Ancient Rome: The Rise and Fall of an Empire (2006): S01E05 – Constantine


Introduction

Ancient Rome: The Rise and Fall of an Empire is a 2006 BBC One docudrama series, with each episode looking at a different key turning point in the history of the Roman Empire.

This docudrama focuses on the Latin western half of the Roman Empire.

Not to be confused with Rome: The Rise and Fall of an Empire (2008).

Outline

In Rome, the tyrannical Maxentius consults the gods Jupiter, Apollo and Mars to be told that, the enemy of Rome will be defeated, while outside the city Lactantius tries to convince Constantine to convert to Christianity. Constantine initially dismisses Lactantius but, after seeing what appears to be a sign from the Christian god on the eve of the attack, he follows Lactantius’ advice to adopt a Christian symbol. The two forces clash at the Battle of the Milvian Bridge, where Maxentius is drowned in the Tiber as a bridge collapses and the victorious Constantine rides into Rome under the Christian symbol.

Constantine creates an alliance by marrying his sister Constantia to the Eastern Emperor Licinius, and the two issue the Edict of Milan as a joint decree of religious tolerance. Constantine’s rejection of the Pagan gods and funding of St. Peter’s Church turns Licinius and the Senate against him. Senator Bassianus’ failed assassination attempt on Constantine ignites a holy war between the eastern and the western empires. Constantine defeats his opponent at the Battle of Chrysopolis and the empire is united under the one Christian God at the Council of Nicea.

Ancient Rome: The Rise and Fall of an Empire Series

You can find a full index and overview of Ancient Rome: The Rise and Fall of an Empire here.

Production & Filming Details

  • Release Date: 19 October 2006.
  • Rating: 12.
  • Running Time: 60 minutes.
  • Country: UK.
  • Language: English.

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