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UK:90 min (1 episode) | UK:50 min (9 episodes) | 52 min (22 episodes) | Argentina:60 min (12 Episodes)
Action | Drama | History | Romance | War
IMDB rate:
Nominated for 2 Golden Globes. Another 15 wins & 27 nominations
Country: UK
Release Date: 2005-08-28
Filming Locations: Boyana Film Studios, Sofia, Bulgaria
Kevin McKidd
Lucius Vorenus
Polly Walker
Atia of the Julii
Kerry Condon
Octavia of the Julii
James Purefoy
Mark Antony
Ian McNeice
Coral Amiga
Vorena the Elder
Lindsay Duncan
Servilia of the Junii
Lidia Biondi
Tobias Menzies
Marcus Junius Brutus
Nicholas Woodeson
David Bamber
Marcus Tullius Cicero
Chiara Mastalli
Manfredi Aliquo
Indira Varma
Suzanne Bertish
Max Pirkis
Gaius Octavian
Lee Boardman
Esther Hall
Ciarán Hinds
Gaius Julius Caesar
Anna Fausta Primiano
Vorena the Younger
Michael Nardone
Did you know?
The actors' regional British accents were used with effect to enhance the portrayal of the social distinctions of ancient Roman society; however after initial previews, some of the stronger accents were re-dubbed and toned down for American audiences.
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Although saddles with stirrups were not used by the Romans, they are required for safety. During close-up shots, however, the stirrups are removed for more authenticity.
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Though looking much older than Ciarán Hinds b. 1953 (Julius Caesar) Kenneth Cranham b.1944 (Pompey Magnus). Historically Caesar was 6 years younger than Pompey. However, Cranham appears physically much older that Hinds in this series.
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The words Domina and Dominus are practically the only Latin words the cast uses regularly. Nevertheless, as they are always used as vocative, the masculine form should be Domine. More than that, the spoken Latin of the higher classes is inadequately close to ecclesiastical late Latin.
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The real Atia (Octavian's mother) died in 43 B.C. In the series she is still alive in 31 B.C.
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Several historical changes were made to move the story along. Octavian was in Illyria undergoing military training when Caesar was killed. Livia was actually Octavian's third wife and she had two sons when she married Octavian; Tiberius and Drusus. Drusus was married to Antonia, the daughter of Marc Antony and Octavia and was the grandfather of Caligula and the father of Claudius. Octavian had one natural child, Julia, by his first wife. Julia was married at one time to Tiberius.
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Cleopatra: A man without sons is a man without a future.
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Gaius Julius Caesar: [evaluating his chances against Pompey's more numerous legions] Our men must win or die. Pompey's men have... other options.
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What is the timeline for the series? How accurate is it?
The timeline for the series begins in 50 BC, when Caeser's term as consul ran out and the events of the story begin. They end in 30 BC, with the death of Mark Antony and Cleopatra. In the show this timeline seems to be greatly condensed. Despite the main action taking place over about twenty years none of the characters except for Octavian, who goes from a teenage boy to a man, and Caesarion who goes from an infant in season one to a pre-teen in season two, seem to age at all.
Is this series historically accurate?
As the creators of the series have always stated, they aimed for authenticity rather than accuracy. They enlisted the help of several historians and did quite an effort to recreate the Roman world, culture and habits into its tiniest details. The depiction of daily life, politics and warfare in Rome is therefore quite accurate, aside from some small issues (such as house decorations etc.) that still cause some controversy among historians.The main story is also generally true. The makers did, however, afford themselves quite some artistic licence with several historic facts and events, for added drama and to avoid unnecessary complexity. The series also greatly condenses the timeline of events and simplifies both the politics and personal lives of people involved. For instance, Atia is depicted as a scheming, power-hungry vixen, which is quite contrary to historical evidence. She also lives through the entire series; in reality, she died a year after Caesar, and was not present during most of the time depicted in season 2; Octavia, Atia's daughter, was never married to (and never divorced) a man called Glabius (as seen in season 1); she was married to someone else with who she had 3 children, all born after Caesar's death; the battle of Pharsalus was in reality preceded by the battle of Dyrrhachium, in which Pompey's army managed to defeat Ceasar's; The battle at Phillipi was not fought in one day; Cassius committed suicide during the first battle; Brutus was not killed either, he committed suicide after the second battle (although singly walking into the enemy's army could be considered suicide; his death by multiple swords was probably made to mirror Caesar's death); Brutus' mother Servilia did not commit suicide, she died a natural death (actually about a year after Atia's death); Mark Anthony already had two children with Cleopatra before he married Octavia; he left Octavia to reunite with Cleopatra and have another child. Many of the real events have been moved in time to fit the time frame of the episodes better. For instance, Julia, Pompey's wife and Caesar's daughter, had already died years before the time depicted in the series; the siege of Alexandria already started before Caesar's battle with Ptolemy; Cleopatra committed suicide 11 days after Mark Anthony's suicide. Perhaps the most accurate characterization is that of Marc Antony who history describes as being a noted carouser as well as a brilliant general and loyal ally to Caesar.Aside from altered facts, the writers inferred several facts for which there is no historical evidence (but technically no evidence against either). For instance, the secret relationship between Octavia and Marcus Agrippa, Mark Anthony's affair with Atia, the intensifying rivalry between Atia and Servilia, the incestual affair between Octavian and Octavia, Octavia's sexual relationship with Servilia, Servilia's active role in Caesar's assassination, Caesarion's escape from death, etc. The scene where Octavian helps cover up an epileptic seizure of Caesar's, which his mother mistakes for an affair between the two, is a combination of historical speculation that Caesar was an epileptic and an accusation from Marc Antony that Octavian had been Caesar's lover.A completely fictionalised part of Rome is the entire Lucius Vorenus/Titus Pullo subplot. Vorenus and Pullo really existed, they are described by Caesar in his book De Bello Gallico (About the Gallic War) as rival officers. Everything aside from that (personal lives, historic roles, interaction with real persons) was created by the writers as a means to involve common men in the rich history and culture of the Roman Republic. The writers also invented Julius Caesar's slave Posca, his friendship with Caesar and his forced marriage to one of Octavia's friends.
Why did Erastes Fulmen lie about the Vorenus children?
When Vorenus and Pullo learned that Erastes had taken his children, they storm his hideout and kill all of Fulmen's guards. When they confront Fulmen, Pullo says "Tell us where the children are, you might yet live." Fulmen scoffs at this because he knows what kind of man Vorenus is and so Vorenus would kill him whether he told the truth about selling the children into slavery or the lie that he "Fucked them, killed them and threw them in the river." Fulmen told Vorenus the latter because this would in essence kill Vorenus knowing that his entire family was dead. So while Fulmen would be killed, he took Vorenus with him essentially.
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Photos from cast
Ewan Bailey Ray Stevenson Ronan Vibert