sevilia road  
an historical evaluation of Season 1
 
   
 
Plot Summary: Episode VII
Pharsalus


The seventh episode of the first season of “Rome” opens with the dead bodies of Roman soldiers washed up on a sandbar in the Adriatic Sea. From the waves Lucius Vorenus and Titus Pullo, weary and falling down, make their way to the shore where bits of ship, dead men, equipment, lay strewn from the destruction of Antony’s ships which were requested by Caesar in the previous episode.

Then a there is a quick view of Caesar’s camp in Greece where men recovering from battle are roasting rats on a spit. The wounded and truncated soldiers are being tended to and Caesar’s slave, Posca, is collecting hot water.

Next we come to Caesar’s tent. Caesar and Mark Antony are looking over a map and discussing strategy. Caesar suggests that they march toward the coast via Thessaly and Antony suggests they go eastward. Caesar looks thoughtful whereas Antony looks confident and care-free. Posca has entered and announces that the hot water for shaving is ready. Antony returns to the map and says that the battle must be fought where they stand and boasts that the enemy will be “doubtless, dinner for worms.” Caesar appreciates his confidence, but his face betrays worry. Antony leaves. Caesar sits for his shave and warns his attendant, “Do try to avoid bloodshed this time.” Even Posca seems confident in his retort, “Just wait a while and Pompey can shave you instead.” Caesar is not wholly amused by this.

A parallel scene begins in Pompey’s tent. Pompey Magnus, Marcus Porcius Cato, Metellus Scipio, Marcus Tullius Cicero, and Marcus Junius Brutus are eating and discussing the allotment of offices and governorships. Cato asks “What of Labienus?” to which it is jokingly replied that he should be given Bithynia. Pompey tells them that “Macedonia and Bithynia are not yet ours to bestow.” He warns them that to discuss the allotment of provinces before the civil war has ended is like “cooking rabbits that have not been caught.” Cato replies that the rabbit (Caesar) “is cornered and starving” and “ready for the pot.” In short, Cato thinks that Caesar has suffered far too many losses and is ready to fall. Good spirits seem to abide in all except for in Brutus. He laments the close personal relationship that he and Caesar share and says, “Caesar’s defeat is glory, we cannot endure tyrants, but I cannot celebrate it; he was as a father to me.” Cato is eager to strike the weakened Caesar, but Pompey advocates a plan to wait out Caesar’s armies in the hope that they will starve and give up. Cato, Scipio, and Cicero urge Pompey to act so that his image as “Conqueror” and his honor can remain intact in the eyes of the Roman people.

Back at Rome, the herald announces news from Greece. He announces that “Mark Antony is safe but most of the ships in his fleet sent in aid of Gaius Julius Caesar have been lost at sea. Caesar is now surrounded and severely outnumbered. The forces of the Republic and Senate under Pompey Magnus confidently expect a decisive victory to follow shortly.” Atia hears the news in her litter on the way home. Atia finds Octavia feeding her parrot. Atia is concerned that her house is not adequately protected. In light of Caesar’s defeat she wants guards to protect her home, guards better than the “half-wits” that her henchman Timon brought her. Atia puts it, “Caesar will soon be dead by every account and we should be undefended. That means we’ll be lying naked in the street.” Atia asks Octavia to go to Servilia and ask for some of her men to guard Atia’s home in Servilia’s name. Octavia is reluctant to go and reveals that Servilia has said that Atia is very arrogant and that Atia cannot buy her friendship with gifts. Atia reminds Octavia that if Caesar wins they will be at the whim of the sexually depraved looters. Octavia retorts, “I’m past caring. One day Caesar is winning and you crow happily. Next he’s losing and I must go begging? I just want this vile war to be over one way or the other.” Atia gets the final word and bids Octavia to go to Servilia.

The episode moves to Niobe, Vorenus’ wife, as she is mashing something in an earthen vessel. Lyde enters after having had a spat with Niobe and cursing her concerning Niobe’s illegitimate child in the last episode. Niobe expresses that she is delighted to see her friend and that she is worried for her and offers her money. The two women have husbands on either side of the civil war and can see the effects in their daily lives of the war in Greece. They both give in and reconcile, both being tired of war and hardship. They embrace and Niobe lovingly offers Lyde some honey-water.

Back on the sandbar in the Adriatic, Pullo hunts for fish with a spear as Vorenus carves a message to his wife Niobe in a rock. Vorenus chides Pullo and mentions that they will die of thirst before hunger. Pullo suggests that they can drink the blood of the dead men. Vorenus replies that it is too salty and probably putrid by now. Pullo finds a sword and belt on the shore and straps it on. He seems stubborn and naively optimistic while Vorenus is preparing for an anti-climactic death. Vorenus urges Pullo to give up his hope, saying, “This is where we die.”

Back at Rome, Octavia and her slaves are preparing her in the mirror for her visit to Servilia. Atia is pleased that Octavia is putting effort into her appearance. Octavia explains it, “If I am to be a beggar, I’m not to look like one.” Atia gets in another jab at Servilia by calling her an “old trout.” Octavia fusses over her dress in a litter on the way to Servilia’s house.

The scene of Servilia and Octavia’s meeting now begins. Servilia and Octavia exchange pleasantries concerning the health of Atia and Brutus. The servant girl brings drinks and Octavia gets to business explaining that Atia “fears the consequences of the last battle in Greece” and is seeking some men to guard her door. Servilia replies that she should be concerned and that Atia “has enjoyed her ascendancy a little too well.” Servilia agrees and orders her slave to send Ajax and three or four others. Servilia looks grave; she is both annoyed by audacity of Atia, but is aware of her responsibility to help the family. Octavia breaks down and cries expressing that Servilia “is so good to us. We do not deserve it.” Octavia is again concerned with her image and mentions it to Servilia who fondly replies that she looks lovely. Octavia rises to leave making the excuse that Atia will be worried. Sevilia and Octavia embrace before departing and suggestive music plays in the background, as well as curious airs pass between the two well-to-do ladies.

There is a quick return to Pompey’s tent. Pompey tells a herald to send to Rome that “the decisive battle begins today.” Apparently, he has given into the advice of Cato and the rest. In his own tent, Caesar is resting. A soldier Fulvio rushes in and informs Caesar that “Pompey’s legions are in the field in battle-array.” Caesar thanks him, chides him for not saluting, calls for assembly, and orders his horse to be equipped. Posca questions his willingness to accept battle and notes that Caesar’s men are outnumbered 3:1 on foot and 5:1 on horse, scared, hungry, and wounded. Caesar’s opinion is that the predicament his army is in forces them to “win or die” while “Pompey’s men have other options.”

Next, shots of Caesar and Pompey go back and forth as they prepare for battle. Caesar prays to Zeus at an altar. Pompey washes his face. Caesar spills his own blood into an ornate bowl for sacrifice. Pompey puts on his armor. Caesar wraps his wound. Both men mount their horses among their legions. Caesar uses a man’s back to ascend his steed, while Pompey has a short stair of wood to reach his horse.

A short and choppy scene of Roman soldiers fighting ensues. A legion flag drops in the mud. The battle is over. Caesar rides through his troops to his tent as they are cheering his name. Inside, he tells Posca to send to Rome that “Caesar has won.” Caesar looks tired, disappointed, and falls asleep.

Away from the battle, Pompey sits alone underneath a tree holding his wounded hand. One of his soldiers hurries over to tell him of Caesar’s approaching troops. Pompey looks aloof and does not run as the soldier suggests. Rather, when told that Caesar’s soldiers will kill him, Pompey says that it is of “no consequence.” The soldiers seeing Pompey in a sort of temporary delirium rushes off- presumably for help.

Back in his tent, Cicero hurries in to meet Scipio, Cato, and Brutus and asks what to do. Scipio says that they will fight another day, but take care now to be safe. Cato cares less about safety than about beating Caesar. He argues that fresh levies must be called for at once in Africa. Brutus scoffs and does not think there are many more places to get soldiers; “Africa?” he says, “Dear god, we are fast running out of continents.” Cicero also adds that Pompey’s side is running out of coin, that they have taxed heavily enough and spent all the collections. He wonders how Pompey’s forces will buy Africa’s loyalty. Cato says “We need buy nothing. We are the Senate of Rome.” Cicero replies “We are old men with mud on our shoes.” Cicero continues, “You may fight on as you wish”, but that he is going to surrender to Caesar’s army. This incites Cato who asks him, “Do you have no dignity, no honor?” To this Cicero replies, “Some little I hope. Not as much as you of course.” Cicero seems to speak sincerely. Scipio warns that Caesar will kill Cicero, but Cicero says that he is aware of that possibility and that he is simply tired of fighting. Brutus agrees with Cicero and Cato again is incited to say, “But without the force of your name the cause of the Republic…” Brutus angrily cuts him off. He insults the conditions of war, the food, and Pompey himself, “Do not- Do not talk to me of the Republic! If I had known what wretched company and rotten food I would endure. If I had known what an old fool is Pompey, I would never have left Rome.” Pompey walks behind Brutus and hears him speaking ill of him. Brutus realizes Pompey is present and apologizes for his anger. Pompey forgives him and says “I merit your disappointment.” Pompey proposes that that they make for Amphipoli. I have men and money there. We can go by sea to Egypt. Ptolemy’s children are loyal friends of mine.” “Perhaps,” Cato says, “Perhaps, it’s better we do not travel together.” Pompey agrees, but seems concerned and aware of the dangers he faces in running away. The men disband. And Brutus and Cicero are still set on surrender.

In the Adriatic, crows fly above the sand bar as Pullo and Vorenus sit in wait. Pullo wonder why there have been no rescue ships. Vorenus is still annoyed that he has not accepted their death. Pullo begins to wonder about the after-life, “It will be good to see my mother again. Do you think they have a system in the after-life… a system for finding people. There must be millions of them.” Pullo muses over the fact that he will “probably give her a scare though, a big ugly brute coming to give her a hug.” Vorenus has an eureka moment and notices that the dead bodies float high in the water and he rushes over to them. There is flash to Pompey’s caravan. Then back to Pullo and Vorenus who are now tying the dead bodies together to make a raft. Once complete, both men take a moment of silence to reflect on their desperate situation and then push the corpse-raft out into the Adriatic waves.

Back at the mule-train, Pompey’s two children, his wife Cornelia, and Pompey himself are sitting round a fire as their caravan has stopped for the night. There are shady characters who lead them and foreboding music accompanies a shot of the barbarous Greeks as they consult each other. There is a flash to Pullo and Vorenus as they have passed out on the raft on the open sea under the sun. The scene goes back to Pompey’s Cornelia sleeping. She is awakened by Helen a servant who robbed her necklace. “Husband wake up our people are leaving” she says. Helen and the Roman soldiers are leaving quickly. She comforts her children by creating a game that when they see the sea at Amphipoli they are to shout it out, and the first one will get a peach. Pompey looks concerned and finds Lysandros his guide. He informs Lysandros that he is not to announce his identity to strangers, but to give the name Ennius Mela. Lysandros harasses Pompey that he receive payment not only for guidance, but also for protection. Pompey silences him and says that he will be payed in Amphipoli where he has ample coin and men.

A short over head shot of Octavia masturbating changes into her kneeling at an altar muttering with palms turned up, “Magna Mater, Magna Mater.” There are lit candles around a miniature temple. Atia enters and says, “You drive me insane with your wretched muttering. What is wrong that you must harass the gods so?” Octavia replies exacerbated, “Nothing.” Atia informs Octavia that Servilia has invited her to weave the following day. Octavia refuses. But Atia has already accepted and sympathizes “I know she’s tedious. Really. Weaving? But we must keep her happy for the time being.” It seems that Octavia has other reasons for her refusal.

The next scene returns to Pompey’s caravan. Lysandros walking looks back at Pompey, who hold the reins to his wagon in hand stares back at him suspiciously and disapprovingly. From the wagon, Pompey’s children shout out “the sea!” Remembering the game, Cornelia replies that they both are awarded a peach. The camera widens and we see that the caravan consists of no more than twenty men. The children hop out of the wagon and run to the sea shore where they find the unconscious bodies of Pullo and Vorenus. Vorenus wakes and Lysandros gives him some water. Lysandros asks where they are from. Vorenus replies, “Brundisi.” “Romans, ah!” says Lysandros pleased to have the two soldiers in company and explains that they will be good friends. Pullo recognizes Pompey but cannot remember who he is, so he questions him, but Pompey does not reveal his identity. Vorenus looks deliberately at Pompey who is some yards away with Cornelia looking at the sea. Cornelia questions Pompey why they are stopping early and who the two men are. Pompey snaps at her and is annoyed, but catches himself and does a pretty patchy job at consoling Cornelia. Pullo points at Pompey and says “Boy, he looks exactly like Pompey Magnus.” Vorenus chides him not to point. Pullo realizes that it really is Pompey. Pullo revels in the thought of the rewards Caesar will bestow on them for capturing Pompey and his family. However, the two soldiers are still weak and have not yet formulated a plan.

The scene shifts back to Rome and Servilia’s home. Octavia has arrived and she and Servilia exchange greetings. Servilia apologizes that Octavia became so upset last time and Octavia brushes it off. After they weave, which we do not see, the two women sit on couches to enjoy a meal. Servilia asks Octavia how Octavian is and if he is still in Mediolanum. Octavia replies that he is. Servilia’s servant-woman enters with news from Greece that Caesar has won and that Pompey’s armies are completely destroyed. There is no word of Brutus’ fate. Servilia begins to cry from distress. Octavia caresses her for consolation and out of concern. Servilia embraces her back. Once she gets a hold of her wits, she looks Octavia in the eye and they inch toward a kiss. They proceed to make-out and by inference much more.

Back in Greece, a band of soldiers along with Brutus and Cicero approaches Caesar’s camp. The two are dressed in robes without battle gear. They are stopped by two guards, “Halt! In the name of Rome.” Cicero sarcastically says, “He calls himself Rome now does he? Shameless.” When asked who he is Cicero replies, “We are Rome now, boy. What’s left of it. Come to surrender to your chief.” Brutus and Cicero are led to Caesar’s tent. Caesar leaps from his horse and rushes to them, calling them as old friends. Cicero salutes him. Caesar is pleased to see them safe. Cicero begins a formal speech of surrender. Caesar hushes him. Cicero looks plagued and uncomfortable to accept such clementia from a man he does not agree with. Caesar questions them about Pompey’s status. He finds that he lives and Caesar is relieved. He asks of Pompey’s whereabouts and Cicero informs him that Pompey does not intend to surrender and that he as well as Cato and Scipio have gone to Africa. Caesar calls Pompey’s persistence insane. Then Caesar realizes that Brutus and Cicero are tired, defeated, and ashamed. He ends the business talk and brings the two men inside to eat and drink. Brutus is still hesitant to accept such an invitation, but Caesar insists. In the tent, Antony and Caesar’s officers are feasting and talking of their military exploits. As Caesar enters with Brutus and Cicero the tent goes quiet as Caesar’s men observe Caesar’s actions. The three men sit down and Caesar pours Brutus wine and hands him bread. Once Brutus accepts the brutish soldier talk proceeds. Antony looks on with hostility.

The camera moves to Pompey’s caravan which has stopped for the night. Pompey is telling his children a story around the camp fire, “His father King Ptolemy Auletes XII was a close friend of mine. I was always assured a loving welcome in Egypt. I remember on one occasion I was out hunting with the King. We were hunting lions you see. RAHH. The king was a rather poor bowman and we couldn’t tell if the lion was dead…” Pompey’s story telling fades and the camera shifts to Vorenus and Pullo eating by another fire and eyeing Pompey. Lysandros comes over to the two men. He questions their health with good nature. Vorenus asks who the Roman (Pompey) is. Lysandros replies Ennius Mela. Vorenus continues, “What do you hear of Caesar and Pompey?” Lysandros replies, “They fought, I heard.” Pullo interrupts, “And?” Lysandros replies, “You know who won.” He waves off their questioning. Lysandros continues, “I was going to let you in anyway. You boys are clever fellows, I bet. Know how to fight. Me and my boys can’t take his people alone. Us and you together? No problem. We go down middle on the reward. You can have the wife and children. I take the slaves.” Lysandros waits for his proposition to be accepted. Vorenus tells him to walk away and keep his mouth shut. Lysandros becomes indignant, “Oh I see. You think you don’t need me. You think you can keep the reward for yourself. Fuck you. Not going to happen. I gave you your lives, I can take them away easy.” Lysandros has crossed the line with Vorenus. Vorenus stands up angry from the threat. He gives Lysandros the ultimatum to run away quietly or die. Lysandros rudely gestures at him and Vorenus deftly turns and puts his sword through his throat. Pompey comes over to question Vorenus’ actions, “Speak up! This man was in my employ.” Vorenus explains that Lysandros was plotting to attack Pompey. Pompey is not convinced that the two soldiers have become loyal to him in so short a time. Pompey questions their names, still thinking they do not know him. Vorenus introduces himself as “Lucius Vorenus, prefect and evocati of the 13th legion under Gaius Julius Caesar. Titus Pullo legionary of the same.” Pompey introduces himself by the fake name. Vorenus tells Pompey that he must consider himself a prisoner of the 13th and announces to all present, “I own you now” as he points a figure around the camp. Pullo adds “We know who you are.” Pompey asks to speak to Vorenus aside. For a moment Pompey tries to keep up the gig, but gives up and begins to speak of the fame of the 13th legion, “I recall the 13th. It was at Elesia? There’s a battle I’ve always wished to have seen. 25 miles of works wasn’t it?” “30” Vorenus replies, “and 60,000 men.” Pompey continues to question in admiration. Vorenus tells him that at Elesia they fought at least double their own number and that the enemy was full of the best men from every tribe in Gaul. “Caesar can fight, I’ll give him that…”, Pompey adds. He begins to tell a story about sending Caesar to winter quarters, but his memory escapes him. Vorenus is softening in front of so great a man as Pompey and Vorenus himself turns to asking in admiration of the battle of Pharsalus, “Surely Pompey had Caesar at a great disadvantage.” Pompey replies, “He did. Didn’t seem possible to lose. That’s always a bad sign. The battle field was on a plain by a river at the foot of some low hills. Like this (he draws it up in the dirt). The lines met here. My men held their ground well, so I sent my horses at his right flank. Perfectly correct, you agree? (Vorenus assents)The cowards were repulsed by a single cohort of reserves, turned and fled. Two hundred horses crashed directly into my left flank. Rolled up my line like a carpet. Put the whole damned army to flight. Here I am. That’s how Pompey Magnus was defeated. That’s how the Republic died.” Pompey and Vorenus silently are in agreement as to Pompey’s real identity. Vorenus stares in sympathy and respect for Pompey’s defeated character. Vorenus is unsure of himself and bids Pompey good night. Pompey stops him and suddenly becomes emotional, “I will not ask favor or mercy for myself, but I beg you consider the fate of my wife and children. Let me take them to Egypt where they will be safe with friends.” Pompey is crying now, though collects himself promptly. Vorenus walks away.

The camera moves to the night and the waves of the Adriatic. It creates a visual buffer by a short shot of Octavia and Servilia lying in bed. Then the scene becomes morning and Pompey is sleeping. He wakes to find Vorenus packing. Vorenus and Pullo are leaving Pompey’s personal camp. Pullo is complaining at what we infer is Vorenus’ sympathy and decision not to take Pompey as prisoner. “Unwise and unfriendly,” Pullo quotes Vorenus’ reasoning and continues, “Why? Why? We had him. We had him! Horses, never mind horses. Never mind gold. Caesar would have given us farms and fields and orchards and great flocks of slaves and cattle and Dis knows what.” Vorenus chides him, “Desist! Pompey Magnus is no damn slave to be sold for money.” Pullo is not convinced, “I don’t see why not.” Frustrated Vorenus says, “There is a great deal you don’t see.”

Back at Caesar’s camp there are wooden watch towers at the gate and camp fires going. In Caesar’s tent Vorenus and Pullo have finally reached their destination. Antony, already having heard their tale, accompanies them in the tent. Caesar remarks concerning the ship wreck, “You and only twelve other men survived that storm out of five thousand. You are being kept alive for some great purpose no doubt.” Pullo speaks out of turn as is his wont. Vorenus informs Caesar that on his journey he has encountered Pompey Magnus, his family, and his servants with a mule train on the way to Egypt. “Poor wretch”, mocks Antony with fake sympathy and blood lust in his eyes. Caesar inquires why, if there were only servants and no soldiers, did the two not apprehend him. Vorenus explains, “I thought it would be wrong to do so… his hands trembled, his clothes were dirty, there was water in his eyes, he is broken. I saw no need to apprehend him. I would like to add that legionary Pullo took no part in my decision.” Caesar is infuriated and shouts, “You saw no need? Do you not see that Pompey may be broken like a Dacian catamite and still be dangerous? If he is still living he will be a standard around which our enemies will gather. As long as he can be propped on a horse he is dangerous, but you saw no need to apprehend him. Who but the sons of Dis gives you the right to make such judgment!?” Vorenus admits that he was wrong and asks for pardon. Caesar replies, “I ought to have you scourged and crucified.” Caesar takes a deep breath, coming to some kind of understanding with Vorenus and says, “In the future you will remember that it is I who offers mercy, no one else. Clear?” Vorenus agrees and they are dismissed. Antony disagrees with his decision and advocates a violent punishment. Caesar looks contemplative and expresses, “Any other man, certainly, but those two… they found my stolen standard. Now they survive a wreck that drowned an army and find Pompey Magnus on a beach. They have powerful gods on their side and I will not kill any man with friends of that sort.” Caesar orders Posca to tell Fulvio to break camp and that they are going to Egypt. Antony is quelled, but not convinced.

The final scene begins as Pompey approaches the shore at Alexandria. He disembarks from a green skiff with a checkered pattern. Lucius Septimus wades through the shallows to greet him, “General Pompey sir, remember me? Lucius Septimius, centurion Septimius, as was. I was with you in Spain- 4th legion, 3rd cohort.” Pompey remembers and asks, “What are you doing here?” Septimius replies, “Working for the Gypos… it’s not the 4th by no means. Man’s gotta earn his salt though, eh?” There are a few Egyptians standing along the shore, none known to Pompey. Pompey enquires and comments, “Not much of a welcome party.” Septimius brushes off the suspicion with a sly smile and adds, “You know Egyptians, it’s just their way. Funny people.” Pompey offers his hand in friendship. Septimius grabs it with force. Pompey knows now something is wrong. Septimius unsheathes his sword. “I’m sorry sir”, he says and stabs Pompey in the gut. Cornelia looks on from another skiff and covers the eyes of her children. Pompey falls to his knees and looks up at Septimius with surprise and expectation. Septimius raises his short sword and swiftly beheads Pompey. Pompey’s headless corpses falls in the water as the scene widens and the credits begins.

The End.

 

 
Dramatis Personae
Lucius Vorenus

Lucius Vorenus is a Roman soldier of Julius Caesar’s 13th legion. He introduces himself as prefect an evocatii. He is a veteran officer. Lucius holds a higher rank than his companion Pullo. In this episode, Lucius has been stranded with Pullo after the wreck of Antony’s ships in the Aegean. Later, his path crosses with Pompey’s, the commander of the enemy army.
Titus Pullo

Titus Pullo is a legionary of the Julius Caesar’s 13th legion and serves under Vorenus. He is a plebian and unmarried. In this episode Pullo has been stranded with Vorenus by the wreck of Antony’s ships. The two men come upon an unguarded Pompey, the enemy of Caesar.
Julius Caesar

Julius Caesar is ponitfex maximus and governor of Gaul. He is the commander of the one side in the civil war. In this episode he is marching in Greece keeping on the move to avoid battle with Pompey. He has set up camp at Pharsalus and Pompey has too. Battle seems imminent.
Pompey Magnus

Pompey Magnus is the leader of the Republican forces. He is a senator of Rome and an ex-consul. In this episode he has pitched camp near Caesar at Pharsalus and is expected to defeat Caesar’s armies.
atia

Atia of the Julii is the niece of Julius Caesar and the mother of Octavian and Octavia. In this episode she feels the repercussions in the city of the battles abroad. She holds a spiteful bitterness toward Servilia of the Junii. Both women are nobles abandoned in Rome by the wars in Greece.
marc antony

Marc Antony, a senator, is Caesar’s second in command. In the previous episode he was called by Caesar to bring aid to Greece, though his ships were wrecked. Antony survived and has returned to Caesar’s camp.
brutus

Brutus, or Marcus Junius Brutus, is a politician in Rome. Though he has a personal relationship with Caesar, he has sided with the Republican forces and Pompey. In this episode he is grave and anxious, because of his inner turmoil concerning the rights and wrongs of the civil war.
Servilia

Servilia of the Junii is the mother of Brutus and a noble woman at Rome during the civil wars. She and Atia have enmity between them, however, she allows Atia to use Octavia as a go-between. Servilia’s son Brutus is at war and she feels the tension with each report of the battles.
Octavian
Content 9
Posca

Posca is Julius Caesar’s slave and attendant. He accompanies Caesar wherever he goes and performs tasks ranging from shaving Caesar’s beard to giving words of advice. In this episode Posca is at Pharsalus with Caesar and appears in his tent with him.
Octavia

Octavia is the daughter of Atia and the grand-niece of Julius Caesar. She is a young noble woman who is sick of her mother’s scheming. She being left abandoned by a mother figure to some extent turns to Servilia, a noble woman with ties to Pompey’s forces through Brutus.
Niobe
Niobe is the wife of Lucius Vorenus. She is a plebian and lives in the insulae at the heart of Rome. Her husband has been gone at war for close to 8 years. She has an affair with Lyde’s husband earlier in the season. She becomes pregnant and after the baby is born says that it is her daughters.
Cato

Cato, or Marcus Porcius Cato is the paragon of the optimates. He is a senator of Rome and in this episode he is a member of Pompey’s counsel and fights in the battle of Pharsalus.
Scipio
Scipio’s full name is Quintus Caecilius Metellus Pius Scipio Nasica. He was proconsul in Syria and contributed soldiers to the forces of the Republic at Pharsalus. He is Pompey’s father-in-law and also sits in counsel with him.
Cicero

Cicero, or Marcus Tullius Cicero, is a senator of Rome and a great orator. He is dragged into the civil wars of Rome, but strictly adheres to neither side. In this episode he and Brutus show their discontentment by surrendering to Caesar.
merula
Content 16
Newsreader

Newsreader appears in various episodes reading the scrolls and sent from abroad. As we see the news could come from any source or general. In this episode, both Caesar and Pompey send back to Rome with their own words.
Lyde
Lyde is another plebian woman in the city of Rome. Once friends with Niobe, their friendship has undergone some tension since the physical affair of Lyde’s husband and Niobe. In this episode the stress of the wars abroad brings the two women together. They seem to patch things up for now as they bond in the common doubt of war.
Fulvio
Fulvio is a legionary of Caesar’s. It is unclear which legion, probably the prominent 13th. He may hold higher rank because he is the man to report to Caesar’s tent with news of Pompey’s preparing for battle.
Castor
Content 20
curial Magistrate
Content 21
crucified man
Content 22
Cornelia
Cornelia Metella is the daughter of Scipio and the 5th wife of Pompey. Plutarch tells us she was well-educated. Cornelia had been previously married. In this episode she meets Pompey after his defeat at Pharsalus and accompanies him to Egypt.
Cornelia's Children
Cornelia’s two children, these children did not exist in history; however, in this episode two small children accompany Cornelia and Pompey on their way to Egypt.
Head Priest
Content 25
Julia
Content 26
Lysandros
Lysandros seems to be a local Greek who Pompey has paid to guide him to Amphipoli and see them off to Egypt. Lysandros is a shady character who knows Pompey’s real identity and is eager to make some money from the situation.
Septimius
Lucius Septimius was a member of Pompey’s legion in Spain. In a previous episode he has been sent to Egypt to kill Pompey without Caesar’s knowledge. In this episode, Septimius appears in the last scene to finish the deed.
Rubio
Content 29
Sextus
Content 30
Slave Trader
Content 31
Strabo
Content 32
Vercingetorix
Content 33
Timon
Content 34
Eleni
Content 35
Milo
Content 36