When Rome Ruled
In this episode of 'Biography', Bray Poor takes us on a journey through the life and times of the one-time ancient Roman emperor, Julius Caesar.
Now thankfully, this grand account is garnished with the usual re-enactments, archaeological exhibits, computer aided imagery, plus one on one pre-recorded interview's with personages that know about Julius' conquests. For example, there are the Historians: Tom Holland, Adrian Goldworthy, and Darius Arya. Plus there are the Professors: Barry Strauss, Maria Wyke, Rit Scott, Richard Beacham, and Giogio Croci.
What now follows is a basic breakdown of how this program plays out.
Romelike before Julius Caesar? It was a tyrannical state ruled by a committee of men whom governed the senate by upholding family values and historical traditions.
- Oh! And why was that then? Mainly because they believed a single man should never rule their province, or mirror the arduous actions of their last ruling King.
- Fair enough. So how did Caesar begin to stand out from the crowd? When he won the public's favor by staging gladiatorial matches, using his own money as collateral. Furthermore, because he was such a great orator too, the people also listened to whatever he had to say.
that why the senate attempted to bar his path by sideling him into
becoming a minister for the
? Yes. That is correct. They thought this lifetime of servitude would hinder Caesar's time in the public spotlight. But they were wrong. Very wrong. Templeof Vesta
- How so? Over time he was able to get elected as a governor by allying himself with two men who held court within the secret government. Crassus and Pompey.
That's nice. So everything worked out alright in the end then? No. Not really. After the sudden death
of Crassus, Pompey grew wary of Caesar's conquests over in the province
named Gal -- now called
France-- and he attempted to have him defrocked as a commander by using legalized means.
- And did that work? Ha! He had no chance. Using his own bold savvy, Caesar turned Pompey's own conduct against him, and found a way to rise to power, whilst it was Pompey in turn who ended up dead.
- Wow! What a king amongst men Caesar truly was? No. Caesar was never a king. Despite testing the waters with a mock show of ascension, Brutus and a number of the other Roman's stabbed Caesar to death -- 26 times -- on the eve of a senate meeting.
Thankfully, though, one of his ancestors, Octavius, used Caesar's death in a manner in which he never was able to in life. And the rest is now history.
Originally I was going to kick off my review on this 'Biography' channel special, by telling you a silly little anecdote about how I was initially introduced to Caesar, when I first sat down and watched a 'Carry On' movie where Kenneth Williams played the man himself.
Hmm? Actually, on second thoughts, that doesn't sound too far off the mark. Cause in many ways that is precisely what is at the heart of this documentary. How governmental favor can be persuaded to look at a different path via the showmanship of just one man.
Well, let's face it. If
was such a great place to live before Caesar came to providence, how come the
people of that era wanted to see some change in society and the then ruling body?
Furthermore, how can we define Caesar compared to today's modern standards, when
every media mogul or politician appears to be following in his very historical
footstep? Such as you're MGM's, you're Disney's, you're Warner Brothers, and
you're Simon Cowell's too!
No. I'm sorry to say that I've nothing to add to that, folks. However, before I bugger off to God knows where, let me just mention that I did enjoy sitting down and watching, 'Killing Julius Caesar'.
You see, despite it having a somewhat meandering narrative structure, plus discounting quite a bit evidence relating to Caesars own personal life, overall, I felt this documentary was a pretty decent documentary to watch. Most of the specialists knew what they were talking about. The presentation was up to its usual high standards. And all in all I'd highly recommend this program to any of you history buffs out there. Don't you agree, Ken?
Ha! Nuff said.
THE RATING: B+