I have been watching that TV series Rome, which is about Rome in the last years of its Republic. It was on the television a while ago so you have probably seen it already. Or maybe you are not interested in ancient Rome, in which case public crucifixion shall be your fate. The series follows a number of different characters as Rome falls into civil war between the Senatorial faction and Julius Caesar. Coming so soon after I finished the wonderful Rubicon book, this is like a gift from the Gods for me. Watching it with my beloved has proved to be quite entertaining, for whereas I have some understanding of the career and life trajectories of the characters, she does not. So I am hoping that subsequent series go as far as bringing the story to the end of the Civil Wars. Then we can rent out I, Claudius and know everything there is to know about the late Republic and early Empire, albeit from highly skewed perspectives.
Part of the magic of the programme is the way it makes people who do seriously unpleasant things somewhat sympathetic… Vorenus, lovely bloke if a bit uptight, except he deals in slaves and their deaths only upset him because they leave him out of pocket. Or loveable Pullo, an implicit rapist. I’m waiting for Atia’s simpering daughter to turn out to have some incredibly dark side to her nature. Talking of which, we still have not reached the episode with the lezz up Wood was going on about, but I’m sure it will repay close attention.