How Accurate Is: Rome S1E1 (TV Show, HBO, 2005-7) Part 2

Marcus Licinius Crassus
Marcus Licinius Crassus

Hello everyone! Today’s post is part 2 of my post on Rome Episode 1. The topic of this post will be the Fact-Based Omissions in this episode of Rome. Although these were fairly common in this episode, they were much less common than the errors covered in the previous post.

One of the most important errors was the fact that Caesar was not consul when he and Pompey split, as depicted in the episode; rather, though he had been consul in 59 BCE, Pompey had just been elected as “consul without a colleague” for the first time in Roman history in 53 BCE.[1] This omission is fairly significant. It is possible that the writers of the show had wanted the alliance between Pompey and Caesar to be obvious without having to explain the circumstances of the First Triumvirate (which would also explain the complete absence of Crassus, who despite having died the same year this episode took place goes unmentioned[2]), and decided that the co-consulship was the easiest way to accomplish this.

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How Accurate Is: Rome S1E1 (Tv Show, HBO, 2005-7) Part 1

Julius Caesar
Julius Caesar

Hello everyone! Today’s post will be on Season 1, Episode 1, of the HBO show Rome. I know that it has been a while since anything appeared here, and I apologize; from now on, I will try to get posts up more often. Rome is in itself not a new show, but nonetheless made a significant impact on the world of historical dramas. The question, as always, however, is how rooted in history it actually is.

I should begin by saying that I am on the fence as to whether I enjoyed Rome. On the one hand, it presents a fascinating and complex picture of Roman history during the period of the Civil War and the Second Triumvirate; on the other, its mistakes (so far) are many, and it oversimplifies or flat out alters beyond recognition many of the leading players in the drama. The production values of the show are certainly excellent (which was an important factor in the cancellation of the well-received show after only two seasons); similarly, most of the actors do a wonderful job. It is the writing which, perhaps, could have stood improvement. In the vein of my recent posts on Troy, I am going to split my initial impressions of this episode into several categories, the first two of which will appear in this post. These categories are:

  1. Condensation.
  2. Hollywood (un)Romanticism
  3. Fact-Based Omissions.

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