Tuesday 14 May 2013
Why can't we get it right?
I'm annoyed, really annoyed. All right maybe just a little bit peeved. Why? Well, I just can't believe that every time someone does a documentary, movie or TV series on the fall of the Roman Republic - supposedly awing us with their incredible level of details and research - they give us a black-haired Julius Caesar with a five o'clock shadow at two in the afternoon. I mean really, how much credence can we put in a show when they're not even bothered to get the basics right. Stanley Kubrick got it wrong in 1960 with Spartacus and it's been a downhill slope ever since. So let's get this settled, Julius Caesar was fair skinned, he was at least six feet tall, he had dark brown eyes and his hair was blonde...although by his forties it was receding. Now would it be that hard to find an actor that looks like that? That's half of Hollywood right there.
And here's the bigger problem, most of us have a preconception of what a Roman looks like...short, beak-nosed, olive complexion with a constant need to shave. The trouble is, the Italian peninsular was populated by all kinds of people, including the Romans who originated in Celtic Austria. So to put things bluntly, the average Roman probably looked a lot more like the present day French and Irish, while those with black hair and darker skin had Etruscan origins. So who were the Etruscans? Well, that's another movie, involving a big horse and Brad Pitt...but don't get me started. You can find out more about the Romans by reading 'A Body of Doubt' - available from Amazon, just follow the links