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2001 (USA)  »

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Somehow the empire continued...
14 February 2013 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

This second episode begins just after the masterful rule of Augustus. Now in command of the empire was his inept step-son, Tiberius--a man who seemed to lack the finesse and moral integrity of the previous leader. For the most part, Tiberius is described in the show as an aloof, paranoid and perverse man. And, during much of his bizarre reign, his #1 man, Sejanus, killed any possible rivals until he, too, was killed. The only major plus was Germanicus' putting down of a German revolt--though Germanicus wasn't to life much beyond this.

Between discussing Tiberius and his nutty successor, Caligula (the son of Germanicus), the show discussed the Jews and the life of Christ. Later, after discussing the life of Caligula in depth, a discussion of the Jews was renewed, as the new emperor inexplicably chose to bait them and encourage their disloyalty. But that is not all, as some of Caligula's other nutty behaviors were discussed--though actually the show seemed to downplay this a bit compared to some biographies on Caligula--who often described him as a total nut-case! The final portion of this episode consisted of a discussion of slavery, freed slaves as well as the popular new emperor, Claudius. And, the show ended on a positive note--discussing Claudius' strengths. The viewer will need to wait for episode three to learn of his downfall.

Like the previous episode, this one was extremely well made--with wonderful narration, interviews, recreations and the like. Extremely informative and interesting throughout.


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