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Andre de Nesnera
In 42 BC Rome is in the middle of a civil war. Together with his friend AGRIPPA, the young Augustus goes to Spain in order to help JULIUS CAESAR in his struggle against the troops of POMPEY. Even though they are outnumbered, they manage to defeat Pompey. Caesar honours his adopted son Augustus with a triumphal entry into Rome and then sends him to Greece together with his friends Agrippa and Maecenas. There, Augustus hears the news of Caesar's assassination and he returns to Rome with his friends. Back in Rome, he is able to gain both the support of the people and political power. In his struggle with the conspirators against Caesar he finds an ally in MARC ANTONY. Marc Antony not only pursues BRUTUS and CASSIUS, he also initiates a wave of executions which practically eliminates the old Roman ruling class. Among those who are killed is the husband of LIVIA DRUSILLA, a woman with whom Augustus had been in love as a young man. Through a combination of good luck and chance, Augustus and... Written by
Let us paint the scene: The year is 12BC. The republic has been replaced with the imperial family, the rebels are gathering and the fight for the succession is on. Frankly, it is like THE WAR OF THE ROSES, Ancient Roman style! The side most are routing for is the current emperor Augustus, and Julia, his beautiful, clever and liberal daughter. They stand for rights for the plebs and responsibility of the nobles, rather then for them to lay around on their backsides in litters. The father and daughter are at war against the cunning, merciless and sly Livia Drusilla, who has a strong desire to see her own son, Tiberius, on the throne. A believe so strong that he should be the next man "worthy of the name Caesar" she even tries to sway her husband Augustus into it. He of course always says no.
This is the first point of greatness in this moderately made TV drama: Augustus is not a dolt like he is in I, CLAUDIUS, he is as he should have been: knowing, ruthless and in league with everyone. Augustus did know everything and wasn't at all as stupid as Robert Graves wanted us to believe he was. He knew how Livia's mind worked and knew how to take care of her. Despite all arguments from both parties, they don't really love one another, they are like friendly rivals who both want their children to become leader of some big corporation.
Of course the victims in the war against each other are Julia and Tiberius, who both hold the love or their father/mother, but have different ideas on how they'd rather spend their day. Augustus wants a baby-making, obedient daughter and mother-of-Roman-future in Julia. What Julia wants is to live up for a lot of lost living, marry Iullus Antonius and settle down nicely. Also, despite what Livia wants, Tiberius would be more content matching in the army, sleeping out in the open and throwing stones into the sea.
There are historical tidbits about his show you might want to know. For example, Marcus Agrippa and Julia are lacking three children in this show! They were baby-making machines in reality, having one child back to back with each other. Also, Julia was banished in 2 BC not 12 BC, and her sons died in different years, not the same year.
Nonetheless, I'd give it a watch if you want a bit of fun. It's long but certainly worth a rent-it or even buy-it cry. The DVD doesn't cost much, so give it a go.
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