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Eight Days That Made Rome

Eight Days That Made Rome

  • Premiered: 
    October 27, 2017
    (Click date to see TV listings for that day)

  • Network: Ch5
  • Category: Series
  • Genre: Docudrama
  • Type: Live Action
  • Concept: 
  • Subject Matter: Historical
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Plot Synopsis

Bettany Hughes relives eight pivotal days that defined the Roman Empire and made it the world's first superpower. In each one-hour episode Hughes chooses one critical day in which the fate of the Empire and its people hang in the balance. These are the Eight Days when iconic events and legendary characters collide to change the course of history; when heroes become despots; when victory is wrenched from the jaws of defeat; when spectacle becomes ideology and when a death-bed confession revitalizes an empire. Hughes's chosen days explore Scipio's redemptive victory over Hannibal, the birth of the Spartacus slave revolt, Julius Caesar's fateful crossing of the Rubicon River, Augustus outwitting Mark Anthony, the violent defilement of Boudicca, the opening of the Colosseum, the suicide of Nero and the day Constantine, close to death, is baptized as a Christian.

EIGHT DAYS THAT MADE ROME had its U.S. premiere on Sunday, January 6, 2019 at 9pm ET/PT on Smithsonian Channel. In the series opener, "Hannibal's Last Stand," Hughes examines the archaeological sites and remarkable finds associated with this seminal day in Rome's rise. Years after suffering a humiliating defeat to the Carthaginian Empire at the hands of legendary General Hannibal, Rome is determined to seek revenge. The next major battle would take place on the unforgiving deserts of North Africa on October 19, 202 B.C. This single day of combat set Rome on the path to greatness and exemplified the military muscle and ambition of the emerging empire. EIGHT DAYS THAT MADE ROME moved to its regular timeslot -- Mondays at 8pm -- the following day.
On Monday, February 18, 2019 at 8pm ET/PT, Smithsonian Channel premiered "The Rebirth of Rome," the finale of EIGHT DAYS MADE ROME. After more than a century of steady Roman decline, one man restores order to the disintegrating empire, setting it on a new course with Christianity at its heart. Host Bettany Hughes examines the life of Constantine the Great -- the last emperor to rule over a united empire -- and the day he was baptized in May 337 A.D. Explore ancient Constantinople, the city he founded that would shape the dynamics of the known world, and examine recently discovered traces of Constantine's imperial palace.

Production & Distribution

  • Produced by October Films