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5 Shows like Rome: Trips Back in Time

Simon Hamilton itcher

‘Rome’ is a lavish drama telling the tale of the Roman Empire through the eyes of a mixture of characters, both historical and fictional.

For other TV shows like ‘Rome’ set in historical eras, make sure you take a look at the following suggestions. ~ Simon Hamilton

Shows Similar to ‘Rome’

This article recommends an underrated title, a must-see title, an unknown title, an ‘if you like, you will like’ title and an unexpected title so you have different options when it comes to choosing your next movie to watch.



‘Spartacus: Blood and Sand’ (Starz, 2010-2013)

Looking for shows like ‘Rome’? Well, you’d be a fool to ignore ‘Spartacus: Blood and Sand’. This is a slick and stylised portrayal of the gladiatorial days of Ancient Rome, inspired by the Thracian Gladiator Spartacus.

While some people have criticised this show as being a rather trashy historical drama with too much sex and violence, others love it for that very reason. Given the nature of Ancient Rome, it’s a depiction which is probably far from being inaccurate.

A highly entertaining series.


Similarity Match

Imagine 'Rome' with the stylised cinematography of '300'. 



‘Sharpe’ (ITV, 1993-1997)

One of British television’s greatest dramas, this is the tale of Richard Sharpe (Sean Bean) who rises from a lowly sergeant to a colonel in the British army during the Napoleonic Wars, struggling against resentment from his men and the snobbery of the officer class.

Based on Bernard Cornwell’s novels, this is a highly ambitious series which, despite its budgetary limitations, manages to recreate the turbulent period with aplomb.

With a great cast including the likes of Brian Cox and a young Daniel Craig, this is a show which has an appeal stretching far beyond fans of British military history.


Similarity Match

A wonderful production full of "bugles, battles and bags of glory".



‘I, Claudius’ (BBC, 1976)

This is an old BBC adaptation of Robert Graves’ work, telling the story of Rome during the days of Claudius I. It doesn’t have the budget nor the bloody violence of HBO’s Rome, but this isn’t intended to be a visceral portrayal of the Ancient World; rather, this is a tale of conspiracy and intrigue, of politics and machination.

It may seem a little dated now and some modern viewers may find that the lack of sex and violence fails to satiate their appetite, but its distinctly 1970s feel makes this an endearingly nostalgic production and one which will certainly appeal to anyone with an interest in this period of history.


Similarity Match

An old-school BBC classic. 



‘Ancient Rome: The Rise and Fall of an Empire’ (The History Channel, 2008)

For anyone looking for a TV series like Rome, check out this one. It’s a thirteen-hour docu-drama charting the rise and fall of Rome’s glorious Empire.

Unlike some of the other recommendations on this list, it’s a production focused on historical accuracy without creative license, and it will, therefore, appeal to armchair historians in particular.

**Unfortunately, at the point of publishing there was no trailer for this movie available on YouTube


Similarity Match

One for history buffs and fans of classical antiquity. 


If You Like ‘Rome’, You Will Like

‘Hornblower’ (ITV, 1998-2003)

Following shortly after the massive success of ITV’s ‘Sharpe’, this is a tale from the same era. Based on C.S. Forester’s popular novels, ‘Hornblower’ tells the tale of a young midshipman (Ioan Gruffudd) who struggles with life in the British Navy before establishing himself as a highly capable and intrepid seaman.

Perhaps what really stands out about this show is how convincingly it portrays naval warfare during the early 19th-century.

For an ITV production with a relatively meager budget, for it to stand up well in comparison to a big Hollywood production such as ‘Master and Commander’ is both surprising and extremely impressive.


Similarity Match

Think 'Sharpe' on the high seas. 


Over to You

Modernity can seem very dull and boring compared to the epic and turbulent times of past centuries.

Got your own personal favourite series similar to ‘Rome’ guaranteed to make you feel that you’re born out of time? Add them below!

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