Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Rome - Power Glory|
Genres: Educational, Documentary
For over a thousand years, Rome was the center of the known world. One of the most glorious empires in history, she brought to her subjects a common language , shared culture, and for some wealth beyond imagination. Bu... more »
Similarly Requested DVDs
Your art is to rule, Roman
D. Roberts | Battle Creek, Michigan United States | 07/14/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"At 5+ hours, this is certainly an ambitious documentary of the rise, hegemony & eventual decline and fall of the Roman Empire. For many subjects, one would think that a study of this length would be overkill. However, when you're talking about an empire which spanned nearly 1,200 years, 5 hours barely scratches the surface. Don't get me wrong, this is a fairly well-done piece. However, there is only so much that you can stick into a video of this duration. One of the most impressive aspects of the DVD is its inclusion of people of varying expertise. Sure, it has the normal college history professors, but it also summons an art professor, as well as a US Army general to discuss Roman military tactics, and a US Senator to analyze Roman politics & diplomacy.On the downside, some notable personages in history are omitted, such as Spartacus, Attila the Hun, Shapur, Vespasian (except for a brief biographical sketch) and Justinian. Again, 5 hours is hardly enough time to delve into every nook & cranny of Roman history, but one would think that these names would stand out, nonetheless.The worst feature of this documentary is the soundtrack. It is very amateurish and repetitive, basically the same musical phrase played over & over & over again. By the 3rd hour, hearing it gets quite annoying. One need only view "Greeks: Crucible of Civilization" to be convinced that there is no reason a historical documentary can't have a quality score.The melodramatic and redundant music is almost entirely offset by the professionalism of the narrator, however; Coyote's voice is pleasing to the ear & does not get tiresome to listen to. What the DVD does cover, it covers very well. As others have mentioned, some material does get repeated every so often, but it is sometimes necessary for what the creators are trying to accomplish. As an American, I found the nexus that was emphasized between the Roman Republic & the polemics of the United States' founding fathers quite interesting. However, I am sure that people from other parts of the globe will likely be disinterested in that digression.All in all, this is an excellent introduction to the ancient world of the Roman empire. One cannot admire too much a people who were so bloodthirsty as to stage gladatorial games where thousands of men & animals would be killed in a single day. The approach of this inquiry does a credible job of giving a balanced treatment to both the noble traits and the vices of the Roman people.If you have any interest in classical history at all, I would highly recommend this DVD. Both novice and historian have a lot to gain by owning this scholarly and insightful study of Rome."
Some depth, but fails to be as great as its subject
B. M. Still | CANBERRA CITY, ACT Australia | 04/20/2001
(3 out of 5 stars)
"If I could offer 3.5 stars it would be a toss as to whether I did that, or gave it the 3 stars I'm offering. This is a reasonably competent production, but, as other reviewers have noted, it's repetition is very noticeable - even if you view the episodes in isolation.Good pointsThe series does move from the beginnings of Rome to it's demise, and does give a convincing feel for the ebb and flow of Rome. It covers quite a few notable incidents, some of which will almost definitely be new to viewers unless they are students of ancient history. It succeeds in conveying something of the originality of Roman society (while noting it's heavy Greek borrowings), and appears to give a balanced assessment. There is a reasonable information content in this DVD.Bad pointsThere was one episode in particular in which I felt over 50% of what was discussed had already been discussed. There must be at least four or five times when the same incident is recounted. This is all wasted space really. Also, I felt that the flow of the series was a bit disordered. Whilst it is roughly chronological, it digresses, following a thematic path sometimes, but seems to do haphazardly. SummaryIt is moderately informative and credible, but won't satisfy those looking for a lot of detail or a scholarly account. The occasional short interviews with academics with are interspersed throughout are effective, but probably could have been more frequent. I think there is too much emphasis on the emotional reality of Rome for most of it's citizens, and not quite enough on it's intellectual or engineering achievements. They are mentioned but not explored."
Leo | ny | 09/18/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"There is no shortage of material if you're looking to learn about the Roman Empire. It is one of the most studied topics in history, particularly when it comes to books and documentaries. It was an empire that Streched from Scotland to the Sahara - from Spain to Saudi Arabia. An empire uniting the meditaranian world into a solid political entity with one currency, one set of roads, consistantly well planned cities, ingenious architecture, a common set of laws, a common language, and protected by the mightiest military machine of the ancient and classical periods. Many of these aspects europe is only today striving to achieve once more with the EU.
Rome: Power & Glory is a fairly good documentary on this great empire to which much of today's government architecture and many of our laws owe thier heritage.
I found plenty to like about this series. It offers plenty of information across 6 aproximatley one hour episodes. The series is broken up into 6 volumes each of which covers a different aspect of Rome - the rise of the empire, the fall of the empire, the effect of Romanization across the empire, etc. Thus it's organized by topic rather than chronologically. Whether or not you like this system will depend on personal taste and on whether or not you plan to watch them all at once (unlikely unless you have 6 hours to kill). A positive aspect of this is that if you want to know about a specific topic concerning Rome you can pull out the volume relating to that and watch it. however if you really want a good understanding of the timeline of events, the growth, the hieght and the decline, then you may dislike this as it breaks things up. You'll talk about ceasar for example in different episodes at differing levels of depth and in different lights. Basically this method has both it's benefits and it's consequences.
The series is entertaining and well shot the whole way through. While some footage seems to be reused, they attempt to use old movie footage from films such as "Scipio Africanus" in conjunction with modern images of the ruins, paintings, drawings, and plenty of shots of reenactments to create a more vissually diverse experience. But a lot of this footage is reused throughout the episodes which can feel a bit redundant.
The informative content in the series is pretty good. Lot's of interviews, good naration, very intriguing, and entertaining at the same time. It also offers some solid analysis of the events and thier importance. Lots of attempts are made to put these in perspective and offer the information in ways that most people today will easily relate to and be able to digest. This includes many lovely analogies that at least one other reviewer complained about. When talking about the gladiators they are compaired to modern day Mike Tysons. When talking about Romanization and the spread of grecco-roman culture and it's effects, they draw analogies to present day americanization (english being common language and the spread of mcdonnalds and coca cola and american music etc). I think this is great. Not only does it effectively get accross the point and put things in perspective while demonstrating what the implications were - but it also goes a long way to say that we need to look back to history to learn it's lessons. America is very much the Rome of today's world and we had better look at the fall of Rome and avoid the pitfalls of being a super power. This is appraoched in the series several times in a subtle kind of way, implying that the spread of culture and the disparity of wealth can cause resentment of a society - and obviously we see this happening today.
Rome: Power and Glory is not perfect though. It's a great overview of Rome - from republic to empire to the fall. What it lacks is sufficient depth in certain areas. Do not expect a complete coverage of roman history - the topical apprach works well in giving you an overview of Rome, not so good if you want you want to know all about the specific wars, battles, generals etc. You wont learn about the battle of Cannae, or cover hannibal in any kind of detail.
In the end it may not be the best documentary about Rome, but it's a good one. Especially for those wanting the big pictures and some depth while not a completely comprehensive look at Rome. This would be great for the class room or the living room - and even if this series doesnt serve all your needs it will make a solid addition to your collection."
Simple overview of Rome, no use in classroom!
Rodrigo de la Barra | U.C.V., Venezuela | 05/23/2000
(3 out of 5 stars)
"I purchased Rome: Power & Glory in order to complement my university studies. The content was disappointing: very few maps, too much emphasis on legends rather than historical facts. Some very necessary explanations are missing: surprising if you consider the participation of very good University professors. The image of the entire title is a mix of contemporary ruin scenes -very well photographed-, sketches from an old b&w movie, and some modestly produced scenes obviously to fill up. The reconstructions of ancient monuments are well made, but the 12 Caesars Biographies are barely one paragraph long: any general encyclopedia contains much more information. If you are looking for a basic overview of Rome the title is OK, but if you are seeking for a more historical content and analysis, to complement studies for instance, you will find it lacks professionalism. However the image quality is good and the photography of the ruins is excellent. No caption or subtitles in other languages."