JULIUS CAESAR'S ROME
Review by Chastity Campbell
Audio: Dolby Digital Stereo
Video: Standard 1.33:1
Features: See Review
Length: 322 Minutes
Release Date: July 26, 2005
I got a joke for you...here we go, this is a good one:
How was the Roman Empire cut in half? Give up?
History is something I truly enjoy…now!
Back in the good old days, my high school history teacher Mr. Hall spent
more time begging me to pay attention than he did teaching class.
At this point in my life, I like to think he would be proud of what I
have learned, and I owe a lot of it to A&E!
In order to help add to my repository of historical
knowledge, I took a stab at reviewing A&E’s latest offering on DVD, Julius
Caesar’s Rome. This two disc
DVD box set contains some of the most detailed information on the Roman Empire I
have ever had the pleasure of viewing/hearing.
The first disc contains two featurettes.
Biography: Julius Caesar: Master Of The Roman World takes you step
by empirical step through the life of the man who would be Caesar.
There are so many things that I did not know about Caesar before this
feature. I had no idea how old he
was at the time of his murder. I
was also fascinated by the interplay of politics and money, even back then.
Anthony & Cleopatra is the second featurette on
disc one. This feature really blew
me away. Everyone always talks
about how Cleopatra’s beauty could stop even the waters of the Nile from
flowing. According to modern
scholars and information, Cleo wasn’t any prettier than the average woman
walking down the street.
However, there was something extremely special about
her…her mind. Cleopatra was
extremely smart, and cunning. In
addition she received an education beyond what most of the men from that time
The tragic love story of Marc Anthony and Cleopatra is told
with exquisite detail in this A&E featurette. The reenactments and interviews with historical experts, will
paint a picture of these two individuals, unlike anything you have ever seen
Now if you thought disc one was packed with fun and
excitement, just wait till you pop in disc number two!
Host Joe Mantegna provides you with a very interesting look
into the early years of the Roman Empire, in the first featurette on this disc
titled The Republic Of Rome. You
will learn about Rome before it was the Rome of legend, and how the people rose
up and defeated Carthage. Joe will
lead you through the formation of the first Roman Government, which historically
speaking paved the way for modern democracy.
In The Age Of Emperors, you will have a front row
seat as the history and legacy of Rome’s Emperors are explored.
Whether you are interested in Augustus’ defeat of Marc Anthony or
Nero’s insanity, this featurette will deliver on every level.
When it comes to Building An Empire, Julius Caesar
did an amazing job. However, there
was more than one man behind the birth of the Roman Empire, and this featurette
will help you connect the dots on the map to who was who in Ancient Rome!
The Enduring Legacy is the final featurette this
two-disc set has to offer. This
feature chronicles the fall of Rome, and the rise of Christianity.
This featurette was extremely interesting for me.
I have long romanticized Rome during its glory days.
However, this feature for me was eye opening in a way that no other
historical reference material has ever been.
Prior to this A&E offering my knowledge of Rome, its culture, and its
people was limited. I am extremely pleased to say that is not the case now.
If interesting and enjoyable educational entertainment is
the order of the day, then you can serve yourself well by picking up Julius
Caesar’s Rome on DVD.
These DVDs were presented in a 1.33:1 standard aspect
ratio. The video footage was crisp,
and clean with only a small amount of dirt and graininess to the print. The
colors were vivid, with little to no degradation from the digital transfer.
All in all, a pretty nice looking set of DVDs.
A&E always does a good job with the audio on their
DVDs. This time was no exception to
The Dolby Digital Stereo mix was well balanced, and flowed
along very nicely.
Julius Caesar’s Rome, while great on its own,
could have used a few more extras in my opinion!
A very nicely detailed Timeline of Roman Emperors is
included for your perusal. In
addition to that, each disc contains interactive menus, and scene selection.