sevilia road  
an historical evaluation of Season 1
Plot Summary: Episode XI
The Spoils

The eleventh episode of the first season of “Rome” opens in a very surprising dark setting with an unknown middle aged man running scared through the back streets of Rome in the evening. The shadowy essence of the scene ends with a sudden thrust of a sword into the belly of the said unknown man. This killing blow is given by the hand of one, Titus Pullo.

Moving to a lighter picture, the story then switches focus to the house of newest Magistrate and patron of Rome, Lucius Vorenus. The family of Vorenus stands with him as he hears the complaints of his clients. Vorenus, with no patience for petty matters shows his annoyance. An unexpected visit from a fellow soldier, Mascius, brings Vorenus to discuss the matters of the 13th and what Caesar has in mind for the veterans of his precious legion. Mascius discusses the want for money and land from Caesar for the soldiers. They want land in Italy. The men of the 13th legion grow impatient not understanding their position in Caesar’s political uprising. The tone of revolt looms in Mascius’ words, if something were not done quickly to settle the matter.

The episode shifts back to Pullo lying oassed out on a bed. After waking, he takes a hit on his opium pipe, and goes to meet his new employer. he finds himself asking to do the one thing he knows best, killing. Pullo asks for another assignment. Erastes is not pleased with his lack of discretion, faulting him for his methods on his last hit. Erastes claims to have a reputation to uphold. Pullo assures him that next time he will be as quiet as death. Erastes finally consents, telling the lost soul Pullo to come back the next night for his assignment. Pullo asks for an advance, Erastes coughs it up but forbids Pullo to order a drink in his hang out, a respectable place for decent citizens. Pullo, with no money and no place to stay, finds himself lost killing not in the name of the 13th, but for money.

Caesar, Marc Antony and Vorenus then come into scene within the Curia discussing the wishes of Mascius of the 13 Caesar asks if it is possible that they would turn on him, Vorenus replies that while the veterans would never fight against him, those with no other skills to employ would turn to banditry and raiding in his name. Caesar glorifies the conversation in his usual manner and explains that the veterans of his army will be given lands in Pannonia. Vorenus explains to Caesar that the land he has allotted to the soldiers is hard country and far way, Mascius will refuse. Caesar, in typical corrupt political doings of Rome, tells Vorenus to make Mascius a personal offer if he can sway the veterans to accept the lands in Pannonia. Vorenus is then invited to a symposium at Atia’s amongst the higher-class citizens of Rome. Timidly, Vorenus explains his doubts about attending, but yet again, Vorenus is swayed and finds himself playing to the beat of Caesar’s drum. After Vorenus takes his leave, Caesar and Antony speak privately within the Curia about Caesar’s new furniture acquisition. Caesar, sitting in more of a throne then a Consul’s chair, speaks particularly sarcastic words about the toll Cicero’s eulogies were taking on his back. Antony quips that Cicero praises Caesar so long and high, one might think he was being sincere.

Vorenus returns home, stressed.

The camera then moves to the Forum, where the Newsreader stands giving the daily political news. The news of the day is especially shocking, for Caesar has been declared dictator for life. To add to the tyranny, the fifth month of the year has been changed to the name July. The camera follows Cassius out of the Forum, where he meets up with Brutus, who has found a graffito of him killing Caesar. Brutus orders it erased, but Cassius says it will do no good as the image is everywhere and King Caesar knows Brutus’ loyalty. To Brutus engaging in art criticism, Cassius interprets the crude portrait: while obviously not capturing Brutus’ gracious vim and vitality, the plebs see in Brutus his noble ancestor. Brutus says the only similarity is in the name, you may call a cat a fish but it will not swim. As the two walk along in the glass-making district, Cassius attempts to sway Brutus with the people-want-you-as-their-tyrant-slaying-liberty-restoring-hero line. Brutus dismisses this, "They would not pluck a hair for liberty. Plebs love to see their betters fight. It's cheaper than theater and the blood is real.” Cassius leads Brutus to the Senate house to see the “throne” that Caesar has placed there. Brutus thinks it decidedly plain and chair-like. When Cassius calls him blind and a coward, Brutus explains that he is no coward, nor blind to what Caesar is, but as a pledged friend of Caesar, he cannot go against him. Cassius chides him for letting the republic die for the sake of friendship. Brutus counters that the life and death of the republic is not held in the hands of one man, Yet Cassius believes that Brutus is wrong, that the people will not accept a tyrant’s death unless a Brutus holds the knife. Caesar will never accept exile, so he has to die. Brutus, Caesar’s friend, is disgusted at the suggestion, and leaves.

The scene then changes to Pullo on a street corner waiting with Urbo for his next assignment. Pertinax points to one Aufidius, an affluent older man flanked by two companions. After killing his target, an old woman follows Pullo, constantly shouting “murderer”. When he menaces her with a growl and his dagger, she turns away in fear. The voice and word of the old woman looms in his head.

Vorenus is then found at his home with Mascius, presenting Caesar’s offer. At first, Mascius is not happy with the offer due to the distance and danger. Vorenus offers Mascius 5000 denarii to persuade the veterans to take the land, and then ups it to 7000. Mascius balks, claiming that his honor cannot be bought even for 20,000, as he is not as greedy as some. When Vorenus challenges his meaning, Mascius backs off, saying he meant that his honor is not for sale so cheap. Vorenus tries to reason with him, Pannonia is not a betrayal and it’s Pannonia or nothing. But Mascius threatens that they still have their swords, to which Vorenus replies with a not so veiled threat about dead captains. This prompts Mascius to barter with Vorenus and they settle on a bribe of 12,000 Denarii to Mascius personally to accept the less than perfect land offering. The meeting ends in an awkward manner. A nervous Niobe calls to Vorenus for party frock approval.

At Atia’s party Caesar tells her that Brutus graffiti is not to be feared. When she warns him that Servilia will force Brutus to kill Caesar, he calls her a dramatist. Atia takes her leave, with “well I warned you.” Antony then asks for Octavia’s help on the matter of Atia’s and Antony’s relationship-within Atia’s earshot. Vorenus and his wife enter into the banquet. They feel a bit out of place. As Niobe marvels at the exquisite décor, across the room Atia cattily comments on the beauty in the vulgar dress with a wonderful tang of the street about her. After formal greetings, Caesar, places Niobe in Atia’s charge, then pulls Vorenus aside for a stroll in the peristyle. Vorenus explains the Mascius dealings, much to Caesar’s delight- “I did not think he would sell himself so cheap.” Vorenus recoils when Caesar jokingly suggests he negotiate all his corruptions. Caesar soothes Vorenus’ conscience; he has corrupted one man to save thousands from banditry. When Caesar begins to wax on about the simplicity of military life, Ocatvian shows his face and asks that magistrate Vorenus help Pullo get out of jail. Caesar disagrees with this action. The man Pullo killed in broad daylight was Aufidius Dento the popular deputy chief of the Caelian nail-makers guild and a vocal opponent of Caesar. Octavian asks if Caesar ordered the hit. Caesar cagily answers that he did not know the man existed until he didn’t, but that the plebs will not stand for his opponents being murdered by his soldiers who are not above the law. Moreover Caesar states that no one associated with Caesar must be seen as helping Pullo, essentially saying sorry, but Pullo must die. Vorenus and his relieved wife take their leave. As the symposium ends Octavian orders Castor to bring Timon to him in the morning. Antony and Atia end up in Atia’s room in a small fight and then move onto their usual antics of seduction.

At home, Niobe sadly examines her ‘finery’ before she and Vorenus go to sleep.

The next morning, while Pullo is within a prison cell waiting for his death, Timon goes to the Basilica Julia to find a lawyer to defend Pullo in trial. On the steps four lawyers vie with one another for his business, until he mentions the case. No one wishes to take the case because Pullo is hopelessly guilty. Evidently Pluto’s thorny cock is more appealing. After Timon pulls out his money bag, one lawyer, in desperate need for work, takes on the assignment.

The lawyer then goes to visit Pullo. Pullo is less than helpful when trying to make a case for the lawyer.

The scene then changes to the trial itself. Pullo, in chains, is escorted into a metal cage. No one in the crowd is in favor of Pullo. The trial moves forward and the accusator, Maius Nigidius steps forward to speak. With a pan away from the trial into the crowd, Vorenus makes himself known to Mascius. Mascius plans to free Pullo with others from the 13th. Vorenus speaks with Mascius and tries to sway Mascius and his men from freeing Pullo. When Mascius refuses, asking how would he look in front of the men, Vorenus, reminding him that he could look far worse, tells him to call off his men. Mascius is persuaded and for the good of the republic the men of the 13th legion are called off. The trial then moves forward. Nigidius, rallies the crowd, by implying that Caesar paid Pullo to murder Aufidius. The accusator finishes his words and Priscus, Pullo’s lawyer, speaks. Jeered and pelted with garbage, he nervously mounts his defense that Pullo should be seen as pitiable pupper, essentially admitting his guilt and is faulted for his words. This fault brings the judge to declare Pullo guilty. Pullo is then sentenced to death in the arena.

Later that evening, at Caesar’s house, Brutus and Caesar enjoy a board game while Caesar tries to persuade Brutus to be governor of Macedonia, “You know I’ve always looked on you as my son, I have a favor to ask of you, father to son.” Brutus refuses the position at first, questioning his rightness for the job. When Caesar asks him to reconsider, as he needs someone he can trust, Brutus wonders if Caesar is trying to remove him from Rome. The conversation topic turns to trust, Caesar makes it seem like Brutus has been disloyal adding ”past betrayals do not signify”. Brutus explains himself: "Had you told me you were to march on Rome, and asked me for my allegiance, I would have given it. I would have judged you insane. But I would have given you my allegiance. Because I look on you as my father...But you did not ask me for my allegiance. You demanded it at sword point. I betrayed nothing." Caesar apologizes. Brutus again refuses Caesar’s offer. Caesar explains that it is in his legal power to send Brutus to Macedonia against his will. Caesar voices his concerns over the graffiti on the walls and that he does see Brutus as a threat at the moment. When Brutus responds, that only tyrants need worry about tyrant killers, Caesar, being angered, sends annoyed Brutus away.

The story then shifts back to Pullo in a jail cell. He is praying to the gods with his cockroach offering for Eirene, Vorenus and his family. He is then taken from his cell to a small arena where he will be killed in a gladiator match. The crowd boos his arrival. He first refuses to fight, sitting down without his sword as three gladiators emerge from the gate. He is toyed with and personally insulted, but derision of the 13th sparks him to fight. Fighting and killing seven of his opponents, Pullo can hardly stand on his two feet. The crowd goes wild. Vorenus watches in agony as another opponent is then sent into the ring. This gladiator is much larger and sent as an almost definite answer to Pullo’s death. Vorenus runs into the ring at the moment Pullo is almost to be killed. The vow he once gave to the troops of the 13th legion loomed in his mind as he fights to protect his brother in arms. Almost being killed in the process, Vorenus kills the gladiator and walks Pullo out of the roaring ring.

Interspersed with the gladiatorial combat are scenes with Posca. First he interrupts Caesar for money. Then we see him making his way through the back streets of the Aventine. Finally he reaches his destination: Erastes Fulmen. Posca tells an insolent Fulmen that if they employ him again, next time best not use Caesar’s veterans.

Brutus is seen with his mother in their home. He announces that he owes Caesar no more friendship and that he must do his duty. As Servilia holds his hand, he says that he will go to Cassius to see what can be done. with


Dramatis Personae
Lucius Vorenus
(Fictional Character)
Within Episode XI of Rome, Lucius Vorenus is introduced into the episode in his new political position as Magistrate. Within the episode, Vorenus is confronted with many political and social issues that need attending in his new life. From confronting his home life and social status to being one of many tools within the political regime of Caesar, Vorenus finds himself torn between what he believes and what is safe. Trying to please too many people at once, Vorenus finds himself juggling his faith in his own hands when he chooses to help an old friend toward the end of the episode. Content 1
Titus Pullo
(Fictional Character)
Titus Pullo is brought into the light doing what he believes is his only gift in life, killing. The ex-Centurion of the 13th is a confused soul and cannot seem to break his strong belief that he can do nothing else in this life other than hold a bloodied sword. Throughout the episode, Pullo seems to move closer and closer to an insane state; mentally breaking down and finding himself locked in a jail cell. With some inspiration from an old friend toward the end of the episode, he musters the strength to regain his sanity and find the courage to confront the challenges ahead.
Julius Caesar
(Historical Character)
Julius Caesar plays a large role throughout the entirety of the episode, continually affecting major roles within many people’s lives. Teaching Vorenus how to tend to minor political problems through bribery, Caesar starts to settle down into his Dictatorship position tying up as many loose ends as he can. He does this by attempting to send away those who he believes will be political adversaries to him and making sure those who are blemishing his reputation are killed. Caesar’s power grows more and more every day and continues to balance between those who hate him and those he knows will support him.
Pompey Magnus
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(Historical Character)
Atia does not play a major role within this episode of Rome. She is seen in the episode trying to help Vorenus’ wife become acquainted with the life of a ranking official. Through her very confusing love life, she finds herself torn between whether to hate the man she is longing, or love him.
marc antony
(Historical Character)
Marc Antony is portrayed again in this episode as Caesar’s henchman and Atia’s aggravating lover. Finding himself with Caesar in the Curia, he discusses recent political development with Caesar. A few days later, he finds himself at the Juliae banquet playing games with Atia through Octavia and his sly personality shows. Through lust and aggravation, Antony finds himself in Atia’s bedroom ready to solve some problems in his love life.
(Historical Character) Brutus, one of the two conspirators, is introduced into this episode in the form he is most well known to history. Speaking with his good friend Cassius, he finds himself in a dilemma trying to decide between a man he has known his entire life, or the procurement of the Republic. Split between two positions, one conversation sways him in toward the good of the Republic and Brutus the “Conspirator” begins to take form.
(Historical Character) Servilia brings into her life a true hatred for the Juliae. Wanting vengeance for the pain she has been dealt by the entirety of the extended Juliae family. The last scene of the episode shows her with her son ready to unleash one of the greatest conspiracies in ancient history.
(Historical Character) Octavian does not reveal himself much within the episode. Finding himself at the banquet with all the guests of Ceasar, his face is not made apparent. Trying to help his dear Centurion friend from death, Octavian uses the hired help to find a way to save Titus Pullo without blemishing his uncle’s reputation.
(Fictional Character)
Posca is not embellished this episode as Caesar’s insubordinate, academic slave, but as the man with blood money. Seeing to the final details of Pullo’s death, Posca has the ability to be much more than just and advisor.
(Historical Character)
With a rather minor role in this episode, Octavia finds herself pinned between her mother Atia and the one Marc Antony. She is then placed in another awkward situation when she purposely tries to avoid the one she had a small love affair, Servilia. Content 11
(Fictional Character)
Niobe, the wife of a rising politician, finds herself trying to adapt to the “better life” of a ranking Roman. Trying to comfort her husband with the stress of his profession, she soon finds she needs comfort herself for her dealings with the aristocrats. Niobe soon realizes money and status are not the comfort she was expecting them to be.
(Historical Character)
Cassius is witnessed only in one scene of Episode XI as he finds himself following Brutus around the Forum and into the Curia. Being witness to the rise of Caesar, Cassius has decided to present Brutus with an offer to join in an effort to restore the Republic. Cassius being completely dedicated to the thought of bloodshed is not received well by Brutus and is left by Brutus for his treason, for now.
(Fictional Character) Mascius is a character that is introduced into the series to represent a problem Caesar has encountered on a few occasions during his military campaigns and Dictatorship. Caesar was prone to promising his troops land and wealth during his command. As his power grew, his soldiers became impatient with his false promises. Mascius sees to the false promises and works to gain some of the promised land for the men of his legion.
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antony's tribune
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curial Magistrate
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crucified man
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Head Priest
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Slave Trader
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(Fictional Character)
TImon finds himself not working much for Atia this episode, but for the young Octavian. He is sent to find a lawyer to help Titus Pullo and keep him from a death sentence. Looking on in pure aw, he watches as the partners and friends of the 13th fight their way out of a very deadly situation.
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