Rome is an American-British-Italian historical drama television series created by Bruno Heller, John Milius and William J. MacDonald and set during Ancient Rome's transition from Republic to Empire, from Caesar's invasion of Gaul to the death of Mark Antony and the rise of the first Emperor Augustus.
The series follows the two main characters, soldiers Lucius Vorenus and Titus Pullo, who find their lives intertwined with the key events.
Founded on principles of shared power and fierce personal competition, the Republic was created to prevent any one man from seizing absolute control.
It is a society where soldiers can rise up from provincial commoners to become national heroes, even leaders of the Republic.
But as the ruling class became extravagantly wealthy, the foundations have crumbled, eaten away by corruption and excess, and the old values of Spartan discipline and social unity have given way to a great chasm between the classes.
A richly layered look at history and the building of an empire, Rome sets the stage for modern politics - infighting, corruption, party lines and the struggle to define collective values.
An intimate drama of love and betrayal, masters and slaves, and husbands and wives, Rome chronicles the epic times that saw the fall of a Republic and the creation of an empire.
Season 2 chronicles the continuing events surrounding the fall of a Republic and birth of an empire.
This season's storyline begins immediately after the 44 BC assassination on the Ides of March of Gaius Julius Caesar and the near-simultaneous death of Niobe, wife of Caesar's faithful bodyguard Lucius Vorenus.
Diverted from his post after learning that Lucius, his assumed grandson, was in fact Niobe's illegitimate son, Vorenus now descends into near-madness over his failure to protect Caesar, his role in his spouse's death, and the rumoured murder of his estranged daughters.
Meanwhile, other principal characters jockey for position and power in the void left by Caesar's demise.
Mark Antony survives his own assassination attempt, and aligns himself with Atia and her precocious son Octavian, anointed in Caesar's will as his son and heir.
Brutus and his mother Servilia ponder how to curry favour with the pro-Caesar masses; Cleopatra sails into the city to pay respects to her fallen lover and win legitimacy for the son she says Caesar fathered; and Pullo returns to Rome with his new wife Eirene to help Vorenus pick up the pieces of his shattered life, finding purpose if not contentment in Rome's rough-and-tumble world of river commerce.
A joint production between HBO and the BBC, Rome was created by John Milius, William Macdonald and Bruno Heller.
The series was shot throughout Italy and boasted the largest standing film set in the world, comprising five acres of backlot and six soundstages at the world-famous Cinecittà Studios.