Roman Empire: Reign of Blood (2016) s02e03 Episode Script

Crossing the Rubicon

Nearly six years after invading Gaul, Julius Caesar has just one territory left to conquer before he can return to Rome and claim his glory Alesia.
He builds a wall, trapping 60,000 Gauls inside led by their general Vercingetorix.
Less than a mile away, behind a second wall, are 120,000 soldiers from different tribes across Gaul.
If Caesar and his army of 60,000 men can't defend the walls Caesar will lose everything.
Get to positions! Archers, nock! Draw! Release! Draw! Release! As Caesar's men defend the outer wall, on the inside Ladders, now! Vercingetorix makes his move.
Shields! Breach! Outer wall! The Romans secure the interior, but the outer wall is breached.
Go! The Gauls manage to discover a weak point in the walls.
The Gauls identified this as a spot that they could converge all of their forces on and break the Roman siege lines.
We need help! Hold the wall! Get the reinforcements! Now! But Caesar responds with a stroke of military genius.
The Romans converged on that one spot to protect it, and then Caesar led out a cavalry detachment to come around the back of the relief army.
The Gauls then believed that they had been surrounded by the Romans, and caught in that pincer, they disintegrated.
The Gauls are retreating.
Against overwhelming odds, Julius Caesar and his men outlast two armies in one of the greatest military achievements in Roman history.
After four days of fighting, and a hundred thousand dead, Caesar has done the impossible defeating the Gauls at Alesia.
There was no hope for Vercingetorix.
He knew that he couldn't carry on the war and he knew that he couldn't stay inside the city because they would all starve to death.
Please spare the lives of my men.
It's all I ask.
Put him in chains.
With Vercingetorix's surrender, Caesar has won more than a battle he's conquered all of Gaul.
The advantage that Vercingetorix's revolt had for Caesar was that it unified all of the forces in Gaul under a single head and a single leader, and it allowed Caesar to cut that head off in one fell swoop.
Caesar's victory transforms the Roman Republic, expanding its territory by 200,000 square miles.
Making it the largest single military conquest in Roman history.
Julius Caesar stretches the Roman Empire out all the way to the Atlantic Ocean.
Making essentially that part of Europe Roman, which would shape all of Europe even today.
Roman soldiers begin settling this new territory, which will eventually become cities, like Paris and Geneva.
But for Caesar, the only thing on his mind is returning to Rome.
As Caesar returns home to reclaim the power he once had, he sends messengers ahead with news of the battle, as well as gold and treasure to be spent on the Roman people.
There are huge festivals held in the city to celebrate Caesar's success.
There are public banquets, gladiatorial combats, and there are distributions of free food, so that the people are well aware that Caesar's success is good for them.
The festivities last for 20 straight days, captivating the Roman people.
The conquest of Gaul makes Caesar the most popular person in Rome.
These victories are massive.
These victories make him famous, these victories make him rich.
He is by far the strongest man in Rome.
But not everyone is happy with Caesar's success.
Eight years after forcing Caesar out of Rome, Pompey realizes he's made a big mistake.
Pompey sees Caesar's new popularity as a direct threat.
Caesar is now perhaps more powerful than the rest of the Senate put together.
It was clear that the relationship was coming under increasing strain.
If Pompey hopes to retain any form of power he must get rid of Caesar for good.
Julius Caesar he sent Rome to war without our permission, illegally raised legions without our approval.
Butchered entire towns.
Starved women and children.
Slaughtered hundreds of thousands.
All so he could line his pockets with the spoils of war.
Caesar is a threat to our Republic.
He's shown no regard for the Senate.
No regard for anyone but himself.
We are all proud of the remarkable achievements of our soldiers, but he must be held accountable for his actions.
He must be stripped of his command immediatelyand ordered to return to Rome, where he will stand trial.
Caesar had a lot of enemies back home in Rome who saw how popular he was, not only with the people but with the army and what a brilliant commander he was.
And they were very concerned that he was getting far too much power.
All those in favor? In a unanimous vote, the Senate agrees to bring charges against Caesar.
One of the men who sides with Pompey is an ambitious senator named Marcus Brutus.
Brutus was Servilia's son, and she, of course, was Caesar's mistress.
What's your name? Brutus.
Brutus grows up admiring Caesar and considers him a father figure.
Did you stand? It was unanimous.
They've already selected his replacement.
I know you have feelings for him.
But I thought it best.
Then you did what you needed to do.
While Brutus has a personal loyalty to Caesar, his mother raised him to always choose the winning side.
Brutus was very noble, he was ambitious, like any other man of his generation.
And like many Romans, Brutus's ambitions would have been to get to the top.
Are you going to tell me? I'm being stripped of my command.
What? They're ordering me back to Rome to face charges.
For what? Illegally levying troops.
This is bullshit.
Tell them no.
And be forced into exile? You won't get a fair trial.
Pompey will make sure of that.
Julia has passed during child birth.
I'm sorry.
I'll be outside if you need anything.
Caesar is blindsided by the death of Julia, his only child.
When Julia died in childbirth, Caesar was destroyed.
She was his only daughter, and the heir not only to his fortune, but also to his family's prestige.
For the first time in his life, Caesar is alone in the world, and must decide if he'll accept the senate's terms or ignore them and march his troops into Rome.
One! Two! Back! Caesar expected to come back from his victories in Gaul to be acclaimed and then to be re-elected as consul for a second time.
Back! One! But his enemies in the Senate were dead set against that happening, and Pompey was on their side.
One! Two! Back! Three! Caesar and his troops make it to the border of Gaul and Italy to a narrow river called the Rubicon.
If Caesar crosses this boundary with an army, in the eyes of the law, he'd be invading Rome.
Caesar really had a choice to make.
Do I give up, come back, get prosecuted by my enemies, and be banished for life? Or do I cross this boundary? Do I come into Italy and point this Roman army at Rome itself? In January of 49 B.
C.
, Caesar and his men, the strongest legion in all of Rome, cross the Rubicon river.
Crossing the Rubicon officially began a civil war.
Caesar was now a rebellious military general leading Roman troops against the city of Rome itself.
Caesar's crossing of the Rubicon was really one of the pivotal events in history.
Caesar wasn't going to allow himself to be pushed around and to be deprived of what he felt was his due.
Crossing the Rubicon is not only an act of war, it's the defining moment in Caesar's career.
And the core of his legacy.
I think the fact that we still have the phrase "crossing the Rubicon" has to do with the fact that there was no u-turn.
You could not cross the Rubicon, then decide against it.
He had committed himself and his troops to marching on Rome and that's why it's remained with us today.
Knowing he can't turn back, Caesar and 5,000 troops begin marching toward Rome to overtake the capital.
You pressed us to issue an ultimatum.
We should never had brought charges.
He could sack Rome just as easily as he took Gaul.
We won't let that happen.
Our armies outnumber Caesar's three to one.
So call them to Rome! We need to leave.
Abandon Rome? For the time being, yes.
I'll send word for my legions to assemble in Greece.
We'll meet them there.
We're just giving Rome to Caesar? I'm not giving him anything.
For the senators, leaving Rome may look like a desperate act, but Pompey knows he can't defeat Caesar without an army.
Pompey is a very resourceful general and he has a plan.
The plan is to pull out of Italy and make a stand in the east.
To build up a new army, and to use that army to fight Caesar.
Pompey asks his legions, scattered across Asia and the Mediterranean, to meet him in Greece.
while forcing each senator, including Brutus, to choose a side in this civil war.
You don't think I should go.
Why do you say that? This isn't personal.
Pompey has the support of the Senate, the clear military advantage leave us.
This is the right move.
Are you asking? Pompey is the better choice.
And even if Caesar wins, he won't hurt you.
Trust yourself.
I should go.
Be careful.
On the 17th of January, 49 B.
C.
, Pompey and most of the Senate abandon Rome, leaving the capital without a government.
Nobody was in charge in the city.
The Senate was in shambles, no assemblies were being called.
Street gangs were essentially in control of large portions of the city.
With the city in chaos, Caesar could easily take control of Rome.
and that's exactly what Pompey wants him to do.
He's taking this route to Brundisium.
That's where he'll set sail for Greece.
What about Rome? We can deal with Rome later.
He's left the city wide open, we should take it now, while we still can.
Rome's not the priority.
Stopping Pompey from reaching his armies.
That's the priority.
We'll march through the night to make up time.
Then we'll cut through here But if we take Rome, we can fortify the city limits.
Block him out.
If Pompey reaches Greece, he'll strengthen his forces tenfold.
Rome can't be defended against an army of that size.
We're changing course to Brundisium now.
Break camp, we're on the move! On your feet! While the city is unguarded, Caesar understands that taking Rome is not as important as stopping Pompey.
Pompey and the Senate are traveling to Brundisium, a port city in southern Italy.
When they arrive, they'll sail to Greece, to build up their army.
If Caesar and his men can get to Brundisium first, Pompey will be forced to fight or surrender.
But the challenge is enormous, as Pompey has a head start of 200 miles.
To close the gap, Caesar's men will need to march at an unforgiving pace.
Caesar is a very bold leader.
His hallmark is speed, he always wants to get his army there first.
He's constantly pushing.
As a general, Caesar will be where you don't want him to be.
He seems to have limitless amounts of energy.
As they reach Corfinium, Caesar and his army trail Pompey by just 30 miles.
After three months of marching, Caesar and his men arrive in Brundisium.
But they're too late.
Pompey has slipped away.
But Caesar refuses to give up.
So he orders his men to begin building ships.
What's the latest estimate? Two months.
- It's not good enough.
- The men are working as fast as they can.
We don't have two months.
We can only push them so hard.
Ships take time.
Trust me, you'll want them built right.
Just get it done.
One! Two! Three! One! Two! Three! While Caesar constructs his fleet, Pompey builds an army, as troops from Asia and Syria arrive in Greece to fight for their celebrated leader.
Pompey has at his disposal these men who have all personally pledged to Pompey that if he should come calling, that they will raise men, money, material, whatever.
He will be able to call essentially on the resources of the entire eastern Mediterranean to battle against Caesar.
Back in Brundisium, Caesar's men have been building ships for nearly two months, but they've only built enough to carry half his army.
And Caesar realizes time is running out.
Caesar knows that he needs to push the envelope, knows that if he lets Pompey go on for much longer, that those forces arrayed against him will just get bigger and bigger.
Leaving Mark Antony to finish the fleet, Caesar sets off for Greece with only half his troops.
When Caesar left Italy to go over to Greece, this left him dangerously exposed.
Probably he should not have done it.
But Caesar needs to force this battle.
After two days, Caesar and his army of 11,000 men arrive in Greece and begin preparing for battle.
But Caesar quickly realizes that Pompey's army is far greater than he imagined.
A force four times the size of his, that grows larger and stronger each day.
We'll blockade here, then through here.
Cut their supply lines, then starve them out.
- Thoughts? - Good work.
Sir Caesar's forces have been spotted.
Caesar's here? Their camp is just beyond the ridge line, less than a mile away.
How many men? Scout's estimate was only half what we expected.
What do we do now? Send the scouts to track them down.
Yes sir.
Go.
While Pompey may have the larger army, he knows what Caesar's achieved against greater odds.
Pompey has the numerical advantage but even then, he doesn't necessarily want to fight a battle with Caesar.
It had been quite a long time since Pompey had actually led troops in battle.
Pompey arranges a meeting to convince Caesar not to fight.
It's been ten years since these former friends and partners have seen each other.
It's good to see you, though I wish it were under different circumstances.
I never congratulated you on Gaul.
I was impressed.
I assume you called me here to negotiate a truce? I called you here as a courtesy.
To offer you a way out.
Disband your armies and drop the all the charges, and I'll tell my men to stand down.
Why would I do that? Because you're afraid.
You're afraid your men aren't ready afraid you're not as sharp as you used to be.
And that's why you called me here.
Your men are better trained.
But they don't stand a chance against the size of my army.
So what's your offer? Order your men to lay down their arms and surrender themselves to my legions.
Then you'll return to Rome to face trial.
I'll make sure the courts are lenient on you, but you'll never hold office again.
Or you can die on the battlefield alongside your men the choice is yours.
I'll need a day or two to think it over.
So you can wait for the rest of your forces to arrive? Consider my offer.
My grandchild a boy or girl? It was a boy.
Caesar's forces are more battle tested, but with only half an army, he stands little chance of victory.
Any word? Not yet.
There was really good reason to think that Pompey would be able to not just outnumber Caesar, but massively outnumber Caesar.
Whatever couple of legions Caesar has will never be able to withstand that.
Caesar is facing certain death when Mark Antony finally arrives in Greece.
Caesar was a brilliant general.
But it wasn't until Mark Antony was able to successfully ferry the other half of the army over to Greece, that Caesar even stood any chance of facing off Pompey.
Send the weakest to the front.
Keep the more experienced in reserve.
Caesar's forces just arrived.
The rest of them.
It's fine.
I want Caesar confident.
That makes him predictable.
Where do you have our cavalry? Divided along the flanks.
Good.
Even with a full army, Pompey still has a two to one advantage over Caesar.
His infantry is here, here, and here.
How many? Four legions at the front.
Three more on either side.
He'll try to divide our ranks or surround us.
Outnumbered, Caesar comes up with a strategy to help defeat Pompey's men.
His cavalry is divided along the perimeter, so keep an eye on them.
It's been over a year since Caesar crossed the Rubicon.
And now, he's about to face his greatest rival on the battlefield.
Today, we face an army of traitors, driven by greed and power.
You are here to defend the Republic.
You are here to fight for the future of Rome.
We will overpower their ranks, we will destroy their forces, and when we are done, not a single one of them will be left standing.
I accept no other outcome only victory! Pompey and Caesar are two of the greatest generals in Roman history, and they were now facing each other.
So, you're looking at two titans really squaring off, and deciding the fate of the Roman Republic.
The winner will be named Rome's greatest general, and the ruler of what will one day become the world's most powerful empire.
First ranks, charge! Charge! Charge!