435 – The Eagle (2011)

spacetime coordinates: AD 140  Roman Britain > estate near Calleva (modern Silchester) in southern Britain territory of the Picts north of Hadrian’s Walleagle_xlgThe Eagle is a 2011 epic historical drama film set in Roman Britain directed by Kevin Macdonald, and starring Channing TatumJamie Bell and Donald Sutherland. Adapted by Jeremy Brock from Rosemary Sutcliff‘s historical adventure novel The Eagle of the Ninth(1954), the film tells the story of a young Roman officer attempting to recover the lost Roman eagle standard of his father’s legion in Scotland. The story is based on the Ninth Spanish Legion‘s supposed disappearance in Britain.hadrians wall the eagleThe film was an Anglo-American co-production. It may be considered a sequel to the film Centurion, written and directed by Neil Marshall, because Channing Tatum’s character in The Eagle is Marcus Flavius Aquila, the son of Titus Flavius Virilus who led the Ninth Legion that was lost in the far north of Britannia, and who was therefore the same person as Dominic West‘s character Titus Flavius Virilus in Centurion. Historically, the purported disappearance of the Ninth Legion in Northern Britain is a subject of debate and dispute

Macdonald intended the film to be historically authentic, but as little is certain about the tribes that the Romans encountered—they were generally Celtic peoples, though some may have been Picts—he made concessions. For example, the tribespeople spoke Gaelic, even though the language probably did not enter widespread use in the region until the 5th century AD;  Pictish is the more likely language to have been spoken at the time. “It’s the best we can do,” Macdonald said. “All you can do is build on a few clues and trust your own instincts. That way, no one can tell you you were wrong.”Seal People chieftainMacdonald described his view of the Seal people: “They were a more indigenous folk than the Celts, who were from farther south … They were probably small and dark, like the Inouit [sic], living off seals and dressed in sealskins. We are going to create a culture about which no one knows much, but which we will make as convincing as possible. We are basing it on clues gained from places like Skara Brae and the Tomb of the Eagles in Orkney, so that we will have them worshipping pagan symbols, like the seal and the eagle. The reason they have seized the emblem of the Roman eagle from the legion is because to them it [was] a sacred symbol.” (wiki)



425 – Centurion (2010)

spacetime coordinates:  117 AD Roman outpost of Pinnata Castra & Roman forts along the Glenblocker line and the Gask Ridge at the southern border of the Scottish Highlandscenturion-posterCenturion is a 2010 British historical action-war film directed by Neil Marshall,  loosely based on the disappearance of the Roman Empire’s Ninth Legion in Caledonia in the early second century AD.




223 – Pompeii (2014)

spacetime coordinates: Pompeii 79 A.D.


Pompeii is a 2014 3D romantic historical disaster film produced and directed by Paul W. S. Anderson.  An international co-production between the United States, Germany and Canada,  it is inspired by and based on the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 A.D. that destroyed Pompeii, a city of the Roman Empire. The film stars Kit HaringtonEmily BrowningCarrie-Anne MossAdewale Akinnuoye-AgbajeJessica Lucas, with Jared Harris, and Kiefer Sutherland.

historical accuracy



“…he possessed a keen intellect; he had a marvellous capacity for work, and his powers of application were enormous. He used to begin to study at night on the Festival of Vulcan, not for luck but from his love of study, long before dawn; in winter he would commence at the seventh hour or at the eighth at the very latest, and often at the sixth. He could sleep at call, and it would come upon him and leave him in the middle of his work. Before daybreak he would go to Vespasian–for he too was a night-worker–and then set about his official duties. On his return home he would again give to study any time that he had free. Often in summer after taking a meal, which with him, as in the old days, was always a simple and light one, he would lie in the sun if he had any time to spare, and a book would be read aloud, from which he would take notes and extracts. For he never read without taking extracts, and used to say that there never was a book so bad that it was not good in some passage or another.Pliny, Epistles 3.v about Pliny the Elder

040 – georgica (1998)

spacetime coordinate: post-World War II Estonia

Georgica is a 1998 Estonian drama film directed by Sulev Keedus. The film takes its name from Virgil‘s poem of the same name.

The action takes place in post-World War II Estonia. An old man lives alone on a deserted island which the Soviet fighter planes use for nighttime target practicing. A young neglected boy, who has become mute, is banished from the mainland and sent to the island to keep the old man company. Both are haunted by memories, the boy about his mother and the old man about the years before World War I he spent as a missionary in Africa.

Jakub: If you want to live and survive… then wait… Wait…and do what you’ve got to do. And then…wait again… This is the best thing you can do in this world…
I have seen it and I can tell you… You may push but only slightly… And then wait again… And you’ll live your life – and eat bread and honey… I eat honey –
and translate this old Vergil into Swahili… And I make silage for the animals on the continent… And you too will start talking when the right time has come…
(…) This end of the wax cylinder, it’s still quite empty… This is for you… Then later you can hear what your voice was like – when you were on the island – with an old man, a horse and some bees…