In 113 BC, the Cimbri smash through the northern imperial border to threaten Rome. Gripped by terror, Rome turns to General Marius, who will transform the Roman army and shake the Republic's political foundations to the core.
When Roman generals Pompey and Crassus lead their mighty legions of soldiers and mercenaries into the lands surrounding Italy, neither anticipates the turmoil caused by one bold mercenary.
Julius Caesar, desperate for fame and honor, embarks on a brutal decade-long campaign to annex Gaul and build his own reputation. His aristocratic rivals try to stop him, but he is an expert manipulator.
As the Roman Empire expands its reach into what is now Germany, its legions are faced with ferocious Germanic tribesmen.
In 47 AD, the new emperor Claudius is considered by many to be the village idiot. He can only hang onto his throne by waging a spectacular conquest.
When Trajan was proclaimed emperor, he set out to rebuild the troubled Roman Empire and lived to see it reach the maximum extent of its power.
Marcus Aurelius inherits the empire at its peak. The imperial boundaries stretch from the Irish Sea to the sands of Syria. But the greater Rome grows, the bigger a target it becomes.
In the beginning of the 3rd century, Rome is in crisis. Ravaged by civil war and foreign invasions, it now faces an even greater challenge in the new religion of Christianity.
Near the end of the 3rd century, civil war has torn the empire apart and left its borders vulnerable to barbarian invasion. Romans living on the eastern and western frontiers, far from Rome, are left to defend themselves.
The civil wars of the 3rd century are finally ended by Emperor Diocletian. In the eastern court and army of this powerful emperor, a young Constantine receives the training of a future leader.
By the end of the 4th century, Romans and barbarians live together uneasily, a situation that often explodes into violence. When Emperor Theodosius enlists the Goths as mercenaries, he relies on his trusted general to lead.
In 450 AD, Rome is a mere shadow of its former self. Roman rulers are at the mercy of their barbarian invaders, offering them power and territory in exchange for peace.