Teaching my son about the Roman Empire, I ponder how that 500-year era still has a grip on us today, and the movies and TV series that have brought it to life.
Are movies about the Roman Empire so popular in the US because they remind us of ourselves?
Three memorable ones for me:
- "Gladiator" (2000): In the year 180, the death of emperor Marcus Aurelius (Richard Harris) throws the Roman Empire into chaos. Maximus (Russell Crowe) is one of the Roman army's most capable and trusted generals and a key advisor to the emperor. Set to be executed, Maximus escapes.
- Rome (HBO series, 2005-2007): Begins with Caesar’s invasion of Gaul and continues with the rise of the first Emperor Augustus. The series centered on soldiers Pullo and Vorenus, who appeared to die at the end of the series.
- "The Robe" (1953): tells the story of a Roman military tribune who commands the unit that crucifies Jesus.
Wikipedia editors have compiled a list of movies set in ancient Rome.