Strange But True Scenes From The Series We are all aware of the historical accuracies in Rome There are some scenes which may seem like dramatic license was taken however these events did actually did take place.
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Scene: Series One, Episode One.
Atia is shown visiting a temple and taking part in a Taurobolium (the sacrifice ceremony of a bull to Magna Matee-the great mother) so as to ensure Octavian's safety in Gaul.
Production designer Joseph Bennett at first considered the scene preposterous, but after researching it he found it was indeed based on what we know of Roman ritual. "They used to lead a bull into a special wooden frame,cut it and the animals blood would be used as a libation on the body."
Scene : Series One Episode Eight.
Pompey Magnus is beheaded on arrival in Alexandria by a member of Ptolemy XIII's staff.
This did happen and Ptolemy actually did present Pompey's head to Caesar upon his arrival in Alexandria, this proved to be a big mistake on his behalf as instead of being happy with the turn of events Caesar was disgusted that a Consul of Rome, even though he was his enemy was killed in such a barbaric manner. Caesar demanded that the head was given a proper burial and that the soldier who did the execution be delivered to him.
Scene :Season One Episode Nine
Cleopatra returns to the palace rolled inside a Persian carpet.
This event did indeed occur. Caesar was said to have been very charmed by this gesture and despite a thirty year age gap between them they became lovers that same night, a son (Caesarion) was born to them around nine months from their first meeting.
Scene: Season One
Vorenus returns to his home to find that there are two new slaves there. He questions his wife (as slaves are very expensive to buy) and Niobe tells him that they are leased.
Apparently it WAS possible to rent slaves and they could be rented by the day or the week.
Scene: Season Two, Episode One
When Caesar's body is laid out and visitors came to pay respect to his widow, one visitor is a female that exposes her breast and places breast milk in his mouth (bet Ciaran had a little shiver when he read that in the script... lol).
This was an actual practice that had it's origin with the Egyptians and the breast milk symbolized the milk of Isis. When breast milk is placed in the mouth of the, usually upper class, corpse, the deceased would become, in effect, a surrogate son of Isis. In Rome and in Caesar's case, the breast milk was to represent that of Juno, and he became a surrogate son of Juno, and had her protection in the underworld.
Scene: Season Two, Episode One
Just before Niobe is cremated, Vorenus places a coin in the mouth of her dead body.
This was indeed a practice of the ancient Romans and Greeks. This is referred to as Charon's Obol. The coin that is placed in the mouth before burial (and in her case, cremation) is said to be a bribe or payment to Charon, the ferryman who will convey the soul across the river that separates the world of the living and the the world of the dead. It is also thought that the coin in the mouth, was a seal to protect the soul and prevent it from returning to the body.