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Sunday, September 04, 2005

Goofs and all, I like this new show Rome on HBO

It holds nothing back in showing how colorful, brutal, lecherous and oratorical those wacky Romans really were. Tonight's was the second episode and it was decidedly better than the first one. By the end of the hour I just knew where this chapter of the story was gonna end, on the other side of a certain lil' creek on the northern border with Italy. Definitely recommended but I did catch something that, maybe it's just the historian in me but it did jar me somewhat out of the illusion: early in tonight's episode one of the characters uses the expletive "f***ing". Well, that particular word didn't even exist in 49 B.C.! They were about sixteen hundred years away from its origin and that was with the Puritans, believe it or not. Remember how in The Scarlet Letter they made Hester wear that big red "A"? Well something like that: if the Puritans found someone among them in an adulterous relationship, they made that person wear a sign around their necks with the letters F.U.C.K. inscribed on it. That was a well-understood acronym meaning "For Unclean Carnal Knowledge". I know it's funny to cast blame for the worst profanity in the book on the pious Puritans, but there ya go. And these Romans definitely ain't the pious sort. But I guess some lingual license was in order anyway, right? Anyhoo, if ya like a healthy dose of historical realism and don't mind the risque, give HBO's Rome a shot.