sevilia road  
an historical evaluation of Season 1
Plot Summary: Episode X   Triumph

Episode 10 opens with the senate meeting in the senate house in Rome, much fuller than the last time they met. Most of senators are back. Focuses on Brutus and Cicero talking: Brutus says that there are a lot of long faces, which Cicero states is customary at funerals. Brutus states that the Republic was old and that death can sometimes be a relief for those who are so old. Cicero says that he shouldn’t make jokes about tyranny. Cicero suggests that they should go to the country while the city loses its senses. They both had to reconcile with Caesar for the good of Rome. Brutus says that they have no honor, even if they do go to the country. For if they did have honor they would be in the afterlife with Cato and Scipio. Caesar and Antony walk into the senate with 2 guards/slaves behind them who remove the second curule chair after Caesar is seated. Cicero is called to speak to the Senate. He proposes that on the eve of Caesar’s glorious Triumph that Caesar be made Imperator and granted absolute power over Rome for a period of 10 years. There is a long silence and then unenthusiastic clapping. Brutus then stands up. After joking about their differences, he says that because of Caesar’s wisdom and mercy he pledges loyalty to him and urges others to do the same. He heartily seconds Cicero’s motion. There is more clapping and the motion is carried unanimously. Caesar states that he does not hold any grudges against the many senators who fought against him and wished him dead. But he does demand that they join him in creating a New Rome in which justice, peace and land is given to all citizen and not just the privileged few. He threatens: “oppose me and Rome will not forgive you a second time.” He says that the war is over. Clapping and the senators go and greet him etc. Brutus and Caesar hug.

The next scene starts while Servilia is sleeping. Her slave Eleni says that Atia of the Julii family is there in the house to see Servilia. Servilia comes out carried on a little chair by two slaves. She is wrapped up and her head is covered (she was previously attacked). Atia kneels before her and Servilia’s two slaves, Merula and Eleni, exchange disapproving looks. Atia describing the details of the horrific attack, claims to be very upset at what had been done to Servilia and asks that she forgive her for not visiting sooner. Servilia assures her that justice will find the culprits eventually. Atia then twists the knife further, by praising Brutus’ submission to Caesar. Atia asks Servilia if she will sit with her in a seat of honor at the Triumph, but Servilia declines stating that she will not be well enough to join her. Servilia asks about Octavia, who sent herself into exile after her incestuous relationship with Octavian. Atia lies and states that Octavia is staying with her cousins in Paestum and she will be back for the triumph.

In the third scene, Octavia is kneeling in a tent-like space with moss, stones and candles at the temple to the Great Mother. She is cutting her arm with a knife. Octavian comes in and says that he is there to take her home. She believes herself to be happy there, but he says that her place is with her family and that if people found out that she has fled then they would be disgraced. She does not want to go home because their family does not have any healthy relationships. Octavian says that the priests take her money and that everyone, including him and their mother, misses her in their household. Octavia says that she still doesn’t forgive her mother, even if her mother and Octavian have forgiven her. Octavian states that forgiveness is irrelevant and that she must come home. He has bought the priests, so there is no way that she can resist him. He finally sees the cuts on her arm as he begins to take her away.

Next, in a market place, Vorenus is in a white toga flanked by his wife Niobe and Caesar’s slave Posca. Vorenus begins talking to his “fellow citizens of Aventine.” At first he cannot get their attention, but after raising his voice he does and he introduces himself by name, tribe and military credentials. He says that he brings good news: Caesar has put an end to Patrician tyranny. However, one man insults him by calling him a “ginger” and to go back to Gaul. This same man also continues to interrupt him. Vorenus speaks well and counters the insult. He is in fact a Roman, from Roman stock and blood. He stresses that he has shed his blood for Rome, as had his father, and his father before him. He also argues that his wife is Roman and was born on the Aventine. People cheer. He tells them that if he is elected as local magistrate he will strive for peace, property and justice for all Aventine. Reminding them of the next day’s big event, he refers to Caesar’s triumph as his symbol of love for the people of Rome. The guy interrupts him again, “Cac.” Niobe yells at him, but Posca tells her that she must act lady-like. Vorenus goes on to announce five days of feasting and games in appreciation of the trust and support the people have given Caesar. When the heckler interjects that the people have given Caesar their freedom and honor, Posca signals to some of his men in the crowd to stand in front of the heckler. Vorenus continues that if he did not believe in what he is speaking, then he would not be saying it. The guy who had been interrupting him is unobtrusively dragged away. He says, with Posca prompting, that with the Triumph, a new era begins. People clap.

During the fifth scene, two soldiers are dragging a naked man into a darkly-lit area where Caesar and Antony are waiting. When Caesar, looking at the wretched man, addresses him as the King of the Gauls, Antony remarks that it makes you think. Caesar agrees and says “Goodbye old friend” to Vercingetorix. He tells the soldiers to tidy him up because he looks dead before the Triumph. Antony gives the King a dirty look before they leave.

The next scene focuses on the preparations for the Triumph. Everyone is busy cleaning the city. They let down banners, wash statues, and hold crates of birds. Outside Rome’s walls, the soldiers are getting ready and dressed; a few are in animal skins. Pullo goes to the 13th legion soldiers and asks them if he could borrow someone’s extra crest because he has lost his. The man he was talking to says that no, he cannot borrow it because only men who are still enlisted in the army (Pullo left) can march in the Triumph. But if he wants to re-enlist then he may join them. Pullo says that he saved many of their lives and worked hard to be a part of that legion, he has given enough blood, and he had earned his place in the marching. However, that centurion says that he doesn’t make the rules, but he’ll drink with Pullo after the triumph. When Pullo insultingly declines, the centurion calls Pullo a citizen and tells him to leave.

The following scene opens with Caesar and Posca. Caesar is asking if there is too much purple in his cloak. He wants to have a hint of purple, but be mostly decked out in red. Antony speaks to him and says that his resemblance to Jupiter is uncanny. Antony finds the triumphal practice of dressing up and playing at being a god to be absurd. Caesar, however, sternly says that he is not playing, this is not a game. He goes over a to-do list with Posca that includes elephant emetics.

Scene eight opens with Brutus and Servilia are in their house. She is not better from her ordeal and Brutus suggests taking her away to the country, like Cicero has suggested to him. She says that she will rise when she has reason to do so. She is very angry with him for having to beg Caesar for mercy and feels that he is a disgrace to his family. She tells him to go to the Triumph. He leaves.

In this next scene, a slave is covering Octavia’s cuts on her arm with makeup. Atia comes into the room and tries to take over doing Octavia’s makeup on her face. Atia says that she has missed her and wants her to talk to her. In order to do so, she says that the priests whom Octavia was staying with did something to her, but then Octavia says that they did not. Atia says that Octavia has been missed, she kisses her and leaves.

A drunken Quintus Pompey (Pompey’s illegitimate son), in this next scene, comes running in a blue coat down the road and bangs on the door of the house of Brutus. Her maid Eleni goes to ask Servilia, for Brutus has already left for the Triumph, what they should do. At first Servilia tells her to send him away, but then Pompey starts yelling for Brutus. He states that Brutus is a traitor and that he himself swears by all the gods that he will kill Caesar himself. Servilia then lets him into the house and asks him what he wants. He wants protection and he wants to kill Caesar. Servilia says that he is among friends and tells her slaves to wash and feed him.

The scene turns to Caesar, dressed in red and with a gold laurel leaf-like crown and a gold breastplate, he is kneeling in an open part of a temple. Octavian, dressed in pontifical robes, comes into the area, his hem dragging sacrificial blood on the floor. Octavian puts blood/red paint on Caesar’s face.

Scene 12 depicts soldiers bring the King of the Gauls out all dressed up. They place him in a cart and tie him to a wooden pole with rope. They also string a rope around his neck, preparing him to be killed during the Triumph.

While this is going on, Pullo is sitting at a table, depressed and sad, while all of the commotion is going around him.

The fourteenth scene depicts the actual Triumph. Vorenus’ family is watching the Triumph in the crowd. Lots of people, soldiers and elephants and trumpeters are in the marching. Vorenus tries to move closer to get a better look. Brutus sits with Cicero. Caesar come in riding a gold chariot pulled by 4 white horses with a slave behind him holding up a golden crown above his head. Octavian walks down with the priests. There are flower petals, white and red, as well as red flags with Caesar’s golden eagle. When he reaches the end of the march at the Temple of Jupiter Optimus-Maximus, Caesar gets off of the chariot. A giant white ox pulls a cart-like thing in which the King of the Gauls is held up and tied to a garrote device. Caesar sits in the special seating box with Atia, Octavia, Antony and Caesar’s wife. Octavian smiles a little to Octavia, Antony and Atia peek glances at each other. Drums play and people are silent as they wait for Caesar to give the signal. He waves two fingers and they hang the King of the Gauls. All is silence while he suffocates. Caesar bows his head and when he rises, there are many great cheers. Caesar stands with his arms raised and doves fly. They are to have games and feasting for the next five days in his honor.

The next scene shows the aftermath of the Triumph. As the city slaves clean the forum post triumph, the camera pans past the dead Vercingetorix. The Newsreader proclaims: 1) that there will be tables enough for 5000 men in the Forum Boarium (cattle Forum). Slaves and Freedmen will not be eligible to sit there, and those citizens who do not find room to sit down will be asked to leave. 2) that each and every citizen for their virtue will be issued from the public treasury 100 denarii, 3) that 20,000 deserving families will be given farms on the public lands in the area around Capua, and 4) that all rents on low-dwellings in the city will be paid for 1 year by Caesar. Vorenus looks on.

In the sixteenth scene, Pompey is in Brutus’ house with Servilia and Brutus comes in. He is angry that Servilia still entertains him, at it is seen as bad that the house of Brutus has been hosting a relative to Pompey. When Servilia insists that Quintus stay because his passion warms her, Brutus angrily tells her to buy more lamps. Servilia insults Brutus and says that no more shame will come to the house that has already been brought there by him.

Next, Posca is trying to teach Vorenus the workings of politics and the things he must do when he become magistrate. Vorenus does not wish to learn these things until he wins the election, however the slave is confident that he will. Vorenus questions him, and he finds out that there are some people running against him, but they are merely “straw men” and that it has already been decided that Vorenus will win the election. Vorenus gets angry that the system is so corrupt, because he believes that these elections were sacred. However, the slave counters that Caesar is a god, at least on the day of his Triumph, and that what he does is divinely sanctioned and sacred. The people want jobs, stability, and peace, they do not care about clean elections. Posca tells Vorenus that he can help save the republic doing this, or he can go back to work in a butcher shop and have dirty hands with a clean conscience.

The next scene shows Pullo and Vorenus talking in Vorenus’ home. Pullo wants to free the slave Eirene because he loves her. Vorenus congratulates him and says that he will vouch for him in the slave registry and will lend him some money. Pullo then tells him that he will then go to live in the country with her. He will get a job in the country and live in the fresh air. Vorenus seems skeptical, but Pullo assures him that he has worked it all out. They embrace in a friendly manner.

Cicero and Brutus, in this following scene, are in the Forum on their way to the Senate house. Brutus mocks him because Cicero has not left yet to the country. Cicero shows him a document making the rounds. It is a “call to virtue” for the sons of the Republic to honor the memory and emulate the deeds of Porcius Cato the last true Roman. When Brutus asks Cicero who wrote this, pointing to the signature he replies, “you did.” Brutus, however, had no knowledge of it.

The twentieth scene depicts Brutus going back to his home to talk to his mother about the “call to virtue” document. She says that it is not lunacy but a cogent defense of republican principles against the forces of tyranny, and that she did write the document. As she states that Cassius and Quintus Pompey helped her in writing it, Brutus realizes that he has guests. After a strained exchange of pleasantries with Cassius, Brutus excuses himself for a private conversation with Servilia. He says that it is not her name to defile so by signing it to that document. But she says that although he can never fail her, he has failed the Republic. Brutus thinks it bad enough that she keeps that little man Quintus in the house, but forging his name to that document is too much. When Servilia sneers that he should just go fall on his knees, kiss Caesar’s feet and beg for mercy as it served him well in the past, Brutus slams her with “But not you, perhaps you did not beg hard enough.” Brutus fears what Caesar will do to him. Servilia wants Brutus to emulate his ancestor who drove the last king out of the city by gathering likeminded men to take this tyrant out. When Brutus calls such men mad, Servilia says that she would rather be mad than to disgrace her family’s name. Leaving, he tells her to forget this insanity, to send her foolish lackeys away. When Cassius tries to corner him, he politely takes his leave agreeing that Cassius could perhaps visit another day.

In this scene, Vorenus and Pullo are at the slave registry. Vorenus swearing that he is of full Roman citizenship, and that he can attest to Pullo’s ownership of the listed property, vouches for Pullo to the clerk there. Pullo signs the paper and in doing so frees Eirene.

Directly after this scene, Pullo and Vorenus arrive back at Vorenus’ house. Pullo talks to Eirene alone and begins to tell her that he has been to the registrar of the slaves. She doesn’t want to be sold, but he quickly tells her that he has freed her. She is extremely grateful and runs to go try on the dress that he got her. While she is gone, another slave comes up to Pullo and tells him how glad he is that he has freed Eirene. He and Eirene were trying to save up money to free themselves so that they could one day get legally married. Pullo becomes so enraged when he hears this, that he takes this man and bashes his head against a brick column and kills him. Eirene comes out screaming and the whole of Vorenus’ house comes down to see the commotion. Vorenus gets angry because that was his slave that Pullo killed in Vorenus’ house in front of his family. Pullo says that he is sorry and that he will pay him back. Vorenus yells at him, "You're a damned fool! The disrespect! The stupidity! I'm a candidate for magistrate, I can't have killings in my yard!". Now they are both angry with each other. Pullo criticizes Vorenus "And here you are, with your nice clean white toga...stays clean no matter how deep you wade in filth... Time was, you said Caesar was a rebel and a traitor. Now today, he tosses you a little coin and some farmland, and he's savior of the Republic." Vorenus responds by wanting to fight Pullo, but Pullo will not. Vorenus tells Pullo to leave and never to come back. Niobe, Vorenus’ wife, tells Pullo to stay away from Eirene as he leaves.

This next scene switches away from Pullo and Vorenus. At the Senate house as senators are leaving, Brutus tells Caesar that it was not he who wrote the document against him. Caesar says that he believes him. For why would Brutus ever put his name to something that he was going to renounce later? But Caesar does wonder who could have written it, someone of talent, for he has seldom seen a bad case so well put. Brutus feigns ignorance. Caesar says that he must reply to it publicly. When Brutus seeks reassurance concerning where they stand, Caesar tells Brutus that he has never doubted his friendship and fidelity, even when they were enemies. He leaves Brutus puzzled standing alone.

The next scenes are shown in quick succession. Scenes twenty-four to twenty- eight serve as the conclusion to the episode. First, outside the walls, soldiers throw the body of Vercingetorix onto a trash heap. Next, Servilia is getting all dressed up, with her hair done up and such. It switches to the Julii and Octavia is sleeping in her bed. Atia comes in and lies down with her daughter. Again the view point switches. Some people (Gauls) take the body of Vercingetorix, chieftain of the Averni, to a proper funeral pyre in the woods. The final scene, scene twenty-eight, contains important plot information concerning Pullo. Pullo is drunk in a tavern. He is depressed and low on money. Local mob boss Erastes Fulmen, sits down to talk to Pullo. He says he hates to see a man of such abilities unemployed. When Erastes tells Pullo that he will always have a job for him, Pullo says that he is a soldier and not a murderer. Erastes states that those two things are not so different anymore. He asks Pullo to come visit him when he has sobered up and leaves Pullo with a coin to buy another drink.

Dramatis Personae

Lucius Vorenus

Lucius Vorenus is based on a real historical figure, but all aspects of his character In Rome are fictionalized. Once a centurion in Caesar’s army, he now lives at home with his family in Rome. Earlier on in the season he was a butcher. However, in previous episodes, Caesar offered him a place as magistrate. Despite his hatred of tyranny and his belief that Caesar is a tyrant, he agrees because he needs Caesar’s help against Erastes Fulmen, the thug. He also needs money as well because he is no longer in Caesar’s army. During this episode, Posca, Caesar’s personal slave, helps Vorenus to run for magistrate and to get acquainted with the political system in new Rome.
Titus Pullo

Although his name is mentioned in one of Caesar’s writings, Titus Pullo is a fictional character. Once part of the 13th Legion in Caesar’s army as a foot soldier, at the point of episode 10, he now resides with his friend Vorenus. At this point in the story, he is madly in love with this slave girl that he had found attached to the wagon carrying the gold of the treasury. The slave girl, Eirene, is living and working at Vorenus’ house as well. During this episode he wishes to get Vorenus’ help in freeing the girl.
Julius Caesar

Gaius Julius Caesar was indeed a historical figure. Dealing with his new set of power, Caesar immediately holds a grand Triumph for himself. Now that he has taken Rome, the Civil War has ended, and is now a 10 year Dictator over Rome, Caesar has an overwhelming amount of power. This episode deals mainly with the planning of his Triumph, but also his relationships with Antony and Brutus.

Atia was a historical character, although the writers of Rome have tampered with her historical character to make an interesting fictitious one. Atia is a noblewoman who is the niece of Caesar and mother of Octavia and Octavian. In Rome, she is a conniving and ambitious woman who can’t wait to grasp part of the power that Caesar and Antony now hold. In this episode she tries to hold social niceties with Servilia. Surprisingly Atia actually shows her maternal side toward her children, especially Octavia, during this episode.
marc antony

Mark Antony was a historical character. In Episode 10, Antony stands behind Caesar now that he has taken over. Although they have always been working together, now Caesar has taken center stage. Antony enters the Senate with him, and he is by Caesar’s side when Caesar makes sure that the preparations for his Triumph are going well. However, Antony thinks that it is funny how the people view Caesar is a god, to which Caesar states that he is. Antony seems to be a bit overwhelmed at the change that has occurred in Caesar because of this. But he does not do anything; he just sits back and watches as the Triumph and other events unfold.

Brutus is a historical character. Brutus has previously reconciled with Caesar after the civil war has pretty much come to an end. He and Cicero are still Senators but are required to do what Caesar bids him. Brutus must do what Caesar wishes, but he must also deal with his mother, Servilia, who continuously berates him to take Caesar down. In episode 10, Brutus begins to realize that there will be an increasing tension within and around him concerning whether he decides to side with Caesar or the old Republic.

Servilia was a historical character, despite the fact that the writers of Rome have inserted certain events that give her a more dramatic and less historical character. Servilia, Brutus’ mother, defines the phrase “Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned” throughout the latter half of the first season in Rome. Caesar rejects her and as a result she is determined to bring him down. Throughout this episode, she teams up with Quintus Pompey and Cassius to write a letter to rally people against Caesar. However, in doing so she goes against her son Brutus, whom she thinks has failed the Republic because he has not gotten rid of the tyrant Caesar.

Octavian is a historical character. Son of Atia and nephew of Caesar, there is a lot of political pressure put on Octavian. On the onset of this episode, he goes to the Temple of the Great Mother to bring back his sister Octavia. She had fled due to their incestuous relationship in the previous episode. He tries to convince her with words, but he made sure to have a back-up plan, which was to buy the priests. Smart and resourceful, Octavian shows that his experiences have lead to his growth as a character. During Episode 10, he performs the Triumphal ritual for Caesar, placing him in a position of honor. He has had to grow up since the last Episode because of his actions with his sister.

Posca is a fictional character. In Rome, Posca is Caesar’s close slave and often advisor. In Episode 10, he is sent to help Vorenus with his politicking. He teaches Vorenus how the system works and gives him tips on how to say speeches and present himself. Posca knows from Caesar that the elections are already rigged in his favor. Posca also helps prepare Caesar for his Triumph and does other important tasks that Caesar assigns him.

Octavia is a historical character. Sister to Octavian and daughter to Atia, Octavia is conflicted between her family and her love for Servilia. In the beginning of this episode, she has hidden herself in the Temple of the Great Mother after her previous incestuous relationship with her brother. A relationship that had been suggested, almost forced, by Servilia. During this episode she is recovering from recent occurrences with her and her family. She tries to heal after what she has done has become evident to her. She realizes what she has done was wrong, and tries to adjust back into normal life.

Niobe is a fictional character. Vorenus’ wife, Niobe is happy that Vorenus is running for magistrate, for it means that they will receive a higher income and will have lands in the country. Although she had previously despised her husband, she has grown fond of him. This becomes evident when she defends him while he is insulted while talking to the people of the Aventine. She is a strong-willed woman who defends her husband and her family. She helps protect Eirene once Pullo’s anger become too much for him to control. Her character and the change it has gone through manifests in little acts of hers throughout this episode.

Cicero was also a historical figure. Now again a Senator back at Rome, Cicero is indebted to Caesar. As a result he must be the one to suggest that Caesar should be voted to have absolute power in Rome for the next 10 years. Cicero tells Brutus that he wishes he could go off to live in the country, but feels that he must remain here. As a respected orator and lawyer, it is important that Caesar have him on his side.

Merula is a fictional character. She is Atia's faithful body-slave. She is present in the second scene, serving Atia. They both share exchange disapproving looks when Atia is visiting.
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Eirene is a fictional character. Pullo previously found Eirene and took her back to Vorenus’ house to be a slave there. She served Niobe while she was in the home of Vorenus. In this Episode, Pullo decides that he loves her and wishes to set her free so that he can marry her. She respects Pullo and thinks that he is a good master. However, Pullo finds out that she was already planning to buy her freedom and marry another slave in Vorenus’ household. This causes much drama throughout Episode 10.
Quintus Pompey

Although Pompey did have legitimate sons, there is no historical evidence for Pompey having an illegitimate son named Quintus. He is a completely fictional character. Called Pompey’s “natural” son, Quintus returns to Rome in this episode in the hopes of joining forces with Brutus andtaking down Caesar. He is angered that Brutus has allowed this tyranny to exist and he demands that he help him. However, it is Brutus’ mother who actually takes him in and listens to him. It is with Servilia and Cassius that Quintus gets aid in trying to denounce Caesar. While staying as a guest in the Brutus household, he helps Servilia write a letter denouncing Caesar which she then signs in Brutus’ name.
Erastes Fulmen
Erastes Fulmen is a fictional character. Erastes is the head of an organized crime group. He made his appearance first in offering Vorenus for a job. Now, however, he sees that Pullo has lost all that he has left to live for. Pullo has lost everything and Erastes sees this as a great opportunity. He tells Pullo that he could use a man like him in his line of work. He knows that now that Pullo is hurt and drunk, he is vulnerable to Erates’ own persuasive talk.
curial Magistrate
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Cassius was a historical figure. Although not quite a major player as one would think he would be, Cassius is involved in some of the action that Servilia and Quintus Pompey are taking against Caesar. Despite the fact that he does not seem to be involved directly, he is a guest in Brutus’ house because of Servilia. He is involved in her plan to try and take down Caesar. He presents himself to Brutus as a friend, but he has helped Servilia tarnish his name by helping her and Quintus write the document denouncing Caesar.
Wife of Caesar, she remains a minor character, though a historical one, in Rome. In this episode she is seen at the Triumph.
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Head Priest
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Vorena the Elder
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Vorena the Younger
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Vercingetorix was indeed a historical figure. The King of the Gauls, he has been saved from the Gallic Wars to be presented and killed on the day of Caesar’s Triumph. Vercingetorix was captured and made to surrender to Caesar in the first episode of Rome. Now, he is barely alive and sentence to death during Caesar’s Triumph. He is symbolic of Rome’s enemies and in killing him, Caesar demonstrates Rome’s dominance and victory. Although he was uncared for in Rome, his own people do later come and give him a proper burial.
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The fictional body-slave of Servilia, she is present in the second scene. She serves Servilia and has some opinions against Atia of the Julii, which become evident when she exchanges disapproving looks with Atia’s body-slave , Merula.
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