I, Caesar: Ruling the Roman Empire

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Biography Documentary hosted by Brian Cox, published by BBC in 1997 - English narration

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-- Also aired as "HAIL, CAESAR!" in A&E "Biography" series -- Its army dominated the known world. Its culture forms the heart of Western Civilization. At its zenith, the Roman Empire extended from Persia to England, the Black Sea to the Atlantic Ocean. And throughout its history, its fate rested in the hands of individuals men of genius and courage, madness and ambition. Starting with Julius Caesar, films charts the rise and fall of the Roman power over 600 years, and this classic award-winning series 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 final 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. I, CAESAR spans three continents and seven centuries to tell the saga of the Roman Empire and the men who shaped it. Ancient accounts detail Nero's madness and Augustus's political brilliance. The battles of Caesar and Justinian come to life through dramatic re- enactments. Modern scholars explore Constantine's conversion to Christianity. Cutting- edge computer graphics capture the splendor of Hadrian's "golden age," and location footage from twenty-three countries shows the splendid ruins of Imperial Rome. In the riveting stories of its fabled rulers, the rise and fall of the Roman Empire comes alive. 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... Written & Produced by Phil Grabsky; A Seventh Art Production for the BBC and A&E Network

[edit] Julius Caesar: I Am not King but Caesar

Julius Caesar's 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.
His reign transformed his nation and marked the beginning of the Roman Empire. His name inspires awe and admiration to this day. Julius Caesar is one of the towering figures of human history. He gave his name to the rulers that followed him, and passed down a vast empire carved from his determination and military genius.
This definitive portrait uses countless ancient artifacts, texts, commentary from leading experts and dramatic re-enactments to explore his life and legacy. Follow his meteoric rise to power and his brilliant military conquests. Hear his own descriptions of some of his greatest battles, and visit the sites of these legendary engagements. And investigate the controversy surrounding his legacy: was he an ambitious demagogue, as his detractors claim, or a defender of the people's rights against the vested powers of a controlling oligarchy?
From his several wives to his storied death at the hands of Brutus, this episode proudly presents the life of Caesar.

[edit] Augustus: First of the Emperors

Caesar's military brilliance forged a new Rome, but it was Augustus's political genius that made it an empire for the ages. Declared emperor by the Senate, he oversaw a period of growth and prosperity marked by extraordinary artistic achievement and rapid expansion of the empire.
He was heir to the greatest empire on earth but did not know it. Under his brilliant leadership, Rome was restored to unity and order after years of civil war. Augustus was Julius Caesar's grand nephew and adopted son, and unbeknownst to him, Caesar had decreed that on his death, Augustus should succeed him as Consul of Rome. In the years that followed, Augustus proved himself worthy of the choice, eventually winning total control of the Empire after defeating a challenge from Marc Antony.
This episode explores the life of the first true Roman Emperor. Discover how he was given the title by the Senate, despite always presenting himself in public at least as first citizen, not as ruler. World-renowned scholars detail his many accomplishments, including a sweeping reconstruction campaign he boasted that he "found Rome brick and left it marble." Period accounts detail his struggle to assume power, and ancient art and artifacts speak of his vast influence and legacy. From his drive to restore the morality of the empire to forging the Pax Romana, this is the saga of the first true Roman Emperor Augustus.

[edit] Nero: The Power and the Madness

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 and he had many political enemies killed. Eventually, the army rose up against him, the Senate declared him a public enemy and he committed suicide in disgrace.
He was emotionally unstable, capricious and scandalous. Ironically, his troubled reign proved the strength of the Roman Empire. Nero was the last descendant of Caesar to inherit the throne. Unfortunately, the demented ruler inherited little else from his illustrious forefather.
This episode tells the twisted tale of this infamous figure. Hear ancient accounts of how he was responsible for the fire that destroyed most of Rome. Modern scholars, however, reveal how this accusation while fitting Nero's character is likely untrue, and suggest that his mistress who he later married may have been responsible for many of his legendary excesses. Discover how he scandalized the army and aristocracy by appearing in plays, and explore his bizarre relationship with his mother, whom he eventually had killed. Filled with dramatic re-enactments and stunning ancient art and artifacts, this is the extraordinary story of the ruler who saw Rome literally burn to the ground. From his ascension to the throne at age 17 to his suicide, Nero proved the strength of the Roman Empire by his inability to destroy it!

[edit] Hadrian: Within These Walls

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.
He was born a thousand miles from Rome, yet became one of its most important rulers. After centuries of expansion, he decided that enough was enough.Hadrian is perhaps most famous for the wall he built across Britain. It is a fitting memorial to the emperor who declared an end to the expansionist policies of his predecessors, abandoning outlying territories and resolving to protect Rome from barbarian invaders.
This episode journeys back to Rome's Golden Age to profile the man who brought it to fruition. See how the passion for culture he learned as a youth in Greece led him to support the art lavishly. An accomplished poet, Hadrian also oversaw the construction of many of Rome's greatest monuments, including the Pantheon. But his rule was not entirely without conflict, ancient accounts suggest that he may have killed over 500,000 people putting down an insurrection in Judea. This is the definitive portrait of the man who came from the edge of the empire to oversee Rome's Golden Age, the Emperor Hadrian.

[edit] Constantine: Bearing the Cross

Constantine revitalised 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.
He re-unified and strengthened an empire on the verge of collapse. His conversion to Christianity helped lay the foundations for Medieval Europe. After Julius Caesar, Constantine the Great is arguably the most important ruler in Roman history. He took control of the Empire at one of its lowest ebbs and restored it for the final time to true glory.
This episode explores Constantine's life and legacy through ancient art and artifacts, expert commentary and historic re-enactments. Trace his 20- year struggle to take control of the splintered empire, and see how he restored it to its former glory through masterful diplomacy and the judicious use of force. Explore the dramatic story of his conversion, and the momentous changes in the Empire and the world that resulted. And walk the streets of the city he founded as the capital of his reborn empire. This is the definitive portrait of the ruler who saved his nation and transformed the world, Constantine the Great.

[edit] Justinian: Last of the Romans

He lived more than 500 years after 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, reclaiming most of the empire. He is remembered as 'the last of the Romans'.
Born a peasant, he became emperor of the Roman world. But it was an empire in decline. He spent his life trying to save it. And though he saw great victories, there were also terrible defeats. Some would call themselves emperor for another thousand years, but history remembers him as the "last of the Romans."
This episode explores the life and legacy Justinian, whose goal was to restore the glory of the ancient Roman Empire, and who nearly succeeded. Ancient accounts and dramatic re- enactments detail the campaigns that saw Italy, North Africa and Southern Spain restored to Roman rule, while experts reveal why the gains were doomed to be short lived. Justininan's vision of a centralized empire required the development of a uniform 'one state, one law, and one church' – formula. After Justinian's unsuccessful attempts to restore the Roman empire, what remained became decidedly Byzantine in aspect.

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Video Codec: x264 CABAC High@L4
Video Bitrate: 1 911 Kbps
Video Resolution: 720x552
Display Aspect Ratio: 4:3
Frames Per Second: 25.000 fps
Audio Codec: AC3
Audio Bitrate: 192 kb/s CBR 48000 Hz
Audio Streams: 2
Audio Languages: english
RunTime Per Part: 49 min
Number Of Parts: 6
Part Size: 741 MB
Source: DVD
Encoded by: DocFreak08

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