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Plautus

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Plautus last won the day on March 27 2019

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About Plautus

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    Optio
  • Birthday 05/19/1956

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    http://tomsito.com

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    Los Angeles
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    Cartooning, animation, teaching, writing, history.
  1. Beyond all the soap opera elements and full frontal nudity in HBO's Rome, what was it's overall message? The series describes in detail how the Roman democracy after 450 years slowly slipped into autocratic rule. In season one the Senate is a clamorous debating society, riven with faction and class conflict. Party alliances are made and broken. Procedural maneuvering is a fine art. By the last episode the Senate is reduced to merely a docile cheering section for Octavian. In seperate episodes we saw how the voting system was corrupted by money, the lawcourts compromised, rhetorical skills no match for men with armies, personal prejudices played on and political back-stabbing was at times real backstabbing! Of course to trace the real beginnings of the fall of Roman freedom, we should have gone back to Marius and Sulla or the Gracchi. Perhaps even to the disgrace of Scipio Africanus. By Caesar's time it was almost gone. Was it all because of the material wealth and power that came with world domination? Are Timon and his brother representing the suppressed people of the Third World, who's anger to hit back only grows and surpasses their material comfort? What would you call the first nail in the coffin of Roman democracy? I think the series made a heroic effort to describe to modern viewers the slow eroding of the political power of the majority. Even as the newsreader declares the restoration of the Republic, by then the process is complete and the stage is set for one-man imperial rule. Thats why the series ends here at this point, even more than winding up the adventures of Voerrenus and Pullo. It is unneccessary to go further.
  2. Plautus

    Wont be another.....

    Primus Pilus is correct. Period pieces are expensive to film. They had to build two massive sets- the Forum and the Aventine neighborhood, and maintain them for over two years of weather. Not to mention the palaces, army camps, Egyptian locales and more. Also every spoon, shield, cloak and wig was made from scratch. If you are Ridley Scott and have two-hundred million to drop on a single film, great. But HBO works with a yearly budget that allows for other projects like the Sopranos as well. So even without big battles, this was one of their most expensive projects to date. Get the special edition DVD of Elizabeth Taylor's Cleopatra (1963). The documentary about the film also describes the huge budget neccesitating anemic battle scenes. I think the series did have some soapy elements, and I would have liked to see Pharsalia in more detail. I felt they were too cautious in not trying to interpret more ancient music. I felt the silences at the dinner parties and spectacles. Could have used a bit more triumphant music a 'la Miklos Rosza. Maybe that might have made it too Hollywood. Since we have so little ancient music, to keep the accuracy they erred on the side of caution. But all in all, compared with other attempts to do the same story ( Remember NBC's EMPIRE?) HBO did a great job. It was pretty gutsy of them to go without any big name stars, and keep the dialogue on a level not usually heard by a modern audience. All the references to Pydna, Georgovia and Nemesis and Bona Dea without ever pausing to explain it. I felt that was one of the great strengths of the show. As enthusiasts of ancient studies, it made us all part of an elite club. I was ever explaining all these details to friends at work the next day. Since when does the politics of the Second Triumverate take precedence at the watercooler over NCAA basketball? And for once it didn't feel like I was watching a modern person in ancient clothes, like Orlando Bloom's medieval grunge-socialist being a wet-blanket in the Crusades in Kingdom of Heaven. We never really saw Voerenus die or be cremated, maybe we can still get another season? Ask the Good Goddess for help!
  3. Plautus

    De Patre Vostro (Episode 22)

    Alas and alack, put out the lamps, the play is done! We had our quibbles with some of the historical details, but all in all, it was a helluva good series. Finally some real meat for historical fans. When you consider this came right after that dreadful network program Empire, that covered some of the same time, but was unwatchable, we lucked out. I don't think HBO plans another series, but with the success of 300, more films about antiquity are probably a certainty. Conscript Fathers, one more question. I was out of town last week so I didn't get a chance to ask- When Gaiia does her deathbead confession, she says she doesn't want to face Nemesis with a lie in her heart. Can some learned doctor of religion kindly explain to me the meaning of this?
  4. Plautus

    Frank Miller's 300

    Just heard in todays Variety that 300 will be premiered on IMAX screens on March 9th.
  5. Plautus

    Son of Hades: Season Two, Episode Two

    Thanks also, we wondered as well what she was saying. When Cleopatra said she did not recall Anthony, I think she was doing it as part of their power game of belittling one another. She feigned ignorance of his importance and he treated her as a petty subject monarch. We met several new characters. The veteran who joins Vorenus and Pullos Collegia, the sexy madame and the slave being beaten up who makes an offer to Atias slave Castor. I suspect he is a spy to be planted in her household by someone- Servilla? Great episode.
  6. Plautus

    Passover: Season Two, Episode One

    I believe they are chanting Jupiter-Optimus Maximus, a chant used in the first season.
  7. Plautus

    Passover: Season Two, Episode One

    Does anybody know what Voerenus and Pullo were collecting from the ashes of Niobe's pyre and why? Was there a designated area of Rome where such cremations were done? Vatican Hill?
  8. Plautus

    Passover: Season Two, Episode One

    The episode was good fun. Upon reflection, if I have one bone to pick, I am sorry they didn't portray Anthony's Funeral Oration of Caesar. Hearing it second hand was like the short shrift given to the Battle of Pharsalia in the first season. I am enjoying the idea of Brutus as a overbred elitist snob. I like the portrayal. Makes Americans feel lucky that George Washington was sterile. Imagine trying to elect leaders with a George Washington XIV hanging around. Or a George W. Washington?
  9. Plautus

    Passover: Season Two, Episode One

    Salve Citizens, The Second Season of HBO's ROME has started here in the U.S. at long last. Happy Day! Two questions for my brother and sisters about some details portrayed. (Remember not to give away too much to our overseas cousins!) - Is there an accurate meaning when Pullo and Irene dab each others foreheads with mud like the Catholic Ash Wednesday ceremony? -When Voerenus sifts through the remains of Niobe's funeral pyre, what is he collecting? One questions also lingers in my mind from the first season. In the opening of episode two, When Attia is whipping her slave Castor , all the family busts have a scarlet ribbon tying their throats. Is there a religious meaning for this?
  10. Plautus

    Hbo Series: Rome

    My personal opinion would be that perhaps Datura strammonium would have been a possible "commonplace" alternative as a burnt inhalant-army medics certainly knew of it , and it was a commonplace herb aroud the Med.f http://www.unrv.com/forum/index.php?act=mo...=si&img=180 That brings up the issue for me of Pullo's brain surgery. They portray Pullo strapped down and being operated on with no anesthetic. I once read that as early as Alexander, Greek and Persian armies knew about chewing an opium bulb before an operation. Which is correct?
  11. Plautus

    Veracity Of Hbos Rome

    That was my understanding of what archaeological has brought to light, most particularly with wells & springs. Yes, if you ever visit the English city of Bath you will see in their museum a collection of curses recovered from the sacred well of Diana. I love one on particular;" To whoever stole my gloves, may your lose your eyes and hands and die in agony." Geej, someone really missed those gloves!
  12. Plautus

    Hbo Rome and... BBC too

    I think Washington is compared to Cincinnatus because Washington was popular enough to have become King if he had wanted. Alexander Hamilton even suggested something along those lines. However, Washington served a mere two terms in the vaguely defined office of President and then retired, much as Cincinnatus had done after serving his term as dictator. Sorry to have seen this thread so late. The XVIII Century American founders had a fascination with ancient institutions as being about pure disinterested public service, in an age before what they saw as society being tainted with religious, Popish supersticion and despotism. George Washington was called a Cinncinnatus because after the Revolution ended he resigned all his offices and went home to his farm. This act amazed George III and Louis XVI, that "the great Generalissimo of the Americas should so casually walk away from power like some legendary Roman?" Cinncinnatus, according to Livy. And after serving his two terms as president he went home again. In Europe that simply wasn't done. monarchs don't retire. And at that time even democratic states like England and Holland had princes on top. The only other country than America to exist without a crowned head were the Swiss Cantons.
  13. Plautus

    Veracity Of Hbos Rome

    Two things I wondered about: - In Episodes Three and Four when around the house, Pullo and Vorennus wear something that looks like a t-shirt tunic with a black eagle seared upon it. Is that accurate? It's certainly badass looking enough to have serious merchandising potential for HBO. - The death of Cato. In the show he stabs himself in the privy in a house in Utica. I recall reading he was on board a ship in the harbor. He spent most of the previous night fortifying himself by rereading Plato's comments on the afterlife. When he stabbed himself his friends got doctors to bind his wounds. But as Caesar's officers arrived to arrest him Cato thrust his fingers into his wounds and ripped them open again. "All is well with the General", he said, then died. The Getty Museum has a XVIII painting of Cato on shipboard doing this. Which is the right version?
  14. Thank You so much, Viggen. Yes, It's my first history book. I spin a tail of Communist agents, the Mafia, blacklists, riots, suicide, madness, Walt Disney and Daffy Duck. And its all true. My website is www.tomsito.com Just don't ask me about the subliminal things in Disney cartoons.
  15. Plautus

    Film About The Emperor Hadrian

    I wonder who will play Simon Bar Kochba? Larry David? Listening to his kvetching would make me send him on a Diaspora.
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