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9
2.9 out of 5 stars
Ancient Rome (6 Disc) [DVD]
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24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
on 9 May 2009
This DVD boxset is, I feel, worth the money. It starts with the creation of the Roman republic, goes on through various themes and topics and ends with an explanation of the Goth sackings of Rome in 410. It seems to be a joint UK/USA production, so expect comments and explanations from both American and British scholars.

It is educational, although does slightly gloss over some important bits of Roman history. It's not comprehensive (forgivable because you'd need longer than 300 minutes to do this), but good if you only had a passing knowledge of ancient Rome.

It frequently compares the ideals of Rome to the ideals of the Founding Fathers of the U.S.

It does go through the main periods of Roman history, from its foundation as a province of the Etruscans, why Rome split from the Etruscans, its early days as a Republic, events leading up to it becoming an empire, days of empire and fall of empire. If you have an average (i.e. deficient) knowledge of Rome, it will educate you.

They didn't spend much money on filming scene recreations (unlike the excellent DVD - also available on Amazon - of "Ancient Rome - The Rise and Fall of an Empire", which was filmed with original footage), and tended to use old black-and-white footage from Hollywood blockbusters to illustrate points and historic events. But you got the idea, all the same.

Even with my limited knowledge of Roman history, I noticed some factual errors (they described Octavian as Caesar's son-in-law, when really he was his great-nephew, although Octavian later claimed Caesar as his adoptive "father").

Overall, though, worth the money if you do not know much about the Roman republic/empire and want a potted history. It is watchable, and for the money, I would recommend it.
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31 of 34 people found the following review helpful
on 19 October 2008
I thought this was a bland documentary. It was very basic, with no new research. If you know anything at all about Rome, I don't think you will learn much from this. It's all old ground. The scholarship was quite poor. Legend and speculation were annoyingly related as though fact: the rape of the Sabine women, Lucretia and all that. The makers also had a pretty tedious way of comparing Rome to America whenever they could. It was clearly geared towards US audiences.

If you want a decent and insightful documentary on Rome, try the wonderful 'Ancient Rome: The Rise And Fall Of An Empire'. Engrossing.
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22 of 27 people found the following review helpful
on 12 February 2009
This is about as low budget as it could be. There's no dramatisation at all to speak about, just occasional clips from old (black & white movies). Plus photographs and cardboard cut-out sets, all made exciting by panning the camera across them or zooming in and out. And all these laughable special effects repeated again and again from one dvd to another. This makes each dvd so similar that I keep forgetting which I've watched. You could only find this educational if you've never learnt anything about Rome before...
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14 of 18 people found the following review helpful
This is the worst documentary set about Rome that I have ever seen. The presentation is completely boring. Its made in association with the Discovery Channel. But you wont discover anything new here. (except that you are now lighter in the purse for buying this tripe) Dont waste your money.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
This documentary was clearly made for US consumption and may be jarring for the UK viewer to sit through. The basic facts are all there, that has to be said, but the production style and the fast cutting and use of reenactments is all a bit too much for me. Sorry.
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17 of 24 people found the following review helpful
on 30 August 2008
Do NOT buy this. It is 300 minuts of radio were they use the same pictures again and again and again.
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on 9 July 2015
I like all things roman
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8 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on 14 August 2008
I just can name this boxset as EXCELLENT! Comprehensive, with Peter Coyote walking you throughout the Roman history, presented as it was: full of crueliness, greed, blood and high civilization.
Watch the viaducts all over Europe, if you still have any doubts about Rome's power...
Highly recommended, folks!
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on 1 September 2014
very satisfactory.
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