Last year, I’ve enjoyed the HBO series, Rome. I am looking forward to seeing the new year’s series begin tonight. It is such a powerful presentation, I’m surprised that my sophomore students have not even mentioned the series, and when I mention it, they don’t know what I’m talking about. Personally, I don’t watch much TV, in fact I hate it, but I love movies, and I love series like Rome. I know my students watch too much TV, but evidently their choice of programs doesn’t include what I watch. In our curriculum, we TRY to teach Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar to our sophomores, but usually it is an exercise in futility. Even many of my religious students know very little about Rome, the empire in power during the days of Christ. Their lack of knowledge–and worse, their lack of interest–indicates they really can’t understand the Bible they claim they want to follow. If you are unaware of the setting of any story, you cannot understand it. However, if my students only knew of this program and thoughtfully watched it, it would make Shakespeare’s play come alive for them. If you want to know more about the HBO series and the cast, Rome, go to this site: http://www.hbo.com/rome/cast/
I have found this series intellectually stimulating, the cast well chosen, the women beautiful, and the general plot accurate and true to history. I’ve been fascinated by the Roman Empire as long as I can remember. I constructed Roman swords and shields as a young boy and acted out in my play the ancient battles I read about. I have always watched every movie and series I could about Rome, including I, Claudius; Ben Hur; The Robe; Gladiator; Spartacus; Cleopatra; the very naughty, Caligula, and Titus Adronicus (film version of Shakespeare’s play). I’m sure there may be others, but these come to mind, and I hope the list shows you I have not missed many of the films related to ancient Rome. As an adult, my fascination with Rome has seeped into my writng. I’ve constructed some fictional pieces set in Roman, and especially Celtic-Roman times. I’ve also collected several good books relating to the Roman Empire.
Watching the Rome series reminds me of how much work I have to do and how much there is yet left to learn.