Customer Review

24 of 27 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Good Recent BBC History Programme (Shock! Horror!), 27 July 2010
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This review is from: Ancient Rome The Rise And Fall Of An Empire [DVD] (DVD)
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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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 24 May 2011 20:30:41 BDT
Last edited by the author on 24 May 2011 20:33:49 BDT
P. Kennedy says:
An excellent review, and I couldn't agree more about the BBC's desire to rewrite history to appease the politically correct creatures (The Guardian "wimmin" writers being among the worst in this regard - "What Islam has done for us" being one of the worst examples of this I have ever read - full of half truths, myths and downright lies)
The Rome of republic and empire is a fascinating period of history. They ruled a large chunk of europe and asia for HUNDREDS of years. Blood guts treachery and military genius. And thats only for starters.
People don't quite realize "What the Romans Have Done For Us" even with English, while there are only a few dozen words we use that the Romans would recognize - "Exit" being one of the few - there are hundreds upon hundreds that the Romans used and we use daily, only slightly different. Our medical and law books are full of latin. We use Roman script while writing, not runes because of the Romans ("Arab" numerals were NOT arab. They were Indian, as was the idea of 0 - zero. But the arabs never claimed they were. It was English merchants that gave that name) Our agriculture, surgery, etc etc are based entirely on what the Romans brought here nearly two millenia ago.

In reply to an earlier post on 11 Sep 2011 19:05:39 BDT
Ian Thumwood says:
P. Kennedy

Interested to read your detailed response but in fact modern historians such as Russell & Laycock have argued convincingly that the Romans had no real lasting impact on Britannia and that the Celtic elements of society quickly reasserted themselves. Major town development had ceased within the first two centuries and during the Third, Fourth and first ten years of the Fifth centuries, Rome's grip on these islands flcutuated as Britannia became a hot bed of political and social rebellion. For some considerable period it was also part of an indepenent Gallic Empire that had divorced itself from Rome. As for the influence of Latin, this would have been through the Church following the missions of the 6th and 7th centuries as opposed to any lasting influence of the Romans. Culturally, the Norman conquest had a far longer reach and is something whose impact is still felt remotely today. I would actually suggest that only the influence of Britain's involvement with the Indian sub-continent has matched the Romans for the signature it has left on British society.

Whilst the Romans certainly gave us an awful lot of science , culture and political notions, I think that this had to be re-learned from Europe where the impact of the Empire was more keenly absorbed. It is also true that , by medieval times, plenty of scientific knowledge did come from Islamic states which, for much of the first Millenium, would have included Spain. Worthwhile considering that the military defeat of the Moors at the battle of Tours in 732 helped thwart the onward march of Islam which, up until that time, had the potential to wipe Christianity from the face of most of Western Europe. Worthwhile adding that in the Early Middle Ages the Christian West was very much a cultural backwater in contrast to their more sophisticated Islamic counterparts.
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