WHEN | WHERE Premieres Monday night at 9 on History
WHAT IT’S ABOUT The Roman Empire rose, then fell, while fighting “barbarians,” or disparate tribes from the north, south, east and west that prodded the boundaries of the expanding realm for weaknesses or entry points. Monday’s episode opens with the Punic wars — notably Hannibal’s epic trek across the Alps, and the Battle of Cannae, which took place in 216 BC, and routed the Roman armies. Future episodes look at wars with Spartacus, Attila, and Alaric, king of the Goths. There are abundant re-enactments with commentary, by many scholars and military experts, including Gen. Wesley Clark, U.S. Army (Ret.)
The sword-and-sandal mini-epics here are lavishly produced, and (for the most part) dramatically comatose.