Rome made me think that I want to investigate the historical underpinning to this and see just how much is fact.
The fat public announcer who proclaims the day's news in the public fora just like a newscaster always uses specific hand gestures to accompany particular pieces of news. The senate also make use of these gestures too. The detail of how pagan Roman ritual dominated the lives of the folk (except much of the dominant elite who saw it only as a tool to be employed for their benefit) is very well done.
I found it most intriguing.
The Pagans of 'Rome'
Something funny from here on Rome though:
I was sort of impressed with the accuracy of the sets -aka, it was almost unique, along with Caligula in not portraying Rome as a bare marble city. Then again, costume and sets is all that modern film makers are good at any more. Some of the ritual practises were accurate, if anachronistic (aka, the Taraboulium came rather later) and added in for shock effect. The use of Lucius Vorenus and Titus Pullo, who were actual historical personages recorded in Julius' diaries, was also fairly clever, even if they were portrayed completely inaccurately.
The portrayal of Atia of the Julii as a doltish slut is, of course, preposterous. As are almost all of the other characterizations, excepting perhaps that of Lucius Vorenus, who more resembled Roman character than most of the others. Basically, Hollyweird made ancient Rome seem almost identical to modern day Los Angeles, which is a place like no other place on earth (Angelinos, like all Californians, are preposterously provincial; they think the whole world is just like them, or at best are trying to fake as if they are not just like slimey Angelinos). From the idiotic "coctail party" scenes, to the rug-munching hippy fruitcake Octavia; they even made up Julius (played by a mick) to look like a jewish studio head. They also made the famous Roman senators look like a bunch of bozo chicken-chested studio moneymen, caught up in a hostile takeover.
Despite all this, I found it amusing to watch, moderated by enormous quantities of wine, and watched with a historian friend. That way you can sneer at the really bad parts, and enjoy the whole "sword and sandal" campiness of it all. I mean, at least John Milius was involved, so it was not completely devoid of human qualities, like, say, Oliver Stone's preposterous fruity Alexander (yes, we know Alexander liked fucking men: that doesn't mean he was one of the village people, dumbass) or Wolfgang Petersen's Troy (aka, Homeric epic goes "Fame").