The much-anticipated drama Rome begins on BBC Two on Wednesday, promising a feast of violence, sex and intrigue.
Ciaran Hinds, who starred in Road to Perdition, plays Gaius Julius Caesar, the battle-weary commander of Rome's conquering army.
Although many famous historical figures feature in Rome, the story is told through the eyes of two fictional soldiers, Veronus (Kevin McKidd) and Pullo (Ray Stevenson).
There are several central female roles in the series, including Atia, the powerful and manipulative niece of Caesar, played by Polly Walker.
Tobias Menzies plays Caesar's once loyal chief assassin Marcus Junius Brutus.
The 11-part series, a collaboration between the BBC and HBO, was filmed in Rome and took more than a year to complete.
The fighting scenes have already caused controversy in the UK, with critics believing they are too violent for mainstream television.
Mark Antony, portrayed by James Purefoy [L], is a close ally of Caesar and is considered a dashing soldier loved by men and women.