Roman Empire on Netflix

JoanOfArc007

Ad Honorem
Dec 2015
3,794
USA
Apologies if this series has already been covered, I did a thread search and nothing came up

Roman Empire | Netflix Official Site

I just got into season 3 which covers the reign of Caligula but also provides us an insight into Tiberius. Caligula became Emperor of Rome after Tiberius. Tiberius ruled during the time of Jesus btw which is all the more interesting to me. And unless I missed it, the Netflix series did not discuss how Tiberius viewed Christianity. Which leads me to ask, how did Tiberius view Christians? Perhaps scholars differ on this issue?
 
Oct 2018
1,506
Sydney
Thats fair, after all Christianity was born during the Reign of Tiberius. Btw have you checkout out Roman Empire on Netflix, if so how historically accurate would you say the series is?

Btw do you think Caligula really did kill Tiberius?
I wasn't actually even aware of this series before I saw this thread! I've looked it up on wikipedia. Was the series on Commodus any good?

I'm agnostic on whether Caligula killed Tiberius. It's possible, and understandable in the supposed circumstances (in which, believing Tiberius dead, Macro and others had recognized Caligula as emperor), but it could also be an unfounded rumour.
 

JoanOfArc007

Ad Honorem
Dec 2015
3,794
USA
I wasn't actually even aware of this series before I saw this thread! I've looked it up on wikipedia. Was the series on Commodus any good?

I'm agnostic on whether Caligula killed Tiberius. It's possible, and understandable in the supposed circumstances (in which, believing Tiberius dead, Macro and others had recognized Caligula as emperor), but it could also be an unfounded rumour.
It’s a good series imo. Roman Empire is a docudrama so the show includes interviews of historians commenting on the Empire and it’s people.

There are 3 seasons . The first as you know is about Commodus and I admit I only watched part of that series so I can not comment fully on this one. But I feel like I will go back to season 1 because the show follows a time line. As the seasons go on from 1-3 we go from bc to ad.

I also have not watched any of season 2 which depicts Julius Caesar. So I’m going to try and restart season 1 and then get into season 2.

I did complete season 3 which is about Caligula. I enjoyed this season. I will say the series is filled with nudity and sex scenes so be ready for that. Season 3 shows us the relations between Caligula and Tiberius. I also get an insight into the relation between Caligula And his three sisters. What inspired me the most or stood out to me about season three was the depiction of Caligula going on an adventure of sorts to modern day England to take over that land For the empire. That’s something I’m going to read into more that is how did the Roman people , the elite and the army view Caligulas attempt to add modern day England into the Roman empire. The Docudrama suggested that some of the Roman people thought that there was some sort of evil spirits or magic that was a part of England at the time which is why they feared going at least that’s how some of them were said to think so that’s really interesting to me
 

JoanOfArc007

Ad Honorem
Dec 2015
3,794
USA
Just a correction to the last post. The series does not follow a timeline as Ceaser reigned in the Roman Republic before the rule of Commodus. Season 1 showcases Commodus, Season 2 showcases Ceaser and season 3 showcases Caligula. Each season of The Roman Empire on netlix is independent of the other.
 
May 2018
856
Michigan
The show is entertaining enough, and its better than another "Netflix Original Movie" that will flop.

1. I hope they end up covering Scipio Africanus. By titling the series "Roman Empire", they may rule this out. However, I can say for certain that Scipio Africanus is a much more important figure to Roman History than Caligula or Commodus, and equal to if not greater than Julius Caesar.
2. They keep referencing the position of "Roman Emperor" as a position of royalty: they refer to the "imperial throne" or "royal blood." Not only would these terms have been an anathema to Romans before the rule of Diocletian, they don't accurately convey how the Romans viewed the princeps or first citizen.
 
  • Like
Reactions: JoanOfArc007
Oct 2018
1,506
Sydney
The show is entertaining enough, and its better than another "Netflix Original Movie" that will flop.

1. I hope they end up covering Scipio Africanus. By titling the series "Roman Empire", they may rule this out. However, I can say for certain that Scipio Africanus is a much more important figure to Roman History than Caligula or Commodus, and equal to if not greater than Julius Caesar.
2. They keep referencing the position of "Roman Emperor" as a position of royalty: they refer to the "imperial throne" or "royal blood." Not only would these terms have been an anathema to Romans before the rule of Diocletian, they don't accurately convey how the Romans viewed the princeps or first citizen.
Hopefully Scipio isn't ruled out, because the Punic Wars were an essential part of the process whereby Rome became an empire (in the sense of empire-building as opposed to emperors/principes).
 
  • Like
Reactions: frogsofwar
Oct 2018
1,506
Sydney
What inspired me the most or stood out to me about season three was the depiction of Caligula going on an adventure of sorts to modern day England to take over that land For the empire. That’s something I’m going to read into more that is how did the Roman people , the elite and the army view Caligulas attempt to add modern day England into the Roman empire. The Docudrama suggested that some of the Roman people thought that there was some sort of evil spirits or magic that was a part of England at the time which is why they feared going at least that’s how some of them were said to think so that’s really interesting to me
I hadn't heard about a fear of evil spirits as being a factor! That's interesting. Richard Alston, in his book Aspects of Roman History 31 BC - AD 117, argues that Caligula's German and intended British campaigns were intended to shore up military support for his rule, which makes sense. Caligula, unlike Augustus and Tiberius, came to power with no administrative or military achievements/experience. All he had were dynastic credentials. Thus, he sought to add a string to his bow - military legitimacy. By campaigning, he would show himself to be a great military leader who protects and expands the empire, and he also provides many soldiers with opportunities for plunder and career advancement, and honours and provides them with his attention. His other approach to bolstering his legitimacy as a leader appears to have been through reference to the model of Hellenistic god-king. After all, Hellenistic kings provided an example of autocratic leadership from recent history. This would help to explain his elaborate displays of pageantry, such as crossing the Bay of Baiae on a chariot atop a bridge of boats.
 
  • Like
Reactions: JoanOfArc007

JoanOfArc007

Ad Honorem
Dec 2015
3,794
USA
I hadn't heard about a fear of evil spirits as being a factor! That's interesting. Richard Alston, in his book Aspects of Roman History 31 BC - AD 117, argues that Caligula's German and intended British campaigns were intended to shore up military support for his rule, which makes sense. Caligula, unlike Augustus and Tiberius, came to power with no administrative or military achievements/experience. All he had were dynastic credentials. Thus, he sought to add a string to his bow - military legitimacy. By campaigning, he would show himself to be a great military leader who protects and expands the empire, and he also provides many soldiers with opportunities for plunder and career advancement, and honours and provides them with his attention. His other approach to bolstering his legitimacy as a leader appears to have been through reference to the model of Hellenistic god-king. After all, Hellenistic kings provided an example of autocratic leadership from recent history. This would help to explain his elaborate displays of pageantry, such as crossing the Bay of Baiae on a chariot atop a bridge of boats.
Well for what it’s worth It was the Netflix series that suggested that the Roman people were worried about bad spirits or similar in Britain . It was perhaps a matter of superstition. But like I said earlier itt I would like to dig more into this issue.

Prior to the British Campaign the netflix series suggests that Caligulas early reign as Emperor was said to be pleasant. Tiberius was absent from Rome and its people, so when Caligula came to power after Tiberius it was said that Caligula made great efforts to meet the Roman people and throw lavish parties for them. But later on for example the docudrama on netflix suggests Caligula was lazy to the point of not wanting hear about the various situations in Rome whether they be food shortages or something similar. To the point about Caligula using the Roman military to up his popularity by invading Britain...the series suggests that this campaign was a blunder and led to the assassination of Caligula by Cassius as well as Senators of Rome dissatisfied with the rule of Caligula. It was even suggested that Caligula made some of his own troops dress as British prisoners, to show off to the Roman people that the British campaign at least ended somewhat well wrt the capture of enemy soldiers. Wikipedia also comments on this,

Britannia[edit]
There seems to have been a northern campaign to Britannia that was aborted.[75] This campaign is derided by ancient historians with accounts of Gauls dressed up as Germanic tribesmen at his triumph and Roman troops ordered to collect seashells as "spoils of the sea".[77] The few primary sources disagree on what precisely occurred. Modern historians have put forward numerous theories in an attempt to explain these actions. This trip to the English Channel could have merely been a training and scouting mission.[78]The mission may have been to accept the surrender of the British chieftain Adminius.[79] "Seashells", or conchae in Latin, may be a metaphor for something else such as female genitalia (perhaps the troops visited brothels) or boats (perhaps they captured several small British boats).[80]


Caligula - Wikipedia

Another site suggests that Caligula sent 200,000 Roman Soliders to Britan, but not to fight rather to collect sea shells. And this comes from the bbc,

Julius Caesar had had a decent stab at invading Britain in 55 and 54 BC, even going so far as to install a suitably Rome-friendly king, Mandubracius, but he had to turn back to quell a revolt in Gaul, and his army was facing strong resistance from British guerrilla forces, so it was left to Claudius to come back a century later to finish the job with an army of 40,000 soldiers. In between those two attempts, Caligula had sent some 200,000 men to the channel in 40 AD, but insisted they gather seashells instead of making the crossing. Historians are not sure why he did this.

10 Things You May Not Know About the Roman Invasion of Britain | BBC America

One can imagine it was those types of allegations we see from the bbc that has led Caligula to be labeled as insane. But then again maybe there is more here. Have you come across anything showing Caligula to have military success specifically in Britain? Btw Im not much aware of Caligulas German campaigns but that does sound interesting.
 
Last edited: