The Fall of the Roman Empire (1964)
- Summaries (3)
Action-packed look at the beginnings of the fall of the Roman Empire. Here is the glory, the greed and grandeur that was Rome. Here is the story of personal lust for power, and the shattering effects of that power's loss. Here is the tale of the plight of a people living on the brink of a political abyss.
Marcus Aurelius Antonius, philosopher-emperor of Rome, summons his empire's governors and princes to German war headquarters for a Pax Romanus. He confides to his daughter, Lucilla, that his adopted son, Livius, will succeed him instead of his more unstable heir, Commodus. Overhearing this, Cleander, a blind prophet loyal to Commodus, presents Marcus with a poisoned apple. After the funeral, Livius, who does not share Lucilla's ambition for himself or Rome, allows Commodus to proclaim himself emperor. Lucilla marries Sohamus of Armenia. While pestilence ravages Rome, Commodus continues his vain, licentious behavior, neglecting all symptoms of unrest while banishing anyone reminding him of his responsibilities: Livius, Lucilla, Timonides the Greek.
The death of Marcus Aurelius leads to a succession crisis, in which the deceased emperor's son, Commodus, demonstrates that he is unwilling to let anything undermine his claim to the Roman Empire.
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