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Rome is a historical drama television series created by John Milius, William J. MacDonald, and Bruno Heller. The show, consisting of two seasons for a total of 22 episodes, aired on HBO, and BBC Two from 28 August 2005 to 25 March 2007, and was later released on DVD and Blu-ray.
An international co-production between Italy, the United Kingdom and the United States, the series was filmed in various locations, but most notably in the Cinecittà studios in Rome, Italy.
The series is set in the 1st century BC, during Ancient Rome’s transition from Republic to Empire. The series features a sprawling cast of characters, many based on real figures from historical records, but the lead protagonists are ultimately two soldiers named Lucius Vorenus and Titus Pullo, who find their lives intertwined with key historical events.
The series primarily chronicles the lives and deeds of the rich, powerful, and historically significant, but it also focuses on the lives, fortunes, families, and acquaintances of two common men: Lucius Vorenus and Titus Pullo, fictionalized versions of a pair of Roman soldiers mentioned in Caesar’s Commentarii de Bello Gallico.
The fictional Vorenus and Pullo manage to witness and often influence many of the historical events presented in the series, although some dramatic license is taken.
The first season depicts Julius Caesar’s civil war of 49 BC against the traditionalist conservative faction in the Roman Senate (the Optimates), his rise to dictatorship over Rome, and his fall, spanning the time 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 Augustus, the first Emperor of Rome. 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 the suicide of Antony and Cleopatra in 30 B.C. after their defeat at the Battle of Actium.
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