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Vox Audita Perrit, Literra Scripta Manet....
The heard word is lost, the written letter remains...

There didn't seem to be very much going on in this episode compared with other ones. It obviously centered on Caesar's triumph, which I have to say was probably my favourite scene in the episode. Rome must have been a very exciting place when a triumph was to happen, and I think it was captured very well. People everywhere, clamouring to get the best view of the procession and a general sense of joy and celebration. I think perhaps the one thing I would've liked to have heard was the slave behind Caesar holding the crown over his head, saying 'Memento Mori'. Would've made good foreshadowing. I think that the public execution of Vercingetorix was not accurate, but I suppose made good tv (as opposed to having him killed in prison after the triumph, which I believe is what actually happened? Someone with better knowledge of Caesar and the Gallic wars might be able to tell me.).

Lots of orating in this episode, which I liked. It was kind of interesting to see the stances that senators/magistrates adopted when speaking, such as Cicero holding both hands out or Vorenus assuming the 'adlocutio' pose. I think Kevin McKidd gave a good performance in the oration scene, conveying well Vorenus' lack of training as a public speaker due to his low birth (even if he did have an excellent voice for it).

The pro-Cato piece that was being circulated amused me, as historically Cicero was supposedly the one who wrote it (rather than Servilia under Brutus' name as seen in the episode) and Caesar did in fact rebuff it with his own pamphlet.

On a final note, I really don't like the portrayal of Pompey's son in this series. There was no Quintus Pompey historically, but there was Sextus and Gnaeus Pompey, both excellent soldiers in their own right (I believe Sextus even had a coin minted for one of his naval victories). I'm guessing Quintus is meant to be a combination of the two, but I was hoping for more than a drunken, angry young man seeking out revenge. Rather, a brilliant soldier like his father with a mind for strategy. I guess it could change in time, though.

Current Mood: impressed impressed
Current Music: Alanis Morrisette- Still

4 comments or Leave a comment
psyc2321 From: psyc2321 Date: January 27th, 2007 01:32 pm (UTC) (Link)
As someone who knows nothing about the Gallic Wars (and has a graded essay somewhere to prove it ;P), you're quite right. Vercingetorix (King of all the Gauls? I suspect there'd've been rather a few Gaulish kings and warlords who would dispute that assertion, but then Roman politics may have been distorting things moreso than HBO) was quietly strangled after the fact. At least, insofar as a strangling can be quiet.

Could there have been a Q. Pompeii? Because I'll tell you, that damned pronunciation really gets on my nerves (I watched the beginning of last night's episode, having much the same thoughts, it woud seem). They seem to have worked with enough classicists - certainly for the wardrobe, at least - you'd think someone would have set them straight.
psyc2321 From: psyc2321 Date: January 27th, 2007 01:37 pm (UTC) (Link)
normandie_m From: normandie_m Date: January 28th, 2007 03:30 am (UTC) (Link)
Ah yes, I read about that in the paper yesterday. It really does figure that all the big discoveries are made after I travelled there. ;p They were definitely excavating around the forum while I was there. The house of Augustus and Livia indeed was closed to the public, and now I know the reason why.

Re: Vercingetorix as King of all the Gauls....could it have arose from him unifying the Gallic tribes to fight against Caesar? I can't vouch for how accurate Wikipedia is, but his bio there also says that his father was killed for trying to claim dominion over the Gauls. So perhaps he was a 'king' in the sense that Augustus was a 'king'. They just didn't like using that word.
psyc2321 From: psyc2321 Date: January 28th, 2007 10:33 am (UTC) (Link)
I believe that's correct about his father. Perhaps you're right, then - it just made me do a double take when I heard it.
4 comments or Leave a comment