Customer Review

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Rome: Power & Glory, 3 Jan. 2013
This review is from: DISCOVERY CHANNEL - 3 DISC BOX SET - ANCIENT ROME - THE POWER & THE GLORY - NEW AND FACTORY SEALED - VERY COLLECTABLE AND RARE TO FIND - 3 DISC BOX SET (DVD)
Judging from the previous comments, this series has certainly divided opinion. I have to say, however, that I gravitate more to the one-star review than the five. There is a good deal of repetition, both between and within individual DVDs in the series, and the same pointless images keep cropping up with monotonous regularity - sunsets over the sea, ruins of Roman cities which are never identified, interminable combat scenes and busts of Rome's (in)famous sons. The narrator's drawl is highly soporific, and the "experts" are almost exclusively American, with one or two Brits thrown in for light relief. The music, I agree, is tediously unrelenting and largely unnecessary. The Jewish revolt of A.D. 66-73 and the Neronian persecution of Christians in A.D. 64 are both accorded a disproportionately detailed coverage, given that in the context of the history of Rome these events are no more than footnotes. The survey of early emperors, on the other hand, covering Augustus through to Nero, omits Claudius entirely. Whatever would Robert Graves have said!

What can be said in its favour? Not very much, I fear. The coverage is much too superficial, but I suppose that is only to be expected in a series of six 50-minute programmes dealing with over a thousand years of Roman history. The material, as far as I can judge, is broadly accurate, and most of the chief players are given a mention. The broad brushstrokes, too, provide something of an overview of the period under consideration, and might whet the appetite of some viewers to discover more, but this is possible only with a firm commitment to book-work which, for some, may be more of a chore than a pleasure.

I picked up my set of DVDs for less than £10.00, which works out little more than £1.50 per DVD, and for this price one can hardly go wrong. But, to be honest, I would not be prepared to pay more. This is a documentary series which, sadly, could have been so much better if only it had been handled with more thought and greater subtlety.
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