Wednesday, June 23, 2010

In Preparation For Rome, Naturally . . .

. . . I have to watch some more episodes of "Rome."

Actually, I've been been humming the opening theme like crazy for the last week or so. I think I mentioned once before here how ridiculously awesome the HBO original series, Rome, is. And this is evident even just in the opening title sequence, which I provided for your visual enjoyment below. Check it out, why don't you?

Is that not an awesome opener or what?

Besides being an utterly memorable piece of music, the opening credits are so cool because they use actual ancient Roman graffiti found on the walls of excavated sites throughout southern Italy -- and animate them! A lot of people were shocked to learn that the ancient Romans were just as lewd and scatological as their modern descendants. Imagine that. My favorite graffito is the one depicting Athena exploding fully-grown from Zeus's head, just as in the myths.

What I enjoyed most about this series--and you can see some of it in the opening, too--is how accurate they got the "look" of what Rome used to be like visually. Gone are the stereotypical and WRONG set pieces of white marble and alabaster statues that backdrop most Hollywood depictions of this ancient society. No, in this Rome everything is colored, worn, and dirtied exactly as the living, breathing city no doubt once was. And what a rich tapestry of everyday living you get with this series! If you've never seen it before, you are really doing yourself a disservice. Especially if you are at all historically minded or a big fan of epic films depicting ancient civilizations. Each episode is so carefully crafted and expertly directed that that's just what you feel you're getting each time -- an epic film on your tv screen!

Now, as for me, I need to get back to packing for our trip to modern-day Rome while this tune drives me crazy in the background. I'll have to bust out the headphones soon before Lisa kills me. And that would just ruin my day, don't you think?


  1. It would probably ruin Lisa's day(s)

    Hope you have a great time even if it is "modern"

  2. Haha -- thanks!

    And, yes, even though it is modern, I've been surprised in my research by how many ancient and still ongoing excavation sites there are within the actual city limits. Our very hotel is only two blocks away from 4 ancient Roman temples dating back at least 2,000 years to the time of the Republic. And the spot where Julius Caesar was murdered is just a short skip away from that. Then there's the Forum and Colosseum -- another 5 to 10 minutes walk away.

    I'm so thrilled, as the older a city is the more exciting it becomes for me to visit!

  3. I guess it must be getting close to time, then. Hope you have a fabulous trip.

    Never got to see the series, sadly, because I love that kind of thing. Maybe you can comment on how Gladiator compares for atmosphere and accuracy. That had all the dust & grime, and wear & tear, alongside the gore, of course.

  4. Ian,

    Rome is far more accurate than Gladiator was. And in the grime and gore department, it tops out that movie as well. Rome is the most expensive series ever put together -- on HBO or any of the networks. And it showed! You really need to check it out if you're into this sort of thing.


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