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4.2 out of 5 stars76
4.2 out of 5 stars
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VINE VOICEon 11 July 2008
Having been a history buff at school and since then reliant on the odd TV series or Hollywood remake, I decided to try out this series. It focuses on the period when the Roman Republic was crumbling (~52BC) up to the fall of Rome (476AD). I must say this was a very good series to watch, with lots of political intrigue, assassinations and some battles thrown in. The format was different with it part narrated and part dramatized, but it works quite well. The standout episode was the second one covering Nero. The actor (Michael Sheen) portraying the mad Emperor was outstanding, though I was surprised that there was no mention of the persecution of Christians in the Great Fire story.

I only gave it 4 stars because I think Ancient Rome had other critical periods too, such as the Punic Wars and the epic battles against Hannibal, and of course what happened directly after Caesar's assassination. A lot of the BBC history series tend to limit themselves to 6 episodes but I am one of those people that want more information. I think some more could have been added as extras to this DVD set. Nevertheless, I rate it very highly and recommend it happily.
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on 2 November 2008
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 Allarico, king of the Godes. Overall, I highly recommend this series. I would love a more complete version that allocates a more even treatment of the almost 1000 years of Rome history: one or two episodes for every 100 years?
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on 27 July 2010
When i first accidentally stumbled across this series on BBC One in 2006 i was pleasantly suprised.
The reason for this is because i have found most programmes Dramas,Comedies and Documentaries produced by the BBC in the 00's quite sanitised, overly politically correct and patronizing to anyone who has an interest in a given subject.

With 'Ancient Rome' however is a good mix of live action history and narration and is actually quite good at helping you imagine what the Roman Empire used to look like.

What also helps is the actors and actresses who participated in the programme such as Michael Sheen as Nero, David Threfall as Constantine and Sean Pertwee as Julius Caesar.

The dialogue at times can be quite shakey but luckily the actors manage to help you ignore this at times.

I would suggest this to anyone with a love for History and would be great to show children this for History Projects at school.

List Of Episodes:

1.Caesar
2.Nero
3.Jewish Rebellion
4.Revolution
5.Constantine
6.The Fall of Rome

Not as good as 'I Claudius' but definitley better and less controversial and gratitous than 'Rome'
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VINE VOICEon 29 March 2007
This series focuses on six people and events that influenced the course of Roman civilization including Julius Caesar, the Emperor Nero, the Jewish rebellion and Constantine's conversion to Christianity. Although there are many things left out of the drama documentary, all the episodes are generally historically accurate, although many events shown could be interpreted differently to that shown. All the main characters have been well cast but specific credit must go to Michael Sheen for giving a brilliantly mad performance as the Emperor Nero. My favourite episodes in the series have to be `Rebellion', about the Jewish revolt, and the final episode `The Fall of Rome' as these were the two things in the series that I knew the least about. Although some people may disagree with some of the people and events presented in the series, Ancient Rome is still a well thought out and entertaining series.
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on 21 August 2011
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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on 28 January 2008
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 on the negative, the series still provides both interesting facts and entertainment. However, in my opinion it does not reach the heights of 'I Claudius' or 'Rome'.
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on 18 May 2010
Good video for gaining a general understanding of significant factors in the development of Rome. However, the region restriction is very annoying as a Canadian teacher, and not mentioned when buying the product.
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on 10 January 2015
This is the best production on ancient Rome that I have ever seen. Much as I enjoyed HBO's Rome, it focuses (as usual) on the period of Julius Caesar and shortly afterwards, probably because that is the best know, and thus, the easiest to sell. This box set deals with 6 stories in different periods in Rome's history, starting early in the empire (several hundred years before Caesar), and goes through Caesar, Nero, and Constantine. I really would have loved more of this. The acting is generally excellent (perhaps a little dated in style, but good), as is the pace. This is a classic BBC production so if you like that style then you will like this. I also enjoyed the American production of http://www.amazon.co.uk/Rome-Rise-Fall-Empire-Gift/dp/B003GCOQTU. That goes into much more detail, and has many exciting battle scenes, but overall is not quite as good as this. I would say buy and watch both of them! The american Rome: Rise and fall of an empire goes into much more detail, listing individual battles, and has interesting academic commentary, although it can be a bit annoyingly 'american at time'. I would say that bits are missing there too though: some argue that the Byzantine empire was really a continuation of that Roman empire, and there is some missing detail on expansion into Greece and Egypt. But at 6 DVDs I guess they felt they had to stop somewhere!
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on 31 October 2009
If you enjoyed Rome, this one is for you a wonderful lesson in History very entertaining, well made and acted. A cheap price on Amazon well worth buying.
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on 25 May 2011
When i first accidentally stumbled across this series on BBC One in 2006 i was pleasantly suprised.
The reason for this is because i have found most programmes Dramas,Comedies and Documentaries produced by the BBC in the 00's quite sanitised, overly politically correct and patronizing to anyone who has an interest in a given subject.

With 'Ancient Rome' however is a good mix of live action history and narration and is actually quite good at helping you imagine what the Roman Empire used to look like.

What also helps is the actors and actresses who participated in the programme such as Michael Sheen as Nero, David Threfall as Constantine and Sean Pertwee as Julius Caesar.

The dialogue at times can be quite shakey but luckily the actors manage to help you ignore this at times.

I would suggest this to anyone with a love for History and would be great to show children this for History Projects at school.

List Of Episodes:

1.Caesar
2.Nero
3.Jewish Rebellion
4.Revolution
5.Constantine
6.The Fall of Rome

Not as good as 'I Claudius' but definitley better and less controversial and gratitous than 'Rome'
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse

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