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BBC Documentaries: Season 2003

2003x03 Colosseum: Romes Arena of Death
TV-PG

  • 2003-10-13T16:00:00-04:00 on BBC
  • 60 mins
  • United Kingdom
  • English
  • Documentary, Special Interest

The Colosseum in Rome is one of the world's most amazing buildings. This immense oval stadium was home to the most violent and deadly spectator sport in history, gladiatorial combat. The Roman gladiator whose story is told here is Verus, one of two victors in the only gladiatorial battle that was ever described in detail (by the Roman poet Martial in 80 A.D.). Using this factual record as its basis, Colosseum follows Verus as he is recruited from slavery, trained in gladiator's school, rises to favor among wealthy Romans, and ultimately battles his best friend, Priscus, to a crowd-pleasing draw in the inaugural games of glorious, brand-new Colosseum, the construction of which is shown in fascinating detail. Combining authoritative narration with diary-like voiceovers from Verus's perspective, this riveting 50-minute BBC production is simultaneously intimate and epic in scale, employing the latest in digital compositing techniques to achieve its unparalleled visual splendor. With well-cast actors speaking authentic Latin, this sumptuous production is both dramatically involving and exacting in every detail.

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