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an historical evaluation of Season 1

ANALYSIS: Episode 11
The Spoils

From within Episode XI, The Spoils of the mini series Rome, a truly riveting story comes to life mixing elements of history with the wonderful art of cinematography. Episode XI was an episode that used much creative influence to portray events that may have not or did not occur. Within the episode however, many extremely key pieces of information did arise that ultimately took shape within the episode and affect the history of Rome and the Roman Republic. Through key scenes as Dictator and Colorful Death Threats, the audience finds themselves immersed in a dramatization of a conversation between two of the most well known conspirators in history. However, with these facts also come much creative input to create events that did not happen within the histories in order to better play into the plot line of the episode.

Rome as a mini-series was written and produced to portray a moderately accurate historical account of an extremely important time in world history, while trying to be very entertaining for watchers. Within a scene such as Dictators and Colorful Death Threats, there is much information that is introduced that can be traced back to histories written by Plutarch and Suetonius. Such key information is important to developing a screenplay that does not completely disrespect the facts that were drafted by historians from the period. In general, the use of very key facts and events within the series was done extremely well.

There are scenes within the episode that the producers and writers have used some creative leeway and insight into future events in the histories to develop subplots that work very well. In the scene Words Between Friends, Brutus and Caesar, the audience finds themselves experiencing an calm night with the two friends Brutus and Caesar playing a board game on the terrace. Caesar mentions that he has heard some of the rumors of deception toward him, possibly deception from Brutus himself. With this information know, Caesar has chosen to assign Brutus to govern Macedonia. This decision by Caesar is not mentioned in the histories, but the potential deception of Brutus know by Caesar is. The deception being fact within Plutarch’s history, the writers wrote a means of sudden anger into the scene with the decision Caesar made. This subplot made the story flow much better within the last two episodes for it was the tipping action that led him to truly betray and conspire against Caesar with Cassius. Such creative inputs in scenes were needed to let the story flow and make sense without there being recognizable gaps between relevant information.

With the complete use of factual information and creativity based around facts comes the use of blatant fiction within Episode XI, and Rome as a whole. The scenes involving Titus Pullo and Lucius Vorenus do not have any historical information to base their lives around. With this known, the writers and producers decided to back the fictional aspects of their lives with historical facts that could apply to them if they were truly historical figures. Within the scene How to Ease the 13th, information regarding troop compensation was used as an important theme in this portion of the episode. Troop compensation at this time in history is mentioned many times in the histories. This factual information helped to explain what the situation might have been like in Rome for those not worthy enough to be mentioned in the histories regarding these specific topics.

The blend of fact, fiction and screenplay brought Episode XI to a medium that can explain the importance of key information at the time, with a bit of camera magic. Giving voice to people whose voice has never been heard is a difficult task. When the credits have finished rolling, a viewer can walk away from the showing and understand the ideas within the movie, as well as the key facts needed to understand the fall of the Roman Republic.