[18] By the end of the first season, the series gathered more than seven million viewers per week.[19] The second season premiered in January 2007, with the first episode attracting 7.5 million viewers.[20] The final episode aired 25 March 2007 in the U.S.

In total, HBO spent about $10 million dollars to promote Rome. HBO enlisted the Mozilla Firefox web browser in its marketing campaign for the series by designing a downloadable custom Rome Firefox theme.[21]

BBC Two premiered Rome in the United Kingdom on 2 November 2005, attracting 6.6 million viewers (27%); viewing figures declined in future episodes, with the season finale only attracting 3 million viewers (13%).[22] The first episode of the second season aired on BBC Two on 20 June 2007.

A "sanitized" version of the first series of Rome — with toned-down nudity and violence — aired on Rai Due in Italy, garnering only a meagre 10% audience share. RAI also stated to have co-produced the show, whereas HBO listed only itself and BBC as co-producers. [23] The Italian newspaper, Corriere della Sera called it a "prime example of historical misinformation," and called actor Ciaran Hinds (Julius Caesar) a "parody." The paper also called the relationship between Atia of the Julii (Polly Walker) and Mark Antony (James Purefoy) "ridiculous." RAI also commented that many Italians did not approve of Anglo-Saxon actors portraying Roman characters.[24] The second series was never broadcast at all on analogue TV; however, starting from October 2009, digital-only channel Rai 4 broadcast the original uncut version of the first series and went on to broadcast the second series unaltered as well.

Cancellation and future

HBO Chairman Chris Albrecht announced in a July 2006 news conference that season two of Rome would be its last, citing the fact that the series (called "notoriously expensive" by Broadcasting & Cable) had been developed under a two-year contract with the BBC that would have been difficult for the BBC to extend due to the series' cost.[25][26] Of the storyline, co-creator Heller said:[27]

I discovered halfway through writing the second season the show was going to end. The second was going to end with the death of Brutus. Third and fourth season would be set in Egypt. Fifth was going to be the rise of the messiah in Palestine. But because we got the heads-up that the second season would be it, I telescoped the third and fourth season into the second one, which accounts for the blazing speed we go through history near the end. There's certainly more than enough history to go around.

In a 27 February 2008 interview with, actor Ray Stevenson stated that a Rome film was in development, with Heller working on a script.[28] Heller later confirmed in December 2008 that there was "talk of doing a movie version," adding that "It's moving along. It's not there until it is there. I would love to round that show off."[27]

Home release

The entire first season of Rome was released as a six-disc Region 1 DVD box set in the United States on 15 August 2006. It was distributed by HBO Home Video. Featuring all 12 episodes, it also includes several extra DVD features like episode commentaries, behind-the-scenes footage and making-of features. The same set (bar the episodic previews and recaps) was released on 24 July 2006 in Region 2, also entitled Rome: The Complete First Season.

Season 2 was released in North America on 7 August 2007[29] and, again under the same name as the R1 release, in Region 2 on 10 September 2007.

Rome: The Complete Series was released on Blu-Ray in North America on 17 November 2009.


Critical reception

Rome has garnered much media attention with mostly positive reviews.[30] Alessandra Stanley from The New York Times said: "But behind all that gritty squalor the glory that was Rome gets lost," while reviewing season 2.[31] Lisa Schwarzbaum from Entertainment Weekly gave season 2 a B and commented on the "spectacular" clothing design.[32] Sean Woods from Rolling Stone Magazine called the series "masterful" and "epic" and gave the series 3.5 out of 4.[33] Michael Ventre from Variety Magazine was positive towards the series and was intrigued by the "complex" character of Atia of the Julii.[34] James Poniewozik from Time Magazine commented on the "slow start," but further stated that the series "draws you" to the ancient city of Rome.[35] Empire Magazine reviewer Helen O'Hara said: "Not as good-looking as Gladiator, perhaps, but richer in (reasonably accurate) history and texture," and gave season 1 of Rome four out of five stars.[36] Robert Bianco from USA Today called season 2 "the fall of Rome"," commenting that season 2 was not as good as season 1.[37] Linda Stasi from the The New York Post called herself a "slave".[38] Melanie McFarland from Seattle Post-Intelligencer called season 2 "at top of its form" and said it was as good as the former season.[39] An unnamed reviewer from The Guardian called the series "splendidly ambitious."[40] Eric Neigher from Slant Magazine called season 1 of Rome "good art."[41] Robert Abele from LA Weekly called it the "most lavish dramatic series yet" released by HBO.[41]

Awards and nominations

Capping its successful first season, Rome won four Emmy Awards out of eight nominations in 2006, for the episodes "Caesarion", "Triumph", "Kalends of February" and "Stealing from Saturn".[42] The series also won an Art Directors Guild (ADG) in the category "Excellence in Production Design - Single-Camera Television Series" for the pilot episode "The Stolen Eagle." Michael Apted won the Directors Guild of America (DGA) in the category "Outstanding Directing - Drama Series, Night" for "Stolen Eagle." The series itself was nominated for a Golden Globe Award in the category "Outstanding Television Series - Drama," and Polly Walker who portrayed Atia of the Julii was nominated in the category "Outstanding Supporting Actress - Series, Miniseries or Television Film."[43] The series has also been nominated for three Satellite Awards, two for season 1 and the last for season 2.[44] The pilot episode "The Stolen Eagle" won an Visual Effects Society (VES) award in the category "Outstanding Visual Effects - Broadcast Series." Writers Guild of America (WGA) nominated the series for the category "Best Writing - New Television Series" in 2005. The series was also nominated for four British Academy Television Awards (BAFTA Television Awards), three in season 1 (2006) and one in season 2 (2008).[43] In 2005, the series was nominated for an Cinema Audio Society Award (CAS) in the category "Outstanding Achievement in Sound Mixing for Television Series" for the episode "The Spoils".[45] The British award ceremony nominated the series for the Royal Television Society (RTS) award in the category "Best Visual Effects - Digital Effects".[46]

Historical deviations

Gorgoneion from the opening credits, depicting its use in the ancient world as a protective apotropaic symbol.[47]

There are numerous inaccuracies in the series' representation of various historical events and personages. Co-creator Bruno Heller has said that "We try to balance between what people expect from previous portrayals and a naturalistic approach ... This series is much more about how the psychology of the characters affects history than simply following the history as we know it."[48] The series' Historical Consultant Jonathan Stamp also notes that the show aims for "authenticity" rather than "accuracy."[49][50] The film-makers stressed that they wanted to portray a more accurate picture of Rome, a gritty and realistic city as opposed to what they call the "HollyRome" that appears in films like Gladiator.

Although Lucius Vorenus and Titus Pullo are historical figures mentioned briefly in Caesar's Commentarii de Bello Gallico, their adventures and involvement in key events in the series are fictionalized. Rome also typically ignores the existence of certain extended family members of people featured as main characters, such as relatives of Julius Caesar, Mark Antony and Atia Balba Caesonia. The most significant dramatic license taken in the series is the manipulation of the historical timeline for storytelling purposes.

Some important events are not mentioned in Rome, including the whole year spent before the Battle of Pharsalus in which Caesar drove Pompeius's supporters out of Greece, and the Battle of Dyrrhachium in which Pompeius defeated Caesar. Many significant members of the Optimates, the traditionalist faction of Brutus and Cato, are also missing from the series. They include Marcus Calpurnius Bibulus, Titus Labienus, Lucius Domitius Ahenobarbus, Lucius Cornelius Lentulus Crus, and Publius Cornelius Lentulus Spinther, the latter having failed to empty Rome's treasury before the optimates' departure, resulting in a severe lack of funds to support their war effort.



  1. ^ "Epic Roman drama unveiled". BBC. 2003-10-27. Retrieved 2009-04-25. 
  2. ^ "Small screen hits and misses". BBC. 2005-12-14. Retrieved 2009-04-25. 
  3. ^ "BBC backs its explicit Rome epic". BBC. 2005-10-17. Retrieved 2009-04-25. 
  4. ^ a b "Ciaran Hinds, Kevin McKidd and Lindsay Duncan head the cast of HBO/BBC epic series Rome - this autumn on BBC TWO". BBC. 2005. Retrieved 2009-04-25. 
  5. ^ Frank Bruni (2004). "Rendering Unto Caesar's Subjects; For a New HBO Series, a Colorful Ancient City Springs to Life in Rome". The New York Times. Retrieved 2009-04-25. 
  6. ^ Garth Franklin (2006). "Rome Second Season Underway". Dark Zone. Retrieved 2009-04-25. 
  7. ^ "New $100m TV epic set to rewrite history". The Independent. 2005. Retrieved 2009-04-25. 
  8. ^ "Fire torches film sets at Rome's historic Cinecitta". Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. 2007. Retrieved 2009-04-25. 
  9. ^ "Fire hits Rome studios". Hollywood 2007. Retrieved 2009-04-25. 
  10. ^ (2005) DVD: Rome: The Complete First Season (Released 2006).
  11. ^ TimesOnline UK ~ "They sexed up my Roman orgy, says director"
  12. ^ Richard Brooks (2005). "They sexed up my Roman orgy, says glum director". Times Online. Retrieved 2009-04-25. 
  13. ^ [ "Sesso, violenza e istinti animali così l'Impero si racconta in tv"] (in Italian). Repubblica. 2006. Retrieved 2009-04-25. 
  14. ^ "I programmi di Rai 4 dal 6 al 12 settembre" (in Italian). Teleblog. 2009. Retrieved 2009-09-15. 
  15. ^ Tom Kidd (2006). "Interview - Jeff Beal". Retrieved 2009-04-25. 
  16. ^ Denise Martin (2008). "HBO's True Blood: Audiences don't bite.". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2009-04-25. 
  17. ^ Ryan Parsons (2005). "HBO Wants More ROME".'. Retrieved 2009-04-25. 
  18. ^ "HBO renews the epic drama series Rome". HBO. 2008. Retrieved 2009-04-25. 
  19. ^ Bill Carter (2005). "HBO Takes the ABC Sunday Challenge". The New York Times. Retrieved 2009-04-25. 
  20. ^ Bill Gorman (2008). "HBO’s Generation Kill Can’t Touch John Adams". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved 2009-04-25. 
  21. ^ Stefanie Olsen (2005). "HBO enlists Firefox for series promotion". CNET News. Retrieved 2009-04-25. 
  22. ^ Jason Deans (2006). "Rome's bloody climax wins 3m". The Guardian. Retrieved 2009-04-25. 
  23. ^ [h "HBO: Rome: About the Show"]. 2006. h Retrieved 2010-01-18. 
  24. ^ Nick Vivarelli (2006). "Irritated Italos give HBO's Rome the thumbs down". Retrieved 2009-04-25. 
  25. ^ "Two and Out for Rome". 2006.,0,5831913.story?coll=zap-news-headlines. Retrieved 2009-04-25. 
  26. ^ Anne Becker (2006). "HBO To Sack Rome After Season 2'". Broadcasting Retrieved 2009-04-25. 
  27. ^ a b James, Hibberd (1 December 2008). "Rome might not be history, series creator says". Retrieved 9 May 2009. 
  28. ^ Brian Gallagher (2008). ""Ray Stevenson Confirms a Rome Movie Is in the Works"". Retrieved 2009-04-25. 
  29. ^ Rome: Second Season DVD -
  30. ^ Dominic Timms (2005). "BBC holds fire on Rome 2". The Guardian. Retrieved 2009-04-25. 
  31. ^ Alessandra Stanley (2007). "Friends, Romans, Countrymen, Lovers, Haters, Murderers, Barbarians ...". The New York Times. Retrieved 2009-04-25. 
  32. ^ Lisa Schwarzbaum (2007). "Rome". Entertainment Weekly.,,20008817,00.html. Retrieved 2009-04-25. 
  33. ^ Sean Woods (2006). "Rome". Rolling Stone Magazine. Retrieved 2009-04-25. 
  34. ^ Michael Ventre (2006). "Drama Series: The new breed". Variety Magazine. Retrieved 2009-04-25. 
  35. ^ James Poniewozik (2005). "Tearing Off the Togas". Time Magazine.,9171,1093719-2,00.html. Retrieved 2009-04-25. 
  36. ^ Helen O'Hara (2005). "Rome: Season 1". Empire Magazine. Retrieved 2009-04-25. 
  37. ^ Robert Bianco (2005). "'Rome' goes into decline". USA Today'. Retrieved 2009-04-25. 
  38. ^ Linda Stasi (2007). "Rome Sweet Rome". The New York Post. Retrieved 2009-04-25. 
  39. ^ Melanie McFarland (2007). "On TV: Hail to the return of HBO's 'Rome'". Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Retrieved 2009-04-25. 
  40. ^ "Hail Ceasar". The Guardian. 2005. Retrieved 2009-04-25. 
  41. ^ a b Eric Neigher (2005). "Rome: Season One". Slant Magazine. Retrieved 2009-04-25. 
  42. ^ Mark Wilson (2007). "2007 Emmy Awards Nominations". Retrieved 2009-04-25. 
  43. ^ a b "News". HBO. Retrieved 2009-04-25. 
  44. ^ Jason Hughes (2007). "2007 Satellite Award nominees announced". TV Squad. Retrieved 2009-04-25. 
  45. ^ "The Cinema Audio Society". Cinema Audio Society. 2007. Retrieved 2009-04-25. 
  46. ^ "Educational Television Awards 2003". Royal Television Society. 2007. Retrieved 2009-04-25. 
  47. ^ Garber, Marjorie. The Medusa Reader, 24 February 2003, Introduction, pg. 2, ISBN 0-415-90099-9.
  48. ^ ~ Rome News 8 January 2007
  49. ^ DVD: Rome: The Complete First Season, When In Rome featurette.
  50. ^ ~ Jonathan Stamp quotes

External links


Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

Rome (2005) is an American-British television show by HBO/BBC about the last century B.C. in Rome.


Season One

The Stolen Eagle [1.1]

Titus Pullo: I have simpler tastes. I like to kill my enemies, take their gold and enjoy their women. That's it. Why tie yourself to one? Where's the flavor? Where's the joy?
Vorenus: Pullo, when is the last time you had a woman who wasn't crying or wanting payment?

Pullo: Look here, Mars! Look here, Mars! I am Titus Pullo! These bloody men are my gift to you.

How Titus Pullo Brought Down the Republic [1.2]

[Mark Antony, when discussing terms of Caesar's return to Rome]
Senator: He has one skeleton of a legion and commands us as what to do.
Mark Antony : Caesar has many more legions than the 13th.
Senator: Yes, on the far side of the Alps.
Mark Antony: Winter does not last forever. Spring comes. Snows melt.
Senator: That is a threat!
Mark Antony : No, I assure you, that is no threat. Snows always melt.

Vorena: What is going to happen?
Niobe: War is going to happen.

An Owl in a Thornbush [1.3]

Brutus: Mother, you are blinded by untapped lust. I'll get you a good big Cyrenian at the market and have done with it!

[Caesar has sent Vorenus ahead to scout with a squadron of cavalry]
Gaius Julius Caesar: Can we trust him?
Mark Antony: Who?
Gaius Julius Caesar: Lucius Vorenus.
Mark Antony: Vorenus? Deep Thirteenth, him. He'd follow the Eagle up Pluto's arse!

[Pullo instructs Vorenus on the fine points of wooing.]
Titus Pullo: Now, your best method of pleasing a woman is the warm, beating heart of an enemy. Oh, women say they don't like it, but they do! Makes them wet as October!

[discussing how to please Lucius's wife.]
Titus Pullo: Also: very important. When you couple with her there's this spot just above her cunny. It's like a button. Now, attend to that button and she will open up like a flower.
Lucius Vorenus: [outraged] How do you know this about her?!
Titus Pullo: [momentarily gobsmacked] All women have them! Ask anyone!

[On finding Rome unprotected by Pompeian troops:]
Lucius Vorenus: [aghast] This can only mean that the Republic has fallen.
Titus Pullo: And yet, the sky is still above us and the earth still below. Strange.
Vorenus: How could Mars allow such a thing to happen?
Pullo: Maybe he was out having a crap and missed it!

Stealing from Saturn [1.4]

Caesar: You are a thief. A foolish, incompetent thief. But we will treat your foolishness as some species of loyalty.

Caesar: I do not like to argue with fortune, and clearly she's taken you for a pet.

Caesar: [after having an epileptic seizure] Swear by Orcus never to speak of this.

The Ram Has Touched the Wall [1.5]

Caesar: They say a slave talks of freedom like a fish talks of flying.
Posca: They say that, do they? How very witty of them.

[Atia has informed Octavian she has engaged a tutor for him: one of the soldiers who rescued him.]
Octavian: Vorenus?
Atia of the Julii: Is that it? Not the sullen Catonian one, I don't like him. The cheerful, brutish one.
Octavian: [turning to go] Pullo.
Atia: What extraordinary names these plebs have. Pullo.

Egeria [1.6]

Atia: Octavian, have you penetrated anyone yet? Titus Pullo, didn't I tell you to get that sorted? What else?
Octavia: Perhaps you could arrange he kill someone.
Atia: That will happen in due course.

Titus Pullo: What's your price, then?
Madame: One thousand.
Titus Pullo: Gerrhae! I could have half the whores in Narbo for that, and their mothers!
Madame: We're not in Narbo, wherever that might be.
Titus Pullo: All right, my dove, we'll pay, but the girl better fuck him like Helen of Troy with her arse on fire, or I'll know the reason why!

Newsreader: This month's public bread is provided by the Capitoline Brotherhood of Millers. The Brotherhood uses only the finest flour: true Roman bread for true Romans.

Mark Antony: [to Atia] I had not realized until now... what a wicked old harpy you are.

Atia: A large penis is always welcome.

Titus Pullo: This is cack, this is! I'm wet through!
Lucius Vorenus: We're perfectly safe - a very favorable offering was made to Triton before we left.
Pullo: Well, if Triton can't keep me drier than this, he can suck my cock!
[Ship's mast breaks]
Vorenus: Pullo, when will you learn to keep your fat mouth shut?!

Pharsalus [1.7]

Caesar: Our men must win or die. Pompey's men have... other options.

Vorenus: His hands trembled, sir. His clothes were dirty, there was water in his eyes -- he is broken. I saw no need to apprehend him. I'd like to add that Legionary Pullo took no part in my decision, sir.
Caesar: You saw "no need." Do you not see that Pompey may be broken like a Dacian catamite and still be dangerous?!

Caesarion [1.8]

King Ptolemy XIII: [presenting the head of Pompey Magnus] We were going to make him a body, with moving arms and legs, and do a mime show with real animals and everything, and...
Gaius Julius Caesar: Silence!
[long, heavy silence]
Gaius Julius Caesar: Shame on the House of Ptolemy for such barbarity. Shame.
Pothinus: But... you are enemies.
Gaius Julius Caesar: He was a consul of Rome!
[guards put hands to their swords]
Gaius Julius Caesar: A consul of Rome, to die in this sordid way - quartered like some low thief? Shame!

Gaius Julius Caesar: These instruments tabulate the money that was borrowed by the previous king, Ptolemy XII, in the sum of seventeen thousand, thousand drachmae.
Pothinus: Seventeen? Absurd! Four, maybe.
Posca: That amount includes those sums that were borrowed from Pompey and those otherwise unable to collect.
Pothinus: That is not just.
Posca: Post mortem interests of this type are legally entailed to the presiding consul, i.e. Gaius Julius Caesar. It's... law.
Pothinus: Roman law.
Gaius Julius Caesar: Is there some other form of law, you wretched woman?

Caesar: I have conquered Gaul. I have defeated Pompey Magnus. I think I can handle a small boy and a eunuch.

Marc Antony: I'm glad you're so confident. Some would call it hubris.
Caesar: It's only hubris if I fail.

Vorenus: Pullo, report to Princess Cleopatra and do whatever she tells you!
[Pullo reports for duty - which is to have wild sex with Cleopatra. Afterwards:]
Pullo: [exhales] Gods, that was something, let me tell you...
Vorenus: I don't want to hear about it! If you're wise, you'll never speak of this again.
Pullo: Why? I was only following orders. Bloody good orders, too!

Cicero: You should have no ill conscience, we only did what we have to do.
Brutus: No doubt Saturn said something of the sort after eating his children.

Marc Antony: If I ever again hear your name connected with murmurs of treachery, I will cut off these soft, pink hands and nail them to the senate door.

Utica [1.9]

Scipio: Where there's life, there's hope.
Cato: (sad smile) I think, if anything, we have disproved that proverb, old friend.

Titus Pullo: [on Vorenus' toga candida] You look like laundry!

Triumph [1.10]

Posca: The Roman people are not crying out for clean elections. They are crying out for jobs. They are crying out for clean water, for food, for stability and peace.

The Spoils [1.11]

Caesar: You know I've always looked upon you as a son...
Brutus: Oh dear, one of those conversations.

Caesar: Be reasonable! You're on every wall in the city with a knife at my throat!

Marcus Junius Brutus: I betrayed nothing. Had you told me you were to march on Rome and asked me for my allegiance, I would have given it. I would've judged you insane, but I would've given you my allegiance because I look on you as my father.
Caesar: Brutus-
Marcus Junius Brutus: You did not ask me for my allegiance. You demanded it at swordpoint. I betrayed nothing.

Cassius: Look now. Look at that.
Marcus Junius Brutus: It is a chair. What of it?
Cassius: A chair? It's a throne!
Marcus Junius Brutus: I believe thrones are generally more decorative. That is decidedly plain, and chair-like.

Caesar: [of an assassinated political opponent]I didn't know he existed until he didn't.

Kalends of February [1.12]

[Servilia has invited Atia over for a visit.]

Atia: Why would she want to see me? She hates me!
Mark Antony: So do I; that's no bar to friendship.

Season Two

Passover [2.1]

[Before Caesar's funeral.]
Antony: I'm not rising from bed until I fuck someone.
Atia: Fine, fine. Merula, fetch that German slut from the kitchen.

Mark Antony: You boys play too rough for me. Knives in the Senate House? I didn't know you had it in you. No, I will serve out my term as consul and then return to the provinces, plough my fields and fuck my slaves like old Cincinnatus.

[Servillia joins with Cassius and Cicero in urging Brutus to murder Antony]
Brutus: You too, mother?

Son of Hades [2.2]

Antony: You're not saying that these men paid me to put their names on here.
Cicero: Oh, no... I assume they paid Posca.


These being the words of Marcus Tullius Cicero [2.3]

Cicero: Please continue, I would hate to submit to implication alone.

Clerk (holding up a scroll for all to see): These being the words of Marcus Tullius Cicero: (reading) When I was a young man, I defended the State. As an old man, I shall not abandon it. I give sincere thanks to Mark Antony, who has generously presented me with the most promising theme imaginable. I address you directly, Antony. Please listen as if you... as if you...
Mark Antony: Go on...
Clerk (shaken): "...please listen, as if you were sober and intelligent, and not a drink-sodden, sex-addled wreck."
[Senators start leaving the Senate hall]
Clerk: "You are certainly not without accomplishments: it is a rare man who can boast of becoming a bankrupt before even coming of age. You have brought upon us war, pestilence and destruction. You are Rome's Helen of Troy. But then... but then..."
Mark Antony (fuming): Go on... GO ON!
Clerk: "...a woman's role has always suited you best."

[Antony screams in rage, and proceeds to beat the Clerk to death with the scroll. He looks up and finds the Senate completely empty.]

Testudo et Lepus (The Tortoise and the Hare) [2.4]

Cicero: Oh, how I tire of young men and their ambitions.

Heroes of the Republic [2.5]

Vorenus: These are my children, redeemed from slavery. This is my daughter, prostituted. This is the son of my wife and another man. You will treat them with the respect they are due, or you will answer to me.

Mark Antony: Oh, and when you kill Cicero, cut off his hands and nail them to the Senate doors. I told the old bugger that I would do that to him.

Philippi [2.6]

Eirene: [in tears] I'm preglant!
Titus Pullo: What?
Eirene: I'm preglant! Preglant!!
Titus Pullo: [surprised, but delighted] What, pregnant?
Eirene: However you say it!

[Before the Battle of Philippi]
Brutus: Heavens, I entirely forgot! Today's your birthday, isn't it?
Cassius: Is it? I believe you're right.
Brutus: [shakes his hand] Happy Birthday. Sorry there's no cake.
Cassius: Next year, eh? You bake me an extra big one.
Brutus: I shan't forget.
Cassius: No cinnamon, it makes me sneeze.

Octavian: What's happening? Do you know?
Antony: No idea. On my command, forward!
Octavian: Where are you going?
Antony: When in doubt... ATTACK!
[The cavalry charges with Antony at their head. Agrippa looks after them longingly.]
Octavian: Go.
Agrippa: Thank you. (to troopers) You two, on me!
[Rides after Antony.]

[Cassius is brought back from the battle line, mortally wounded.]
Brutus: Cassius? What happened?
Cassius: Not sure, to be honest. Hell of a birthday...

[As Antony's forces approach, Brutus decides to go down fighting.]
Brutus: Give my best to my mother. Tell her... tell her something suitable.

Death Mask [2.7]

[Servilia, kneeling in front of Atia's house, curses Atia, then commits suicide.]
Marc Antony: ...Now that's an exit.

A Necessary Fiction [2.8]

Titus Pullo: Nobody is a traitor until they are one.

Newsreader: Rufus has slaves for any budget.

Deus Impeditio Esuritori Nullus [2.9]

Vorenus: You are no coward, but you do have a sickness... disease in your soul.
Antony: And what disease is that?
Vorenus: I do not know. I am not a doctor.
Antony: So how is it that you know I have this disease?
Vorenus: I recognize the symptoms. I have the same disease.

De Padre Vostro [2.10]

[Discussing Pullo]
Cleopatra: Is he a good man?
Vorenus: Define "good".

[Atia moves to the head of the women's procession for Augustus' triumph]

Livia: Excuse me?
Atia: Yes?
Livia: Oh, I don't mind really, but it is really I who should go first. If you consult the priests, I'll think you'll find the wife takes precedence.
Atia: I don't give a fuck what the priests say. I'll not let a vicious little trollop like you walk ahead of me. I go first.
Livia: I take no offense, of course. You are not yourself.
Atia: I know who you are. I can see you. You're swearing now that, someday, you'll destroy me. Remember that far better women than you have sworn to do the same. Go look for them now.

Octavian: I was all sweetness and light with her... charm itself.
Maecenas: Yes, that is your most disheartening manner.

[last lines of the series]
Titus Pullo: (to Caesarion) About your father...

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