Roman Empire: Reign of Blood (2016) s02e01 Episode Script

The Triumvirate

[narrator] To achieve glory in Roman society, every man must excel on the battlefield.
One of those men is a 19-year-old recruit named Julius Caesar.
Push forward! [horses rumbling] [screaming] [yells] [screams] [echoing] Come on! [narrator] This will be Caesar's first brush with death.
But it won't be his last.
[wind blowing, birds chirping] [narrator] Long before he becomes one of the most powerful leaders in history, Julius Caesar is a lowly soldier in the Roman army.
Hurry up! We march in an hour! [narrator] Caesar is born into a wealthy family, but when his father joins the wrong side of a civil war, the family is stripped of their power and wealth.
And by the age of 16, Caesar is left with nothing.
Penniless and disgraced, he knows the only way to regain his family's glory is through the military.
Caesar seems to been driven by the same desires as many man of the day, the desire to be the wealthiest, the most celebrated, the most famous of all.
Glory was the one thing that all Romans wanted.
That lay in military success.
[narrator] Over the course of a decade, Caesar works his way up through the military ranks, becoming a battle-hardened warrior along the way.
Julius Caesar was able to show himself as a superior soldier.
Many people soldiered on, but he was actually better than others.
One of the hallmarks of Caesar was that he would throw himself into battle.
There was enormous personal risk.
Push forward! [narrator] Caesar and thousands of other soldiers are conquering territory for Rome.
In the last 400 years, Rome has expanded from a city of just three square miles to a super-power of over 720,000 square miles, stretching from Africa to Asia.
At this moment in history, Rome is the most powerful state in the Mediterranean.
They had conquered everything west of Greece and were beginning to expand even further than that.
[narrator] But Rome's military machine requires one crucial component.
With each victory, the army captures thousands of enemy soldiers and citizens, forcing them to fill the least desirable jobs.
Becoming servants.
And most importantly, builders.
Slaves construct new roadways so the army can expand into even more territories.
The Romans were fantastic engineers.
Without bulldozers, but with slaves.
It's one of the keys to their success and they were really without peer in that realm.
[narrator] By 75 B.
, more than two million slaves have built nearly 50,000 miles of road, allowing the Republic to continue to expand.
It's a Roman system that's worked for centuries until Spartacus.
While Caesar is building his military career in central Italy, to the south, an escaped slave leads a bloody revolt.
He's a former gladiator named Spartacus.
And he wants more than just freedom.
He wants revenge.
[yells] Spartacus leads a reign of terror across Italy to punish the society that enslaved him.
Spartacus had a very good chance of success because of the core group of his fighters were gladiators who still, at that time, had superior fighting techniques to Roman legionnaires.
So in hand-to-hand combat, these folks were almost invincible.
[narrator] As Spartacus and his troops move north, their army grows to 100,000 men.
Every troop that the Roman Senate had sent out to try and defeat Spartacus had effectively been defeated.
They weren't prepared and it took them quite by surprise.
[narrator] Now, Spartacus' army is closing in on Rome.
The only thing standing in their way are 35,000 Roman soldiers.
Among them is Julius Caesar.
Seventh cohort: 42 wounded, 25 killed.
Eighth cohort: 44 wounded, 33 killed.
[narrator] The general in charge of Caesar's legion is a wealthy politician named Marcus Crassus.
[man] Crassus was the richest man in Rome.
He wants to be a big politician.
but to do that in Rome, you had to have military success.
Money was one thing, but you needed to show also that you were capable of leading the legions and of winning Rome glory.
How many missing? At least a hundred.
All presumed dead.
We should fall back.
Defend the road to Rome, and wait for reinforcements.
Shall I send scouts at first light? Fine.
Do it.
That's a mistake.
Retreating will give them time to regroup and attack again.
If we fall back, they'll chase us down, and pick us off as we go.
Defending our position is no longer an option.
I'm not talking about defending our position.
We've been letting them dictate the battle.
What we need to do is take the offensive.
Engage them on our terms.
- We are outnumbered.
- Let him speak.
At daybreak.
When they least expect it.
Take them by surprise.
This is our chance.
Their main camp is here, at the base of the mountain range.
Caesar is a man of action and a man of swiftness.
He gets things done.
This is not to say that Caesar's hasty.
Caesar's very careful, cautious, and calculating.
We could split into two legions, one from the east and one from the west.
We'd have them surrounded.
That's right.
Give the orders.
We march before dawn.
[narrator] Caesar convinces Crassus, knowing that if his plan fails, Rome could be destroyed.
[thunder rumbles] For Caesar, the battle is about more than just attaining power.
It's about protecting everything he holds dear.
[woman] "Every day that passes is a day closer to victory, and a day closer to coming home to both of you.
Not a day passes that I don't think of the two of you.
You're always in my thoughts and in my prayers.
" Caesar and Cornelia had been married for 15 years.
She had provided him with a daughter, Julia.
And he shows great loyalty and devotion to his wife.
[Caesar] I know you're tired.
I know you're hungry.
So am I.
And so is our enemy.
Spartacus and his men fight without fear, because they have nothing to lose.
We do.
And that's what makes us dangerous.
When I fight side by side with you tonight, I fight for my wife.
And I fight for my daughter.
We fight for our wives.
Our daughters.
We fight because if we fail tonight, the enemy will slaughter them without mercy.
- Are you with me? - [all] Yes.
Are you with me? [all] Yes! [yelling, chanting] [narrator] In the middle of the night, Caesar and a Roman legion head towards Spartacus' camp, ready to strike at daybreak.
[swords clanging, men yelling in distance] [sounds of battle intensify] [yelling, grunting] [narrator] After two years of bloody conflict, and more than 100,000 dead, Crassus has achieved what was considered impossible: Killing Spartacus and destroying his rebellion.
[man] In the final battle between Spartacus and Crassus' army, there was an immense slaughter.
And although Spartacus died, his body was never found.
We've rounded up the prisoners.
What do you want to do with them? [muffled yelling] [screaming] [Caesar] This is a waste of resources.
We could put them to good use.
Carrying our equipment, setting up camp.
[man wails] They're worthless to us dead.
They're proof of what I did.
Of what we did.
[narrator] To glorify his victory, Crassus orders 6,000 of the captured rebels to be crucified along the road to Rome.
One every 100 feet for 60 miles.
With Spartacus' defeat, Crassus hopes that his newfound glory will allow him to gain political power back in Rome by being elected to the highest office in the land, the consul.
In 70 B.
, Rome is not yet an empire.
It's a republic, home to nearly four million people, from wealthy politicians to lowly slaves.
Instead of an emperor or a king, Romans are governed by an elected senate.
But ruling over them is the consul, an official who wields more power than any other man in Rome.
The consuls were the chief executive of the Republic.
They were the commander-in-chief of the armies, invested with supreme power.
They were the most powerful man in Rome.
[narrator] For Caesar, supporting a potential consul puts him on track to rise quickly within the government.
Caesar aligned himself with Crassus because he saw it as a way that would lead to his own path to power.
Crassus had the wealth and the political connections, and so Crassus was a very important person for him.
[narrator] But Crassus is not the only military leader with his sights on the consul.
One hundred miles away, another general is looking to claim glory in the war against Spartacus.
His name is Pompey Magnus.
We've just received word.
Spartacus has fallen.
The war's over.
How? Defeated by Crassus' legion.
What remains of his army? They've all been killed or taken captive.
All of them? Tens of thousands of rebels, and all of them have been killed or captured by Crassus? Some might have escaped.
Find them.
Order the scouts to track them down.
And order the men to break camp, I want them ready to march.
If there was no Julius Caesar, Pompey would be known to us as the greatest military commander that the Roman republic had ever produced.
This is someone who was really driven by his own personal ego and he tried to take as much credit as he possibly could.
So, at the very last minute, Pompey tried to cash in on Crassus' success against the Spartacus revolt.
[swords clanging, yelling] [narrator] Pompey rounds up slaves who escaped the battle and quickly slaughters them.
Now, all he has to do is return to Rome before Crassus.
More wine! More wine! Hear, hear.
[Duncan] Crassus successfully defeats Spartacus's army.
But then, Pompey goes back to Rome and says, "I am actually the one who finished off the slave uprising.
I am the one who led the last battle.
" This is definitely something that Pompey would do.
Pompey gets all the credit, Pompey gets all the glory and Crassus is still looked down on.
What's this? What do you think it is? We're celebrating Spartacus' defeat.
At whose hands? Yours? Don't bring down the mood.
You look exhausted.
Please, help yourself.
Tell them or I will.
I want to make an announcement.
I know we're all here to celebrate my victory over Spartacus, and putting down the rebellion, but I can't take all the credit.
Had it not been for Crassus and his men, I might not have been able to defeat Spartacus in battle.
So please, a toast to our guests.
I couldn't have done it without their help.
- Hear, hear! - Hear, hear! What exactly did you hope to accomplish coming here? Did you think anyone would believe you without Spartacus' head? There's been enough blood.
My men won't hesitate to spill yours.
It's not worth it.
You should listen to your friend.
Come on.
Congratulations on your victory.
[narrator] With Pompey taking credit for the victory against Spartacus, Caesar fears he's lost his chance to move up in the government.
But at least he's finally home.
[Caesar] It's lovely to see you.
- We missed you.
- Well, I missed you too.
I liked your letters.
Oh, you got them? [narrator] He may be reunited with his wife and daughter, but Caesar doesn't realize that he's about to be pushed into a new war between the two most powerful men in Rome.
[Tempest] Pompey had returned from campaigns in the east, and he wanted land for his veteran soldiers.
The soldiers looked to their commanders to provide for them upon returning home.
But there were some in the Senate, and especially the circle that was grouping around Crassus, who didn't like Pompey.
They wanted to make life difficult for him, to put him back in his place.
It is time to award land in Campania to the seventh and eighth legions.
We cannot begin giving away land before sufficient oversight is in place.
Until there is a functioning system of government in the region, we have no control.
Sufficient oversight is in place and will improve as time goes on.
We owe it to these men to give them their due, after all they have sacrificed.
No one is questioning their sacrifice.
Once oversight is established, his soldiers will get what they're owed.
It is just a matter of proper procedure.
How long must these men wait? An exception must be made.
Pompey doesn't think the rules of the Senate apply to him.
Don't let him push you around.
If we do not make good on our promises, what loyalty will these men have to Rome? Postpone the vote further debate is still required.
[man] There had been virtual gridlock between Pompey and Crassus.
They had argued constantly, and so nothing had been achieved.
All those in favor of postponing the vote? The vote is postponed.
[Crassus] The look on his face Pompey won't let this go.
There's nothing he can do.
His legions are standing by, just outside Rome, waiting to attack at a moment's notice.
They're waiting to collect their payment, nothing more.
Once they realize the lands they've been promised won't be released, they'll disperse.
Will they? If it comes to it, my legions are stationed nearby.
I've seen you on the battlefield.
You're not afraid to fight.
Pompey has more men.
My army brought down Spartacus.
Not his.
If war is coming, I need to know you're on my side.
Of course.
[narrator] After over a decade of peace within Rome, Caesar finds himself caught in the middle of a bitter feud that's edging towards violence.
But suddenly, he's faced with a new crisis.
[coughing] Caesar's wife of 15 years, Cornelia, falls gravely ill.
You sent for the doctor? He'll be here in the morning.
You get some rest.
I'll take care of her.
[waves crash, birds caw] [narrator] While Caesar mourns the loss of his wife, tensions between Crassus and Pompey continue to escalate.
[man] The government had reached a point where nothing was going on, nothing was happening, nothing was being done anymore.
Even something as simple as approving the vast territories that Pompey had conquered, not even that could get done anymore.
The Romans couldn't even approve a military conquest anymore.
[narrator] As the stalemate continues, Crassus and Pompey prepare their armies to march on Rome at any moment threatening to spark a civil war.
Everyone worried about where all this was going to end.
What was Pompey's end goal? What was Crassus really up to? [crowd yells] [narrator] Years earlier, Caesar watched as his father aligned himself with the wrong side of a civil war, ruining his family's reputation.
Now, he's determined not to repeat those mistakes.
Pompey had great military glory.
Crassus had all the money.
For Caesar, it's a great risk as to which side he should back, because he knows that if he backs the wrong man, he can lose everything.
[narrator] As Caesar watches the conflict spiral out of control, he realizes that he can use the crisis to his advantage.
Caesar devises a plan that's as dangerous as it is brilliant.
If it fails, everything he's worked for will be destroyed.
But if it succeeds, it could be the opportunity of a lifetime.
[Irvin] Caesar was far and away one of the most ambitious figures in history.
His life was filled with this drive for power, this ambition for greater glory, this desire to be at the top of the Republican system.
You're late.
You should be happy I came at all.
What do you want? I'll tell you when we're all here.
Your message said to come alone.
It did.
What is this? [Caesar] Trust me.
We're here to talk.
You two are the most powerful men in Rome.
But as long you fight each other, neither of you will get what you want.
You won't get your tax cuts, and you will never pay off your soldiers.
You're in a stalemate.
And the only way to break it, is to work together.
Then, nothing will stand in your way.
Why should I trust him? Because the only other option is civil war.
And what do you get out of all this? You'll need someone in the Senate with enough authority to push your laws through.
And for obvious reasons, that can't be either of you.
Get me elected consul, and I'll make sure your legislation gets passed.
Of course, the real power will rest with you.
And how do I know once I get you elected that you two won't turn on me? I'll push your legislation through first.
No, that's not enough.
- I think that's more than enough.
- Legislation can be repealed.
You'll need to do better.
[Duncan] Caesar's driving ambition was to be the consul of Rome.
From the time that Caesar was a little kid, he wanted to be the consul of Rome.
I think he expected that of himself and it was what he was aiming at his entire life.
[priest] The vows of marriage are a sacred bond which can never be broken [narrator] To earn his trust, Caesar offers Pompey his daughter's hand in marriage.
The marriage marks the beginning of the most powerful alliance in Roman history that will come to be known as the Triumvirate.
Do you swear by the gods, to loyally serve the Senate and the people of Rome? I swear by the gods, to loyally serve the Senate and the people of Rome.
[Duncan] Caesar brought Crassus and Pompey together to advance his own career.
He needs the money from Crassus, and then also the support of Pompey to win the consulship that he's been after for his whole life It is with the approval of the Senate, that I hereby name you, Julius Caesar, Consul of Rome.
so that the three of them can then go forth and dominate Rome as no three men had ever dominated Rome before.
[narrator] But within a year, everything they've built will begin to collapse.
And Julius Caesar will find himself on the frontlines of the biggest war Rome has ever known.
[soldiers yelling] Stand your ground!