Roman Empire Netflix series – A must See if you like Roman History

The Roman Empire series is a stylish documentary that chronicles the historical reigns of Commodus, Julius Caesar and Caligula. It received great accolades from critics and viewers; fans of Roman history will find the series an enjoyable indulgence. The first season “Reign of Blood” premiered in 2016 and centered on Emperor Commodus and Rome’s subsequent slow crumbling. The second season “Master of Rome” premiered in 2018 and covered the rise of Julius Caesar and the fall of the Roman Republic. Season 3 Caligula: The Mad Emperor depict the life and reign of Caligula’s that shocked them as much as it the Romans themselves.

Whether just in terms of viewing pleasure or immersing in the historical knowledge of this glorious era of human civilization, these three seasons of the Roman Empire were definitely worth watching. Sara Beale is credited with the costume design and the Abi Wollcombe with the set decor.

Roman Empire: Reign Of Blood

Premiering on November 11, 2016, the first season of the Roman Empire offered 6 episodes that centered on Emperor Commodus, and the challenges he faced channeling the training of his father to rule as mightily as he did. His father, Marcus Aurelius, had designated him as his successor rather than adopting the best man for the job, as was the case for the previous four emperors. As the episodes progress, it quickly becomes clear to audiences that his test may come before he’s prepared, and that’s made worse by the sympathetic fact that he has to oversee a war he doesn’t particularly see as appropriate.

When his father dies from plague while on campaign, Commodus finds himself totally unprepared for the leadership expected of him. Worse still, his rise to power is actively opposed and endangered, even by his own relatives. After the betrayal of all around him and the widespread rioting in Rome, Commodus plans an extraordinary gladiatorial game in which he personally fights.

Many viewers have asked how accurate these events in this season are. It is worth noting that the series follow a documentary style, beautifully narrated by Sean Bean with enactment of dramatized historical events. Commentary from historians and roman history authors are scattered throughout the episodes. There is considerable attention to historical detail in the costume roman that emperors, soldiers and senators are wearing as well in the set design, and the historical events it portrays. Is it dramatized? Indeed, many events are over-sensationalise making it no doubt more enjoyable to watch.

The main critiques of this series relates to overlooking events not insignificant attributed for the fall of the Roman empire rather than focusing solely on Commodus abilities as an Emperor.  Yet even the harsher critics recognised it not only as entertaining but perhaps as a good introduction to roman histories for an interested neophyte. Aaron Jakubenko portrays Commodus.

Roman Empire: Master of Rome

In the second season, we go back further in time and tell the story of the end of the Roman Republic. Caesar takes center stage, and his rise to power feels worthy, given his militaristic mastery. But there are problems for him to contend with, too, and they are made even worse by his liking for brutality. Audiences will love him for his skill and simultaneously despise him for his lack of human compassion at times, making for emotion-packed binge-watching.

Some romance is thrown into the mix when Caesar meets Cleopatra after trailing Pompey to Egypt, and he finds new issues to deal with in that foreign land. Caesar and Cleopatra iconic relationship is recounted in episode 4, where Cleopatra seduces Julius Caesar as she is seeking his help to win against her brother’s forces. The episode depicts the historical scene where Cleopatra was wrapped inside a rolled rug and smuggled in the palace to meet Caesar. When the rug was opened, Cleopatra rolled out to met Caesar.

While Caesar was obviously enjoying his time, problems back in Rome still brew, so he had to return to Rome, in one of the scenes that make him more relatable as a character suffering some sense of loss, despite his lofty position. At his return, his lust for power enrages the Senate, especially Brutus, and the actions they take in response make for historically accurate but heart-dropping viewing, wherever a viewer stands on Caesar as a person and his rule.

Jessica Green plays Cleopatra in this series with Ditch Davey as Julius Caesar. Mark Antony is portrayed by Tim Carlsen. Sean Bean with his Yorkshire accent (Ned Stark in Game of Thrones) continues to narrate the second season.

Roman Empire: The Mad Emperor

With the third season of Roman Empire, the story became even more enticing. Where things seemed to be taking nasty but justifiable turns in the first two seasons, in the third there seems to be no sense of reason, but the madness is prime material for enthralling viewing, if a little disturbing.

Viewers may pity Caligula’s sad upbringing, but those feelings soon wash away when he shows his true colors, whether inspired by that upbringing or simply his nature. His rise to the throne is through murder, treachery and dishonesty, and his rule is no less dishonorable.

He starts off sadistic and power-drunk, until madness makes him even more depraved. That’s a huge part of what makes the third season binge-worthy, as Caligula’s cruel and self-centered reign digs itself into new depths, leaving all to wonder when and how it will be stopped. Steve West narrate this third season and Ido Drent portrays Caligula. The three sisters of Caligula are portrayed by Teressa Liane as Agrippina, Molly Leishman as Livilla and Elizabeth Dowden as Drusilla.

Though each season chronicles a different time, they provide an eye view of important historical events of the Roman Empire. It also makes for diverse, followable and – most of all – easy to get sucked in. Fans has given it a 75% score on Rotten Tomatoes. If you are a fan or even moderately interested in Rome and history, you need to check this show out.

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