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47 Reviews
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42 of 44 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good introduction to some chapters of Roman history
While this BBC series does not have the fine scenery details and generally superior acting of HBO Rome, it is a good mixture of history and drama. Through its 6 chapters, the series touches some less known (popular) episodes of Roman history, including the emperor Constantine and his conversion to christianism, or the chain of betrayal between Rome last emperors and...
Published on 2 Nov 2008 by Luis

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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Viewable but with a few reservations
The thing that I find disturbing with this series is that some of the episodes remind me of long, Hollywoodesque, film trailers. The commentary sounds a bit too much like the bumper-sticker English we are used to in disaster films like Armageddon. Not even the best actors can conceal the fact that their lines are a bit too two dimensional.
BUT, when you stop focusing...
Published on 28 Jan 2008 by Magnus Andersson


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excelent BBC Documentary Series - well done., 25 April 2012
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This review is from: Ancient Rome The Rise And Fall Of An Empire [DVD] (DVD)
The DVD arrived on time and was an excellent choice to watch over the weekend 5 stars to the ratio price/quality
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Well Acted and Fascinating but not Extensive, 21 Aug 2011
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This review is from: Ancient Rome The Rise And Fall Of An Empire [DVD] (DVD)
This series features talented British actors and actresses (with Michael Sheen as Emperor Nero the highlight) and covers a fascinating subject in one of the greatest Empires ever created but unfortunately only covers 6 periods of Ancient Rome but these are done well. So I would have liked to have seen this series expanded upon but its well worth buying for anybody intrigued by Ancient Rome. But one slight issue is the non-chronology of the episodes as the first disc covers the latter events and the second disc the former, but others than this, a fantastic and compelling series.
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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable but flawed, 19 April 2008
By 
Elizabeth Taylor (France) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Ancient Rome The Rise And Fall Of An Empire [DVD] (DVD)
This DVD consists of 6 episodes each covering an event which took place during the period of the Roman Empire and which the creators consider to be pivotal. The format is a docu-drama - by that I mean that within each episode there are a number of actors playing roles of famous romans, who follow a script which portrays the events that took place. To deal with the obvious problem of how to make sure we know what the events and characters are talking about, there is a commentary filling in the gaps - delivered by one of those chaps you hear in cinema adverts - with a confident, strong delivery method which implies he is delivering the information as if it were the 10 commandments written on tablets of stone. So, confident that of course none of the events or incidents could ever be considered untrue or have some analysis behind them.

This format has its benefits and drawbacks. The characters in the drama sections are played by well known and therefore good actors who deliver the lines well. The battle scenes are not what one would expect from a movie set but are not bad given what I would expect of the BBC budget. This format is therefore excellent for keeping attention, as its short bursts of good acting followed by a dialogue on the events but overall its also disappointing as the events chosen are completely separate from each other, whereas if this was a drama there would be consistency throughout and it ends up being neither one thing or the other.. The events covered are also not necessarilly everyones choice covering ; including fun stuff like Ceasar & Nero and Constantine but also less well know pieces like the Jewish Revot.

In summary I am not a great fan of this format as if the BBC was going to take the time and money to pay these good actors and build these scenes why not make a drama series along the lines of HBO Rome or I Claudius, you can't beat the romans for intrigue, places, events, scandal, sex, politics, battle scenes etc.. etc.. To me this format is a compromise which fails its a documentary of events, where actors play characters, but, there is no historical analysis as one would expect in a documentary series and no real chance for the actors to let loose or build a story line as if this were a drama series. On the postiive side its diverting well acted with some nice shots so easy watching.
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41 of 53 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Leaves a lot to be desired, 7 Nov 2006
By 
Iain S. Palin (Northern Ireland) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Ancient Rome The Rise And Fall Of An Empire [DVD] (DVD)
The aim of the series is worthy - tell us about key events in the history of ancient Rome in an entertaining manner. Unfortunately the execution leaves a lot to be desired. The stories themselves are so truncated and so many key factors in play at the time of the episode in question are left out that the history is inadequate, and sometimes misleading. Aspects of the production values are also actively misleading - Roman soldiers did not use the same arms and armour throughout the centuries covered by this series, but the producers couldn't afford to reflect that (it seems) so we have imperial armies still in republican kit while people's garb remains the same over centuries. It's a bit like a reconstruction of the First World War using muskets and muzzle-loaded cannons Waterloo-style and with the politicians wearing doublets and hose. Nor are the battle scenes a fair reflection of the way Romans fought - here they are just another rabble, all the things that made them different (and victorious) omitted. It's difficult to avoid the impression that this series was got together in a hurry and on the cheap to take spin-off advantage of the "Rome" drama series.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars History is all made up., 26 Nov 2010
This review is from: Ancient Rome The Rise And Fall Of An Empire [DVD] (DVD)
This program is both informative and entertaining. Of course, no one knows what really happened. Someone once said: "I do not know why students do not like history. After all, it's all made up."

Made up or not the six snapshots of the history of the Roman Empire are riveting and should lead a thoughtful viewer to books and other sources on the period. As a teacher with a PhD in history, I would put this in any ancient history course from middle to high school.
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5.0 out of 5 stars 2000 years, 20 Jan 2014
By 
Thomas Millett "caratom" (Sydney) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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This review is from: Ancient Rome The Rise And Fall Of An Empire [DVD] (DVD)
It does make one wonder what we have achieved in 2000 years.
These guys were the 'original' Bullyboys.
Since then they have come and gone with a new lot ready at any time to take over
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4.0 out of 5 stars historical, 19 Jan 2014
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This review is from: Ancient Rome The Rise And Fall Of An Empire [DVD] (DVD)
a different slant on a theme there are better on the market but still this had points of interest. some of the characters where not fleshed out as they could have been but for all of that not a total waste of time and effort.
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5.0 out of 5 stars History in an accessible format, 13 Nov 2013
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This review is from: Ancient Rome The Rise And Fall Of An Empire [DVD] (DVD)
This is incredibly entertaining with good actors and presentation, without compromising the educational and factual value of the programme, offering a good source of information without dulling the interesting bits. I think everybody could get a lot out of this, whether they have a keen interest in history or just want to be entertained for a few hours. Very enjoyable, highly recommended.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Great Series, 8 Nov 2012
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This review is from: Ancient Rome The Rise And Fall Of An Empire [DVD] (DVD)
There arent that many series around that depict ancient rome and its important events with such accuracy and entertainment. The series completed by the BBC hosts many famous faces such as Michael Sheen and Sean Pertwee. The series spans six episodes:

Caesar
Nero
Vespasian and the Jewish Revolt
Tiberius Gracchus
Constantine
and Finally Alaric the man who sacked Rome

Many episodes give you superb fact and docudrama information.

4 out of 5 for me.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great history DVD, 12 Aug 2011
This review is from: Ancient Rome The Rise And Fall Of An Empire [DVD] (DVD)
It will be a lot better if it was longer and it covered more events in details. Too much history was lost in the compact format.
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