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Detailing the rise and fall of the Roman Empire, I, Caesar takes a fascinating look at the public and private lives of six key men who ruled ancient Rome: Julius Caesar, Augustus, Nero, Hadrian, Constantine and Justinian. Their careers were made up of bloody battles and tactical bribery, stunning innovation and profound corruption, dazzling rhetoric and vicious back-stabbing – and together they form a picture of the most sophisticated highs and most brutal lows of the Roman Empire’s inception, heyday and decline. Stretching at its peak, from the north of England to southern Egypt and from the west coast of Spain to Syria in the east, the Roman Empire included within its boundaries myriad people, cultures and climates. The task of ruling it seems an impossible one, even with today’s communication technology. So how was it achieved two thousand years ago? And why has ancient Rome had such profound influence on western civilization ever since? Whether your interest is Caesar’s brilliant military manoeuvring, Rome’s astonishing statuary and architecture or the political strategies behind imperial power, these films offer an accessible introduction to the subject. “An elegantly made and intelligently composed programme” – Daily Telegraph Using unequalled location footage, previously unseen images and careful re-enactments, and the expertise of the world’s finest scholars, this series brings to life the world of ancient Rome. I, Caesar takes a fresh look at the Roman Empire and shows that ancient history doesn’t have to be a thing of the past…
|S01E01||Julius Caesar||15/11/1997||Julius Caesar turned military victories into political power. His ambition created a colossal empire, and he gave his name to the rulers who succeeded him. He has been a symbol of power and majesty for 2,000 years. But to his countryman, Caesar was an upstart, a gambler and a tyrant who destroyed the Roman Republic and paved the way for the rule of emperors. From his strategic brilliance to the Ides of March, I, Caesar examines the legendary ruler whose genius and determination forged an empire that would stand for centuries.|
|S01E02||Augustus||22/11/1997||Julius Caesar’s military brilliance forged a new Rome, but it was Augustus’ political genius that made it an empire for the ages. Despite being Caesar’s nephew and adopted heir, Augustus struggled for thirteen years to consolidate power. Finally declared emperor by the Senate, he oversaw a period of growth and prosperity marked by extraordinary artistic achievement and rapid expansion of the empire. I, Caesar chronicles the life and rule of the first true Roman emperor, who boasted that he “found Rome brick and left it marble.”|
|S01E03||Nero||29/11/1997||He was seventeen when he took the throne, and during his capricious, fourteen-year rule, Nero almost brought the Empire to ruin. He was unable to quell rebellions in Britain and Judea. He had many political enemies killed, including his mother and sister. When a fire – which some claim he set – destroyed most of Rome, he blamed the Christians and persecuted the then-tiny sect. eventually, the army rose up against him, the Senate declared him a public enemy and he committed suicide in disgrace. I, Caesar explores the tumultuous rule of Nero – the most infamous of all the emperors.|
|S01E04||Hadrian||06/12/1997||He overturned centuries-old policies, declaring an end to expansions and abandoning far-flung territories. Hadrian was an enthusiastic patron of the arts, a champion of the common Roman and a tireless diplomat who toured the entire Empire. But this “Golden Age” was not free from conflict – ancient accounts suggest that over half a million Jews were killed when Hadrian sent the army to quell an insurrection in Judea. From Hadrian’s Wall in northern England to the Pantheon in Rome, I, Caesar visits the most famous artefacts of the Roman Empire on the trail of Hadrian.|
|S01E05||Constantine||13/12/1997||Constantine revitalized a fading empire and built a glittering new capital that would stand for over 1,000 years. But his strongest legacy is religious; his conversion to Christianity put an end to hundreds of years of persecution and laid the foundations for Medieval Europe. His revolutionary policies – including re-organizing military and civil authority – place Constantine alongside Julius Caesar and Hadrian as among the most important emperors in the history of Rome. I, Caesar explores the rule of Constantine the Great, whose vision re-awakened an empire, and whose conversion changed history.|
|S01E06||Justinian||20/12/1997||He lived more than 500 years after Julius Caesar. He ruled from Constantinople, not Rome. But Justinian restored the Empire to its former glory one last time. He sent his armies west, where they recaptured territory lost to Barbican invasions in the 5th century, by the time of his death, the Roman Empire once again stretched from the Black Sea to the Atlantic. And while these lands would soon be lost, the legal code he shaped remains the basis of law for many nations to this day. I, Caesar traces the rise, rule and legacy of the emperor remembered as “the last of the Romans”|