Note: This post is part of our series, "Netflix Academy: The best educational videos available for streaming." Be sure to check out our previous Netflix Academy posts on Ancient Asian Cultures; the early American civilizations; Ancient GreeceNative American culturesChristopher Columbus and the Age of DiscoveryColonial America and the Revolutionary Warthe American founders;  movie adaptations of classic children’s booksAmerican folk heroesdinosaursaquatic lifeinsectsfrogs and other amphibiansreptiles; and birds.

“Beware the Ides of March.” That didn’t work out so well for Julius Caesar, but it does give us an excellent excuse to learn about Ancient Rome. In this week’s edition of Netflix Academy, we present a handful of videos about the rise and fall of the Roman Empire. As with some of our other historical topics, the selection is thinner than we’d like. Yet a solid grounding in this epoch is essential for an understanding of Western culture and history, world religions, and geo-politics. So if the still-wintry weather blows you inside, give these videos a look.

Special thanks to research interns Andrew McDonnell, Elisabeth Hoyson, and Liz McInerney for helping to compile these lists.

Best videos on Ancient Rome

1. Kid's Animated History with Pipo: Imperial Rome, Parts 1 and 2

Kid's Animated History with Pipo

This series showcases significant historical events in a humorous and easy-to-understand style. This episode, broken in to two parts, delves into the history of Rome, a city whose inhabitants conquered the known world, built the Colosseum, and gave civilization Roman Law and Latin, the root of many languages.

Length: 27 minutes

Rating: NR

Provider: Hulu

2. ROME: Rise and fall of an empire

Rome: The rise and fall of an empire

This series examines how the continuous wars with the barbarians and depletion of resources became a core cause of the Roman Empire's decline and eventual collapse.

Length: 611 minutes

Rating: NR

Provider: The History Channel (via Youtube)

3. Dear America, Season 2, Episode 1: Cleopatra VII, Daughter of the Nile


Princess Cleopatra uses intelligence and charm to navigate a spiral of intrigue at the Egyptian court and win Julius Caesar’s support.

Length: 27 minutes

Rating: TV-Y7

Provider: Netflix

4. Secrets of the Dead: Lost Ships of Rome

Lost Ships of Rome

Archeologists, divers, and other experts explore five intact shipwrecks near the island of Ventotene and find a plethora of ancient artifacts.

Length: 53 minutes

Rating: PG


5. Global Treasures: Pompeii, Italy

Global Treasures

Heritage is our legacy from the past, what we live today, and what we pass on to future generations. Our cultural and natural heritage are both irreplaceable sources of life and inspiration.

Length: 11 minutes

Rating: NR

Provider: Amazon Instant

6. Roman Feats Of Engineering

Roman Feats

The marvels of ancient Rome's practical engineering, roads, arches, and aqueducts are presented in this program. Reenactments, diagrams, and live-action footage examine the awe-inspiring accomplishments.

Length: 30 minutes

Rating: NR

ProviderAmazon Instant

7. Four Sisters in Ancient Rome

Four sisters

How did the young, wealthy women of Ancient Rome spend their days? Meet Domitia and her sister Domitia and her sister Domitia and her sister Domitia. Ray Laurence sketches the domestic life of leisure that these young girls lived, despite little recorded information on women from this otherwise well-documented era.

Length: 9 minutes

Rating: NR

Provider: Ted-Ed

8. A glimpse of teenage life in ancient Rome

Teenage Life

Welcome to the world of Lucius Popidius Secundus, a seventeen-year-old living in Rome in 73 AD. His life is a typical one of arranged marriages, coming-of-age festivals, and communal baths. Take a look at this exquisitely detailed lesson on life of a typical Roman teenager two thousand years ago.

Length: 7 minutes

Rating: NR


9. Hands On History: A Day In The Life… Of A 10-Year-Old In Roman Britain

Hands On History BBC

Have you ever wondered how Romans lived and what they ate? Watch a day of a ten-year-old boy to learn more about the ancient Romans. Be sure to check out the BBC’s other learning materials on Ancient Rome, including a Gladiator game, an interactive timeline of the Roman Empire, and a photo gallery detailing the gods of Roman Britain.

Length: 3 minutes

Rating: NR

Provider: BBC (via Youtube)

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