Here, Father Steve offers his commentary on the the popular HBO series, Rome, in light of Anthony Everitt's book, Augustus: The Life of Rome's First Emperor. Father Steve takes a closer look at the legacy of two of the most influential rulers of the Ancient Eternal City in contrast to another widely known figure in roughly the same historical period...
This past week I enjoyed some down time and took the opportunity to watch the second season of the television series Rome
. The series was created by Bruno Heller, John Milius and William J. McDonald for the BBC and aired in the United States on HBO. The creators of the series were all fans of the drama I Claudius
, an adaptation of the famous re-telling of the history of the Caesars by Robert Graves which appeared years ago on PBS’s Masterpiece Theater.
I share their enthusiasm for this production and was captivated by this drama, which provoked me as a young man to read not only Graves’ books, but also the writings of Suetonious, from whom Graves cribbed much of his material. Neither Rome
nor I Claudius
are intended for a general audience because of their visceral subject matter: profanity, sex, treachery, and violence abound. Those with more sensitive dispositions might cringe, but the story of Rome and the Caesars is a story about all these things and more. If you can’t take this kind of heat, you had best stay far away from the cauldron of the Caesars. (For those of you interested in Father Barron’s review of season one of “Rome” the link is here.