Film "Fall of the Roman Empire" coming out on DVD

I remember using scenes from this in class. There was an example of decimation, I seem to remember.


The Weinstein Company's Miriam Collection — a premiere label that restores and releases high-quality vintage classics, contemporary classics, and notable foreign films — has announced the upcoming DVD release of The Fall of the Roman Empire on April 29th.

In this 1964 epic, the Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius appoints a successor to his throne — but he chooses his adopted son Livius over his own son, Commodus. Prior to Livius' coronation, Commodus murders his father and proclaims himself the new emperor, prompting an epic reign of terror and corruption. His brutish tyranny alienates his brother, and the power struggle between Commodus and Livius culminates in the ultimate battle between the barbarians and the Romans.

Featuring digitally remastered picture and sound, this beloved film, produced by Samuel Bronston (El Cid) and written by then-blacklisted writer Ben Barzman (El Cid), features captivating performances from Oscar winners Alec Guinness (The Bridge on the River Kwai, A Passage to India, Star Wars) and Sophia Loren (Two Women, El Cid), Golden Globe winners Omar Sharif (Doctor Zhivago, Lawrence of Arabia), Stephen Boyd (Ben-Hur, Fantastic Voyage) and James Mason (A Star Is Born, Julius Caesar, North by Northwest), as well as Christopher Plummer (The Sound of Music). It is directed by the acclaimed director Anthony Mann (Spartacus, El Cid).

The Fall of the Roman Empire arrives on DVD as a three-disc Limited Collector's Edition, including exclusive bonus materials such as commentary by the producer's son Bill Bronston and film expert Mel Martin, a reproduction of the original 1964 souvenir program, a behind-the-scenes look at the real fall of the Roman Empire and much more.

The Telegraph (and Times) report the Latin and Greek Festival

I blogged a notice about this a few weeks ago. Now it's happening.

(Update: The Times has fuller coverage here, including the news that about 1,000 people are taking part.)

From the Telegraph

Latin rap, the alter ego of street music

By Henry Samuel in Paris
Last Updated: 1:52am BST 05/04/2008

Rap songs performed in Latin are being held up as an antidote to the dumbing down of English and French at a festival in Europe.

Ista (Latin for That Girl), a German hip-hop group who set classical poets such as Virgil, Ovid and Catullus to rap – albeit with a heavy German accent – are the star attraction at the European Festival of Latin and Greek.

The group of former Classics students have sold around 2,500 CDs since forming in the 1990s. They claim that “Latin is a good language to rap in actually. It has a good rhythm and can be to the point”.

The festival is being held in Nantes – or Portus Namnetus, to use the Breton town's Latin name.

The organiser of the event, Elizabeth Antebi, said Latin enriched languages, particularly English, which she said was being savaged by linguistic globalisation. Listen

(The link to audio is missing on the Telegraph site, but try here.)

Update on Roman Britain

Various news items today:

  • In the Independent – Tourist item on Suffolk, including Romans:

    Since the misty dawn of British civilisation, Suffolk has been shaped, at times quite literally, by a number of foreign and domestic influences. The beautiful estuaries of the Suffolk broads were long believed to be natural features of the landscape. However, more recent evidence has suggested that they are in fact part of an early Roman influence on our natural environment.

    The Romans began excavating the area for the rich peat beds to use for fuel and eventually, when the sea levels rose, the trenches became permanently flooded, ultimately creating the wet marshlands, reed beds and river inlets that are enjoyed today.

    Read more

  • From the Cumberland News:

    BOYHOOD dreams of unearthing buried treasure came true for one Silloth amateur archeologist.

    Graham Ryan, of Beckfoot, discovered a silver Roman jug handle on the beach close to his home that could be around 1900 years old according to experts from the British Museum. Mr Ryan, 63, made the lucky find while out sweeping the beach with his metal detector.

    He said: “I think from being a boy, I always thought I’d find treasure.”

    A keen member of the Senhouse Museum Archaeology Society, Mr Ryan is often to be found exploring the site of the Roman fort.

    It once formed part of the western sea defences, a line of forts and watch towers strung along the north-western coastline of Cumbria.

    Mr Ryan said the history of the settlement, known in Roman times as Bibra, is a big draw for those hoping to find artefacts from the past. I went into metal detecting to add another string to my bow. Beckfoot has a cemetery and with the soil erosion I have found cremation urns too.

    Read more.

  • From News Shopper

    PUPILS enjoyed a taste of ancient times with the visit of a Roman centurion.

    Children at Castlecombe Primary School, Castlecombe Road, Mottingham, came into school dressed in togas to meet Roman Marcus Secundus.

    The centurion tours schools in the area teaching youngsters about Roman times.

    Read more