Rome - The Complete Second Season
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Product Description

After Julius Caesar's assassination in 44 B.C., Marc Antony clashes with Octavian for control of the empire.
Genre: Television: HBO
Rating: NR
Release Date: 7-AUG-2007
Media Type: DVD

Unlike another certain celebrated HBO series, Rome's end will satisfy those swept up in its lavishly mounted spectacle and invested in the human dramas of the historical figures and fictional characters. Season 2 begins in the wake of Julius Caesar's assassination, and charts the power struggle to fill his sandals between "vulgar beast" Mark Antony (James Purefoy) and "clever boy" Octavian (Simon Woods), who is surprisingly named Caesar's sole heir. The series' most compelling relationship is between fellow soldiers and unlikely friends, the honorable Lucius Vorenus (Kevin McKidd) and Titus "Violence is the only trade I know" Pullo (Ray Stevenson), who somewhat reverse roles when Vorenus is overcome with grief in the wake of his wife's suicide. Season 2 considerably ups the ante in the rivalry between Atia (an Emmy-worthy Polly Walker), who is Antony's mistress, and Servilia (Lindsay Duncan) with attempted poisonings and sickening torture. Another gripping subplot is Vorenus's estrangement from his children, who, at the climax of the season opener are presumed slaughtered, but whose true fate may be even more devastating to the father who cursed them.

Rome's second season does not scrimp on the series' sex and violence, in both cases exceedingly brutal. But in this cauldron of treachery and betrayal, words, too, are vicious, as when a defiant Atia ominously tells Octavian's new wife, Livia, "Far better women that you have sworn to [destroy me]. Go look for them now." In writing Rome's epitaph, we come to praise this series, not to bury it. Although two seasons was not enough to establish a Rome empire, it stands as one of HBO's crowning achievements. --Donald Liebenson

Customer Reviews:

  • Rome - Second Season
    A truly epic series. I wish HBO had the testicular fortitude to continue on with the show....more info
  • Simply a Must-Have
    Wow! This is real vivid and compelling historical drama. The five discs containing valuable extras and real-time historical background information are packed in a luxurious box set. Simply a must-have for every (adult) person interested in ancient, especially Roman, history. Because of the (sometimes) drastic coverage of sexual aspects the series generally doesn't fit for underaged....more info
  • One of the Greatest TV Shows Ever Made!
    This is the best season of a great TV show. The acting is amazing and the production is like a movie. The story of Rome takes place after the immediate death of Caesar right up to the taking of Egypt by Rome. It is of course the most dramatic Roman story and is well told. I wish the show could have gone on for a lot longer but HBO chose to cancel due to costs. One of the great tragedies of television history. ...more info
  • sceleratis sol oritur (the sun shines on the wicked too)
    It's a shame that the lusty, highly entertaining HBO "Rome" series did not continue into a third season. The appeal of this heavily fictionalized look at the last days of the Roman Republic is attested to by the continuing enthusiasm of its fans--if you don't believe me, examine the "Rome" message boards on HBO's website and read some of the riotous posts there.

    Season 2 continues in much the same vein as Season 1, although the atmosphere and the moments of comic relief are darker, and several of the major characters from Season 1--Julius Caesar, Pompey Magnus, and the lovely plebeian Niobe--are no longer with us. In the wake of Caesar's assassination by Brutus (well-played by Tobias Menzies), Cassius, and their colleagues, Caesar's relatives and subordinates struggle to fill the power vacuum left by his death. When young Gaius Octavian (portrayed first by the excellent Max Pirkis and later, as an adult, by Simon Woods) is named Caesar's heir the stage is set for his intense rivalry with Mark Antony (a charismatic James Purefoy). As a seasoned warrior, close associate of Caesar, consul, and the lover of Octavian's sultry mother, Atia (a delightfully wicked Polly Walker), Antony has the support of much of Rome's army, as well as an element of power over the Senate. The struggle between his forces and Octavian's involve various members of the Palatine Hill's aristocracy, among them Brutus' vindictive mother Servilia (Lindsay Duncan), and members of the Senate like the slippery orator Cicero (David Bamber). To bolster his image with the public and assist him in his new role as Caesar's successor, Octavian employs a Rat Pack of Young Turks, including a charmingly shy Marcus Agrippa (Allen Leech)--who falls in love with Octavian's beautiful, unhappy sister Octavia (Kerry Condon). In the meantime the tyrannicides have fled Rome, mustered an army, and are poised to battle the new official government--the uneasy triumvirate of Octavian, Antony, and (a nearly invisible) Lepidus.

    In contrast to the machinations of the upper class rivals, we have the equally poisonous but somewhat more violent conflicts among the citizens of the Aventine, Rome's semi-slummy district of laborers, immigrants, and lower-class tradesmen. In an interesting reversal of fortune and character the once upright and moralistic Lucius Vorenus (Kevin McKidd in an intense performance), a former legionary in Caesar's army, has become the embittered, rage-filled leader of a shady workman's collegium, or trade association, whereas Titus Pullo (portrayed with delightful insouciance by the appealing Ray Stevenson), former roisterer and violence-prone soldier, has become a caring husband and devoted friend. Colorful figures from their gritty milieu include Pullo's pretty, sylph-like wife, the former slavegirl Eirene (Chiara Mastalli), the cold-eyed and voluptuous Gaia (Zuleikha Robinson), who does her best to entrap both Vorenus and Pullo, and various members and enforcers of the Aventine's guilds and labor-related organizations.

    Add to this mix the ambitions of a seductive, amoral Cleopatra Philopater (Lyndsey Marshall), who eventually singles out Antony as the prop she needs to keep her rule of Egypt in the pink and protect her young son by Julius Caesar. Although HBO's character deviates strongly from the historical Cleopatra, an intelligent, charming, and well-educated Queen of Egypt, she is fun to watch if only for the sake of her consistently self-serving attitude and her slithery manipulation of the men in her life.

    There are several subplots in the series, one of which involves Timon, the Jewish horsetrader and sometime assassin employed by Atia to do her dirty work, another concerning the estranged children of Lucius Vorenus and their distrust and hatred of their father. All of these elements add up to gripping television drama, colorful pageantry, and yes, lots and lots of violence and fairly graphic (and sometimes violent) sex. There is a great deal to enjoy, on a visual as well as a dramatic level, and the concluding episode, which brings the story to an end a little too suddenly, leaves the viewer wishing that HBO could have shelled out the denari for at least one more season. Ave atque vale!

    ...more info
  • Rome The Complete Second Season
    We have yet to open the series of Rome, because we are watching Deadwood. I loved watching the series of Rome on HBO, and wanted to own it, so we could watch it any time. Rome had incredible actors, and the story line was captivating....and a part of history. We are going back to Italy this summer,and to see where this all took place is great.

    Tha videos arrived in a timely manner, and the exterior box was in perfect condition. Hope the dvd's are in perfect condittion as well....more info
  • Great Price for the 2nd Season.
    Great price for this product and the 2nd season was as good as the 1st. ...more info
  • ROME
    This HBO series was awsome. If you haven't watched it----DO!!! Season 1 and 2 are GREAT. The actors did a great job and scenery and effects were great also. It was just GREAT GREAT GREAT!!! Will be glad when season 3 is available....more info
  • Rome is Burning
    Rome is Burning
    This series is really burning and I would recommend it to anyone that loves this period of history. It is very period correct...more info
  • Rome season one and two
    Loved the series so got it for
    my son-in-law for Christmas Couldn't even pry him away for dinner. ...more info
  • Another amazing series by HBO
    Offers a great view into what ancient Rome was probably like. An overall great show that won't leave you hanging!...more info
  • A must have
    Rome Seasons 1 and 2 are one of the best productions I have seen by HBO yet. The cast, location, story line, etc are amazing. While it may not be 100% factual, much of the story is based on true stories and some of the special effects were great. Seeing season 1 and all episodes in sequential order are a must but once you watch the first couple of episodes you are hooked. At first, I was forced to watch the series but after seeing a few episodes I was dying for more. It's a shame there are only two seasons of this series as I would have watched everything that HBO put out relating to this show....more info
  • More Rome!
    Second season is just as good, same great sets, and acting. I only wish
    it went on and on!...more info
  • Rome, the complete second season
    This was an amazing series. The only problem I had was that when I ordered both seasons which your site stated both were IN STOCK, you sent season two about one week before season one. I had never seen the series but had it recommended to me by a friend. So even thouh I had season two I really couldn't watch season two until I received season one to watch first. But other than that, both seasons arrived in excellent condition and this is one of the best series made for television that I have ever watched. ...more info
  • ROME II - O The Fun They Had!
    Having thoroughly enjoyed the passions, the plotting, the characters of HBO's First year of 'ROME', I eagerly awaited year two and was never disappointed. The Characters became stronger, the plots thinker and the overall acting superb in every way. Seeing Octavius grown into the masterminded Ceasar Augustus, surrounded by his equally brilliant military leaders, was fun to watch, plain and simple. Mark Anthony's involvement with Cleopatra and their spiral downward was mesmerising.
    James Purefoy did a wonderful job portraying one of histories most alluring Romans. I did imagane a different Cleo, but Lynsey Marshal did a great job protraying the Egyptian 'living'Goddess' .
    At the Core of the series, the two mainstay characters, Titus Pullo and Lucius Vorenus, were rich and engaging characters all very well acted.
    Watching Lucius Vorenus sink from a hopeful leader/family man to a henchman and watching Titus Pullo be there to add support for his friend
    at great risks and also seeing his personal life ebb and flow drew me into each and every episode. Intermix with this the anglings and antics of the beautiful Atia (Polly Walker) with her 'dear' friend/archenemy
    Servilia (Lindsay Duncan) and her own offspring Octavia and powerful son Ceasar Augustus and you have emotionally explosive settings mixed with passionate and even endearing ones. You can't miss with that!
    The Box set is well designed and you will be hard put to walk away until the next episode. ...more info
  • The Story Continues
    After you see the first season, you can't help but watch this one. I've seen both series from start to finish, five times!...more info
  • Movie Buff
    Excellent movie. I would like to see another series come out but I think it is over. We passed it around to all the family....more info
  • One of the best ever...
    HBO's series Rome is one of the finest i've ever watched. However, it contains graphic scenes of violence and sexuality, so it's not recommended for younger or sensitive viewers. Any realistic depiction of Roman life would have to include scenes of such a nature. As far as being realistic to the true conditions of the time period, I would say I know enough to think they got SOME of it right.

    The scripting and acting is incredible. The costumes and sets were so costly and accurate that HBO decided not to do a third season. That was before they realized after the second season came out that they had a serious hit on their hands. But alas, the sets had already been demolished by then and it was too late. This is entertainment and not history, so be prepared to be entertained. I couldn't figure out where they got these actors from and why I had not heard of them before. A few of them have been popping up recently on TV and in movies. I cannot recall a series that left me so excited about seeing the next episode. They know how to end one, that is for sure. Put the kids to bed and enjoy....more info
  • "Do you mind if I pick some peaches?"....
    so Titus Pullo asked Cicero, who requested a few moments of reflection, before executing him congenially and respectfully. "He wasn't a snob," Pullo said, as he returned to the family picnic with Cicero's hands in a sack - he had also been ordered to nail them to the Senate door by Marc Antony. (Not shown in the film is that Antony's wife, Fulvia, mutilated Cicero's head in a frenzy of vengance.)

    I watched this twice, back to back, over three weeks (never more than 2 per night). I must say that, as a Rome buff, this is an utterly riveting and vivid tour of an ancient culture that seems familiar yet is frighteningly alien.

    The historical context is clear: Julius Caesar is gone, and there is a death fight to determine whether or not the Republic can be revived. The characters - with the exception of the plot props, Pullo and Vorenus - are real. Caesar's adoptive heir, Octavius, must unite with his adversary, Marc Antony, to fight the forces loyal to Brutus, before they fight eachother to determine who will rule Rome as supreme leader. I will not play the spoiler, but just say that the drama is absolutely splendidly vivid. And in the gross outline, historically accurate.

    Oddly, I found the best part to be the ongoing melodrama of Pullo and Vorenus. Wholly fictional, Vorenus must cope with the destruction of his family. It gets worse than you could possibly image our modern vantage. Meanwhile, Pullo - the symbolic survivor of the end of he republic - is adapting to his new role, employing the violence that he knows is the only thing he will ever do well. Their story is really wonderful, a great plot device, and emotionally real. It alone is worth the price of admission: as I said, you really feel what it was like to live then, even smell it. ("You see," Pullo's ignorant wife says, "a slave is better when you beat her" as the slave winks at Pullo before doing even worse.) Vorenus is an honorable man turned criminal, still bound by oath to Antony, but also to the values of the republic; he cannot adjust and his fate is entirely believable yet unimaginable. Truly fine fiction.

    If you know the history, it must be admitted that the producers played fast and loose to the point of the truly ludicrous. Atia and Antony were married to others and there is no evidence that they had a love affair, Octavius was married twice by the time he met Livia, etc. These things are known, not uncertain at all: it is pure poetic license and makes the plot move better, e.g. the rivalry of Sevillia and Atia, also fictional. I wish it were more accurate in these details, but the plot is nonetheless extremely taut.

    That being said, the portrayals of Octavius and Anthony are also wonderful: Octavius is a cold and calculating visionary, Antony is a sensual creature looking for his piece of the glory and not thinking too far ahead. The sincere Agrippa is excellent as well, a natural adjunct to a political genius, as is the cynical Mycenas. Brutus, who is emerging as a courageous leader of potential, is also finely acted. Finally, Antony and Cleopatra, in the drug-induced search for pleasure and excess, are priceless.

    Warmly recommended. This is fun and deeply stimulating. If you take it for what it is, the entertainment value is first rate. Heck, it got me to read 3 bios! ...more info
  • Amazing
    Fantastic series. The dvds have a wonderful selction of behind the scenes extras. I'm not judging the series on historical acuracy, but the characters are intriguing and rich. ...more info
  • Of Course Five Stars!
    Ignore the pedants who complain about historical "inaccuracies". Nonsense! You can count the primary historical sources for the period on one hand, and all the commentators of the era, from Caesar to Cicero to Suetonius to Tacitus, to Sallust to Livy, had axes to grind. Jonathan Stamp, the historical consultant and co-producer, is a first-rate scholar and not window dressing. He's forgotten more about Roman history than those who complain here will ever know. There are huge and deep gaps in Roman history. The series fills in the gaps. This is the functon of historical fiction.

    The claimed "inaccuracies" are no more than disagreement with other speculations. For example, the nonsense about Atia: Tacitus says some nice things about her and Suetonius makes up some silly legend about omens. Silly people call this "history". Maybe she was virtuous, but there's no hard evidence one way or another, and the producers can portray her to suit. As it happens, Rome's Atia, like I Claudius' similarly "enhanced" Livia, is a delicious and, given her culture, thoroughly believable character.

    You can take the characters and events of Rome at face value, and you will be far ahead of the pack in knowledge of the period.

    I was sorry to see Max Pirkis's wonderful boy Octavian replaced by Simon Woods' Octavian Caesar, but time goes on, and, like Pirkis, Woods makes a chilling future Augustus.

    As in the first season, the second season illuminates the the way the different strata of Roman society meet common life situations, from career to marital to moral issues. Sometimes the strata converge by circumstance, as the characters of Rome encounter each other, usually briefly. But upward mobility is a deadly game in Rome, and those who play the game, on whatever level, inevitably pay the price.

    I wish HBO had decided to make Rome an ongoing series, for what comes after Augustus is, as we know, just as exciting, sordid, and suspensful as the story of Caesar and Augustus. Maybe out of respect we could hop over I Claudius and continue with the so-called Good Emperors or the Barracks Emperors. Trajan or Hadrian -- now, these are stories. Or Marcus Aurelius, the philisopher emperor who persecuted the Christians. Now, why did he do that? I'd love Stamp's speculations. Or later on, how about Constantine? Nothing ever produced about him, and yet his story is perhaps most exciting of them all -- his outmaneuvering his co-emperors, his weird personal life -- his murder of his wife and son -- his thing with Christianity, his building up of Byzantium, later Constantinople... Think of what Messrs. Heller, Milius, Apted, these great movie-makers, together with the resources of HBO and BBC, could do with that!

    I know there's lots of partisanship about the different HBO series. Many have run far longer than Rome has. This isn't because of quality but because Rome is probably the most expensive series HBO ever mounted. Sorry, Sopranos fanboys and girls, ditto Deadwood and, um, Carnivale... Soap operas about sleazy gangsters have their allure, as do "real westerns" and supernatural circuses. But none has the moral weight, the profoundly interesting history, the intrinsic quality of Rome. It is HBO's greatest series.

    I've been seeing this second season on Netflix. Not enough. This one's a keeper, I've ordered it to buy here. Hope the box is as nice as first season's....more info
  • A great show
    HBO produced another exemplary original series in the two-season Rome. At once grander and more direct than you would expect going in, this show is action, drama, soap opera and comedy all in one. However, it is too brual and explicit for some viewers, though the realism is an asset....more info
  • Help Me! I'm addicted and there's no more!
    Even with it's semi-fictionalized plot line, this is the best series ever produced. The historical "pop-ups" in the special feature All Roads Lead To Rome are wonderful and add a great deal of depth and interest to the program. I know several college-aged young adults who are now much more interested in reading about ancient Rome, Egypt, and Greece as a result of watching both seasons. Buy both seasons if you have bored young adults at home for the summer and go on a Rome kick together. You'll love it. (Beware! This series has the obligatory sex scenes, killing, and cursing every 15 minutes like all HBO series...just so you know.)...more info
  • Great DVD
    I lved this series on HBO. I already bought season one and had to get season two. This series was very entertaining. I reccommend this dvd. The actors were all great. If youn like history it is fun to watch....more info
  • "This is How a Real Roman Drinks"
    There are a few things to be gleaned from HBO's Rome: there was no 911 back then, so you had to take care of things yourself; in ancient Rome you could go pretty far if you were really good with knife and sword; it's possible to look cool in a toga; and, people don't need cell phones and the Internet to have fun.

    Some have commented about historical inaccuracies in the series. Well, there are very few surviving contemporary accounts, and those focus on elites and major events. Even "serious" historians admit there's a lot of guesswork involved in ancient history, and many of the contemporary sources are full of bias and errors. So, the producers had to fill in the gaps with creativity. The general themes are accurate, the sets are spectacular, and a lot of attention is paid to fascinating details about religious beliefs, diet, housing, and the Roman political system. The DVD set has audio commentaries by the historian Jonathan Stamp and episodes can be viewed with pop-ups that specifically address historical issues. HBO did its homework here, and the series is a successful balance of modern entertainment and history.

    Before watching this series I viewed people like Pompey, Julius Caesar, Cicero, Octavian (Augustus Caesar), Mark Antony, and the others as something like walking statues. This series made these people come alive. And what a lusty, lively lot they were.

    Having seen both seasons, I would have to rank the first clearly above the second, but they both get solid fives. The acting is powerful. Atia, Pullo, and Gaia (Pullo's slave/lover) stand out.

    Too bad the fun ended after the second season with the aftermath of Actium. I would like to see this crew put its spin on such topics as the life of Christ, Nero, the end of the Roman Empire in the West, and later historical developments as well. I think HBO's Rome was a successful balance of modern entertainment and history. ...more info
  • Exultate Roma!
    If you liked Season One of "Rome" you won't be disappointed in the second. There are some historical discrepancies with the characters, but great care seems to have been taken with other historical elements (Roman customs, religion, etc.). I really liked the casting of Cleopatra, who was supposedly no great beauty, but very charismatic. However, the portrayal of Egypt as a debauched society isn't very accurate and probably came from the bias of Greek historians who tended to be a bit xenophobic in their opinions of other cultures.

    My greatest disappointment was hearing that there will be no third season of "Rome." I hear the film set burned down, which doesn't bode well for any future plans....more info
  • Better than Season 1
    I was really distressed to learn there would be no more Rome. In this second season the characters became so much more developed. The development of the supporting characters was particularly enriched and deepened this season. The special features were also well done. HBO had another winner with this one!...more info
  • Easily one of the most compelling television productions ever
    Cancelled due to the titanic costs of production rather than because of lack of quality, this is the second and final season of "Rome" and it continues with the excellent acting, direction, writing, costumes, sets and cinematography seen in season one.

    To avoid spoilers I'll just say this season begins at the end of the reign of Julius Caesar. Control of the Empire is torn between Brutus and Caesar's great nephew Octavian and his right hand man Mark Antony. Seductress Atia is torn between the two - she is mother of Octavian and mistress to Antony. Atia is also involved in an escalating rivalry with Servilia, the wife of Julius Caesar.

    This season also deals with the domestication of Lucius Vorenus - his transition from officer in Caesar's legion to local politician. Noble Vorenus spends much of this season estranged from his family for reasons I won't spoil here, but his character arc is one of the most satisfying of the show. We're also treated to the "whatever it takes" actions of Titus Pullo, the former foot-soldier. Pullo is a barbaric brute, but also with compassion and the ability to learn and become more humane and educated.

    An historic sub-plot occurs in Egypt where Antony and Cleopatra lounge in hazed bliss. The visuals are eye-popping, the storyline broadly historically accurate, and the melodramas, probably mostly fictional, are compelling.

    The Mrs. and I were sad to see "Rome" end after only two glorious seasons. This ranks among the most addictive television we've ever seen.
    ...more info
  • Great Series "ROME" 2nd season
    Excellent HBO Series, I wish this series would continue. This was cheap enough through Amazon for me to purchase. I also have the 1st season....more info
  • Worth every penny of its price!
    Excellent expos¨¦ of the origins of western civilization. The series is so well researched and portraited that it is unbelivable. In 2,000 years we have not changed a bit. The same day to day hostilities that the romans had, we still have. The Roman Gladiators of today are the WWF, UFC and Boxing fights. We may not have slaves but big corporations have enslave us. So where is the difference?...more info