This article lists films set in the city of Rome during the Roman Kingdom, the Roman Republic, or the Roman Empire. The films only partly set in Rome are so noted.

The founding of Rome

Films set during the founding of Rome include:

Title Release date Notes
Duel of the Titans 1961 based on the legend of Romulus and Remus with Steve Reeves as Romulus and Gordon Scott as Remus
The Avenger 1962 based on Virgil's Aeneid with Steve Reeves as Aeneas: a story of the hero leading escaped survivors of the Trojan War to new land in Italy.
The First King 2019 in archaic Latin; directed by Matteo Rovere

The Roman Kingdom

Reign of Romulus

Title Release date Notes
Romulus and the Sabines 1961
The Rape of the Sabine Women 1962 about the Rape of the Sabine Women (dir. by Richard Pottier)

Reign of Tullus Hostilius

Title Release date Notes
Duel of Champions 1961 with Alan Ladd as Horatius and Robert Keith as Tullus Hostilius

The Roman Republic

Early Roman Republic

Title Release date Notes
Le vergini di Roma 1961 French-Italian film (directed by Carlo Luigi Bragaglia and Vittorio Cottafavi), including characters of Etruscan king Porsenna and Mucius Scaevola
Hero of Rome 1964 with Gordon Scott as Gaius Mucius Scaevola (directed by Giorgio Ferroni)
Coriolanus: Hero without a Country 1964 with Gordon Scott as Gaius Marcius Coriolanus (dir. by Giorgio Ferroni)
Brennus, Enemy of Rome 1963 about the Battle of the Allia and sack of Rome in 387 BC, with Gordon Scott as Brennus

Second Punic War

Title Release date Notes
Cabiria 1914 a monumental Italian production (dir. by Giovanni Pastrone, after the screenplay by Gabriele d'Annunzio), touching on Hannibal's campaign in Italy, the siege of Syracuse and Battle of Zama, featuring such characters as Masinissa; also the first Maciste film
Scipio Africanus: The Defeat of Hannibal 1937 about the career of Scipio Africanus up to his defeat of Hannibal at the Battle of Zama
Jupiter's Darling 1955 with Howard Keel as Hannibal and George Sanders as Fabius Maximus
Hannibal 1959 Italian post-war production about Hannibal's campaign in Italy including the Battle of Cannae. Stars Victor Mature.
L'Assedio di Siracusa 1960 on the siege of Syracuse, with Rossano Brazzi as Archimides
Hannibal 2006 TV docudrama directed by Edward Bazalgette, with Alexander Siddig as Hannibal

Third Punic War

Title Release date Notes
Cartagine in fiamme 1960 after the novel by Emilio Salgari, dir. by Carmine Gallone

2nd century BC

Title Release date Notes
Scipio the African 1971 about the later life of Scipio; directed by Luigi Magni, with Marcello Mastroianni as Scipio the African, Silvana Mangano as Aemilia Tertia and Vittorio Gassman as Cato the Elder
The Centurion 1961 about the Battle of Corinth (146 BC), with John Drew Barrymore as Diaeus
Revolution (Ancient Rome: The Rise and Fall of an Empire – Episode Four) 2006 docudrama about of the reforms of Tiberius Gracchus

Third Servile War

Title Release date Notes
Spartak 1926 an early Soviet production (dir. by Ertugrul Muhsin-Bey), based on the novel by Raffaello Giovagnoli [now lost]
Spartaco 1953 dir. by Riccardo Freda
Spartacus 1960 with Kirk Douglas as Spartacus and Laurence Olivier as Marcus Licinius Crassus (dir. by Stanley Kubrick)
Il figlio di Spartacus 1962 unofficial Italian sequel to Spartacus directed by Sergio Corbucci
Spartacus 2004 with Goran Visnjic as Spartacus (dir. by Robert Dornheim)
Spartacus: Blood and Sand 2010 with Andy Whitfield as Spartacus, Manu Bennett as Crixus, Peter Mensah as Oenomaus, John Hannah as Lentulus Batiatus, and Craig Parker as Gaius Claudius Glaber
Spartacus: Gods of the Arena 2011 prequel to Spartacus: Blood and Sand. The plot of Gods of the Arena follows Lentulus Batiatus's (John Hannah) life as a lanista, and Gannicus's (Dustin Clare) time as a gladiator
Spartacus: Vengeance 2012 sequel to Spartacus: Blood and Sand, with Liam McIntyre replacing Andy Whitfield as Spartacus, after Whitfield's unexpected death in 2011
Spartacus: War of the Damned 2013 the third (final) season of the series

Julius Caesar

Title Release date Notes
Gaius Julius Caesar 1914 a silent film, directed by Enrico Guazzoni
Caesar Against the Pirates 1962 a tale of Caesar being caught by pirates and asking for help to get back to Rome
Caesar the Conqueror 1962 an Italian film about the career of Julius Caesar and his Gallic Wars (directed by Tanio Boccia)
The Giants of Rome 1964 Italian-French adventure film set in the Roman warfare against Vercingetorix (directed by Antonio Margheriti), with Richard Harrison as Claudius Marcellus
Julius Caesar 1950 (directed by David Bradley). This is a film adaptation of Shakespeare's play
Julius Caesar 1953 deals with the assassination of Julius Caesar and the Liberators' civil war, with Marlon Brando as Mark Antony and John Gielgud as Gaius Cassius Longinus (directed by Joseph L. Mankiewicz). This is a film adaptation of Shakespeare's play
Julius Caesar 1970 deals with the assassination of Julius Caesar and the Liberators' civil war
Druids 2001 the life and career of Vercingetorix (starring Christopher Lambert), a Gallic adversary of Rome in the film of Jacques Dorfmann
Julius Caesar 2002
Empire 2005
Rome 2005 deals with the assassination of Julius Caesar and the Liberators' civil war
Caesar (Ancient Rome: The Rise and Fall of an Empire – Episode One) 2006 docudrama about the Gallic Wars and Caesar's Civil War


Title Release date Notes
Cléopâtre 1899 French film made by Georges Méliès, the earliest known version considered to be lost, retrieved 2005
Antony and Cleopatra 1908 a film starring Maurice Costello and Florence Lawrence
Cléopâtre 1910 French film by Henri Andréani and Ferdinand Zecca
Cléopâtre 1912 new silent version after the play of Victorien Sardou (dir. by Charles L. Gaskill)
Marcantonio e Cleopatra 1913 Italian production from the era of the silent film, directed by Enrico Guazzoni
Cleopatra 1917 American film with Theda Bara as Cleopatra (dir. by J. Gordon Edwards)
Cleopatra 1928 the second American version (dir. by Roy William Neill)
Cleopatra 1934 with Claudette Colbert as Cleopatra (dir. by Cecil B. DeMille)
Caesar and Cleopatra 1945 with Vivien Leigh as Cleopatra and Claude Rains as Julius Caesar (dir. by Gabriel Pascal), after the play by G. B. Shaw
Le legioni di Cleopatra[1] 1959 Italian film directed by Vittorio Cottafavi
Serpent of the Nile 1953 directed by William Castle with Rhonda Fleming as Cleopatra
A Queen for Caesar 1962 Italian film, starring Pascale Petit (dir. by Piero Pierotti and Victor Tourjansky)
Cleopatra 1963 including the Battle of Actium and the Final War of the Roman Republic, with Elizabeth Taylor as Cleopatra, Richard Burton as Mark Antony and Rex Harrison as Julius Caesar (dir. by Joseph L. Mankiewicz)
Carry On Cleo 1964 a parody of J. Mankiewicz's Cleopatra with Sid James as Mark Antony (dir. by Gerald Thomas), set in the reign of Julius Caesar
Antony and Cleopatra 1972 a film starring Charlton Heston and Hildegarde Neil
Antony and Cleopatra 1974 a television version of a Royal Shakespeare Company production starring Richard Johnson and Janet Suzman
Antony and Cleopatra 1981 a television version produced as part of the BBC Television Shakespeare starring Colin Blakely and Jane Lapotaire
Cleopatra 1999 with Leonor Varela as Cleopatra and Timothy Dalton as Julius Caesar (dir. by Franc Roddam), based on the book by Margaret George
Asterix and Cleopatra 1968 Belgian-French animated film (dir. by René Goscinny and Albert Uderzo), as well as Asterix & Obelix: Mission Cleopatra (2002) a French/Italian film based on the same source, Goscinny and Uderzo's 1963 comic-book Asterix and Cleopatra.
The Cleopatras 1983 BBC TV 8-episode series on the latter part of the reign of the Ptolemaic dynasty (dir. by John Frankau)
Cleopatra 2007 Brazilian film with Alessandra Negrini as Cleopatra and Miguel Falabella as Julius Caesar (directed by Júlio Bressane)

The Roman Empire

1st century BC

Title Release date Notes
Imperium: Augustus 2003
Empire 2005 TV series
Rome 2005–2007 22-episode TV series, a joint British-American-Italian production on Rome's transition from Republic to Empire (dir. by Michael Apted)
Domina 2021– TV series that charts the life and rise of Livia Drusilla, the powerful wife of the Roman emperor Augustus Caesar.

The Life of Jesus

Main article: List of actors who have played Jesus

Title Release date Notes
La vie et la passion de Jésus-Christ 1903 French Pathé production (dir. by Ferdinand Zecca) [second version (1907) as Vie et passion de notre seigneur Jésus-Christ]
Ben-Hur 1907 the first known version (15-minute long) adapted from the famous Lew Wallace novel, dir. by Sidney Olcott
From the Manger to the Cross 1912 American film shot on location in the Middle East, dir. by Sidney Olcott
La vie et la passion de Jésus-Christ 1914 French Pathé remake (dir. by Maurice Maître)
Intolerance 1916 silent film told in several time-periods with a segment set in 27 AD leading to the Crucifixion
Three Ages 1923 a parody of Intolerance starring Buster Keaton also with its own Roman section
Ben-Hur 1925 silent film dir. by Fred Niblo, starring Ramon Novarro (the picture noteworthy for its color segments and for the female nudity in the parade sequence)
King of Kings 1927
Golgotha 1935
Ben-Hur 1959 a monumental Hollywood production directed by William Wyler, starring Charlton Heston; partly set in Rome
King of Kings 1961
Pontius Pilate 1962 with Jean Marais as Pontius Pilate
The Life of Brian 1979 dir. by Terry Jones. It’s quite possibly one of the most infamous films ever made solely for the controversy surrounding the film being considered Blasphemous, though the Pythons themselves have asserted it’s not blasphemous.
The Last Temptation of Christ 1988 dir. by Martin Scorsese, with Willem Dafoe as Jesus Christ
The Gospel of John 2003 A 3-hr account narrated by Christopher Plummer word-for-word from The Good News Bible.
Ben-Hur 2003 animated version (the fourth in all) of the novel by Lew Wallace
The Passion of the Christ 2004 dir. by Mel Gibson, with Jim Caviezel as Jesus Christ; recorded in original languages (Aramaic, Hebrew, Latin)
Ben Hur 2010 miniseries by Steve Shill
Ben-Hur 2016 new American version in 3-D directed by Timur Bekmambetov with Jack Huston as Ben-Hur
Risen 2016 a biblical drama dir. by Kevin Reynolds with Cliff Curtis featuring Yeshua (Jesus Christ)
The Chosen 2017 a series about the life of Jesus through the eyes of his followers

Reigns of Augustus, Tiberius, Caligula and Claudius

Title Release date Notes
Agrippina 1910 directed by Enrico Guazzoni
Messalina 1924 directed by Enrico Guazzoni
I, Claudius 1937, never completed with Charles Laughton as Claudius. This is an adaptation of Robert Graves's novels "I, Claudius" and "Claudius the God".
The Affairs of Messalina 1951 with María Félix as Messalina
Barabbas 1953 Swedish version (dir. by Alf Sjöberg), the first based on the novel by Pär Lagerkvist
The Robe 1953 based on the novel by Lloyd C. Douglas, with Richard Burton as Marcellus and Jean Simmons as Diana (dir. by Henry Koster)
Demetrius and the Gladiators 1954 sequel to The Robe (dir. Delmer Daves)
Messalina, venere imperatrice 1960 dir. by Vittorio Cottafavi, with Belinda Lee as Messalina
Barabbas 1961 American version, dir. by Richard Fleischer, starring Anthony Quinn
Massacre in the Black Forest 1967 about the Battle of the Teutoburg Forest (dir. by Ferdinando Baldi)
The Caesars (TV series) 1968 6 episodes: Augustus; Germanicus; Tiberius; Sejanus; Caligula; Claudius
I, Claudius 1976 BBC TV series with Derek Jacobi as Claudius (an adaptation of Robert Graves's novels "I, Claudius" and "Claudius the God").
Caligula 1979 with Malcolm McDowell as Caligula (dir. by Tinto Brass)
Los cántabros 1980 about the Cantabrian wars with Paul Naschy (also director) as Marcus Agrippa
The Inquiry 2006 with Max von Sydow as Tiberius
Barabbas 2012 the latest version based on the Lagerkvist's book, dir. by Roger Young, starring Billy Zane
Britannia 2018–2022 British TV series of a fictional account of the Roman conquest of Britain.

Reign of Nero

Title Release date Notes
Quo Vadis 1901 the earliest adaptation made by Lucien Nonguet and Ferdinand Zecca
Quo Vadis 1913 the second silent version directed by Enrico Guazzoni
Quo Vadis 1924 Italian production directed by Georg Jacoby and Gabriellino D'Annunzio, with Emil Jannings as Nero
The Sign of the Cross 1932 with Charles Laughton as Nero
Fiddlers Three 1944 British production, starring Tommy Trinder, Sonnie Hale and Francis L. Sullivan as the Emperor Nero.
Quo Vadis 1951 American production with Peter Ustinov as Nero (dir. by Mervyn LeRoy)
The Silver Chalice 1954 starring Paul Newman (dir. by Victor Saville)
The Romans 1965 classic Doctor Who season 2 ep. 4
Fellini Satyricon 1969 fantasy drama loosely based on Petronius's work (dir. by Federico Fellini)
Satyricon 1969 fantasy drama based on Petronius's work (dir. by Gian Luigi Polidoro)
Quo Vadis 1985 TV miniseries directed by Franco Rossi
Quo Vadis 2001 Polish superproduction directed by Jerzy Kawalerowicz
Quo Vadis 2002 TV six-part series following the main Polish production
Nero 2004 AKA "Imperium: Nero", part of the Imperium series. Directed by Paul Marcus
Nero (Ancient Rome: The Rise and Fall of an Empire – Episode Two) 2006 docudrama about reign of Nero

Boudica's Revolt

Title Release date Notes
The Viking Queen 1967 film loosely based on the revolt of Boudica
Warrior Queen 1978 TV series about the revolt of Boudica
Boudica 2003 film about the revolt of Boudica
Boudica 2023 film about the revolt of Boudica

Eruption of Mount Vesuvius

Title Release date Notes
The Last Days of Pompeii 1913 a silent film directed by Mario Caserini and Elioterio Rudolfi
The Last Days of Pompeii 1935
The Last Days of Pompeii 1950 French film (dir. by Paolo Moffa)
The Last Days of Pompeii 1959 dir. by Mario Bonnard & Sergio Leone
Up Pompeii! 1969–1970 BBC TV Series
Up Pompeii 1971 set in 79 AD, yet anachronistically shows Nero still reigning 10 years after his death (1971)
The Last Days of Pompeii 1984 ABC-TV miniseries
Pompeii: The Last Day 2003
Imperium: Pompeii 2007 part of the Imperium series.
The Fires of Pompeii 2008 new Doctor Who series 4 ep. 2
Pompeii 2014 a romantic disaster film directed by Paul W. S. Anderson

Flavian Dynasty

Title Release date Notes
Masada 1981 TV miniseries about the siege of Masada in the First Jewish-Roman War, dir. by Boris Sagal
Age of Treason 1993 A fictitious story about Marcus Didius Falco (played by Bryan Brown), an "informer" (a proto-private investigator) who navigates the tough back alleys of Rome with the help of gigantic ex-gladiator Justus (played by Matthias Hues), to find the killer of a man whose family was close to the newly enthroned Emperor Vespasian.
The Apocalypse 2000 telefilm about Jesus Christ's last surviving disciple and his writings and visions (dir. by Raffaele Mertes), starring Richard Harris as St John of Patras and Bruce Payne as Domitian
Rebellion (Ancient Rome: The Rise and Fall of an Empire – Episode Three) 2006 docudrama about First Jewish–Roman War
Roman Mysteries 2007–2008 ten-part TV series for youngsters, directed by Paul Marcus

85-110 AD

Title Release date Notes
The Dacians 1967 Romanian film about Domitian's Dacian War, with Pierre Brice (dir. by Sergiu Nicolaescu)
The Column 1968 Romanian film about Trajan's Dacian Wars (dir. by Mircea Dragan)

Reign of Hadrian

Title Release date Notes
The Eagle of the Ninth 1977 a six-part BBC mini-series, based on the novel by Rosemary Sutcliff, starring Anthony Higgins
Centurion 2010 an action film based on the massacre of the Ninth Legion, directed by Neil Marshall
The Eagle 2011 adaption of the novel The Eagle of the Ninth by Rosemary Sutcliff, directed by Kevin Macdonald

Reign of Antoninus Pius

Title Release date Notes
Androcles and the Lion 1952 set in 161 AD, after the play by George Bernard Shaw

Reign of Commodus

Title Release date Notes
The Fall of the Roman Empire 1964 latter half set in Rome, with Christopher Plummer as Commodus (dir. by Anthony Mann)
The Two Gladiators 1964 Italian prequel of the next one, dir. by Mario Caiano
Gladiator 2000 latter half set in Rome, partly a remake of The Fall of the Roman Empire (dir. by Ridley Scott)

250-272 AD

Title Release date Notes
Sign of the Gladiator 1959 [known also as Sheba and the Gladiator] – about the Palmyrene Empire of queen Zenobia (starring Anita Ekberg) and its re-annexation back to Rome (dir. by Guido Brignone and Michelangelo Antonioni)
The Magnificent Gladiator 1964 Italian film being a tale of a gladiator from the times of emperor Gallienus (dir. by Alfonso Brescia)

Reign of Diocletian

Title Release date Notes
Sebastiane 1976 Homoerotical version of the legend of St Sebastian; remarkable also as the first film entirely recorded in Latin. Directed by Derek Jarman.

310-315 AD (Age of Constantine)

Title Release date Notes
The Fighting Gladiators 1949 aka Fabiola Italian film with Michèle Morgan
Constantine and the Cross 1962 up to the Battle of the Milvian Bridge in AD 312, with Cornel Wilde as Constantine the Great
The Fall of Rome 1963 an Italian peplum-film, the story based on persecution of Christians after the death of Emperor Constantine (dir. by Antonio Margheriti)
Constantine (Ancient Rome: The Rise and Fall of an Empire – Episode Five) 2006 docudrama about the rise of Constantine

Attila the Hun

Title Release date Notes
Attila 1954 with Anthony Quinn as Attila the Hun and Sophia Loren as Justa Grata Honoria
Sign of the Pagan 1954 with Jack Palance as Attila the Hun
Attila 2001 a joint American-Lithuanian production with Gerard Butler as Attila the Hun (dir. by Dick Lowry)

Late Empire

Title Release date Notes
Revenge of the Barbarians 1960 about the sack of Rome by the Visigoths in 410 AD (dir. by Giuseppe Vari)
Kampf um Rom I 1968 on the struggle in Italy ruled by the Ostrogoths, after the novel by Felix Dahn (dir. by Robert Siodmak)
Kampf um Rom II : Der Verrat 1969 continuation of the (above listed) German production
Thais 1984 Polish film (dir. by Ryszard Ber), after a story by Anatole France on an episode from the life of the 4th-century Alexandria
Titus Andronicus 1985 fictional story of a general in the Roman army, based on the tragedy by William Shakespeare; BBC TV version dir. by Jane Howell
Titus 1999 adaptation by Julie Taymor with Anthony Hopkins as Titus Andronicus
King Arthur 2004
The Voyage Home 2004 based on the poem De reditu suo by Rutilius Claudius Namatianus
The Fall of Rome (Ancient Rome: The Rise and Fall of an Empire – Episode Six) 2006 docudrama about the sack of Rome by Alaric's Visigoths
The Last Legion 2007 loosely inspired by the 5th-century collapse of the Western Roman Empire and the legendary-fantastic elements from the history of Britain (dir. by Doug Lefler), with Colin Firth and Ben Kingsley
Agora 2009 Spanish film (dir. by Alejandro Amenábar) with Rachel Weisz starring as Hypatia, a female philosopher and savant from Alexandria
Restless Heart: The Confessions of Saint Augustine 2010 a biographical film about Augustine of Hippo, dir. by Christian Duguay
Decline of an Empire 2014 about "the Christian saint who defied the Empire" (dir. by Michael Redwood), with Peter O'Toole as Cornelius Gallus (his last film role)


Title Release date Notes
Roman Scandals 1933 Eddie Cantor's dream sequence.
A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum 1966 Film version of the Musical Play – inspired by the farces of the ancient Roman playwright Plautus (251-183 B.C.), specifically Pseudolus, Miles Gloriosus and Mostellaria
The Arena 1974 [also known as Naked Warriors] – a story of two female gladiators from the arena of Brundisium, dir. by Steve Carver
History of the World, Part I 1981 the section "The Roman Empire" of this broad satire is set in Rome
Amazons and Gladiators 2001 Australian action/adventure film of Roman times (dir. by Zachary Weintraub)

See also

This list related to film, television, or video is incomplete; you can help by adding missing items. (October 2021)