My idea for a historical movie of epic proportions, like Spartacus and Ben-Hur, was born of the idea of challenging myself to write a lengthy script of 180 pages, and of pitting the two rival superpowers of Greece and Rome against each other as a way of completing my trilogy of films that are set in the classical world. Originally, the script was conceived as 'The Battle of Syracuse', which historically occurred between 213 - 212 B.C., and was recorded by several writers from antiquity such as Plutarch, but the title, to my mind at least, implied a single battle which is not the case in the script I've written. Taking inspiration from Wolfgang Petersen's Troy, an epic of similar proportions, I decided on the singular title.
By sword, war is waged. By wisdom, war is won.
The script retains certain historical features of the conflict such as the greater context of the Second Punic War between Rome and Carthage which spurred the Romans to attack Syracuse and the main characters of Archimedes, the brilliant scientist, philosopher and inventor and the so-called Sword of Rome, Marcus Marcellus, a brilliant and highly decorated soldier and statesman who prosecuted the war. However, for dramatic reasons, I decided to do away with the traditional protagonist-antagonist dichotomy that one would expect and toyed with the idea that the two central characters are both protagonists as each does his duty in order to ensure the survival of their nations instead of seeing the Romans as the antagonistic aggressors simply because they are the invading forces.
Possessed so high of spirit and scientific knowledge, repudiating as sordid and ignoble that which lends itself to profit.
The story begins in 213 B.C. during the Second Punic War. Marcus Marcellus, the epitome of the pious Roman warrior dedicated to the Republic, the gods and his family, liberates the town of Casilinum from its Carthaginian oppressors capturing the Queen of Syracuse's brother Hippocrates who intends to make a secret treaty with the Carthaginian general Hannibal rampaging through Italy. Having got word to him, Hippocrates's freedman Epicydes returns to Syracuse to inform Queen Hiera of her brother's capture. Fearing war with Rome, she summons the reclusive genius Archimedes out of self-imposed seclusion to build an array of formidable weapons to defend her prosperous independent kingdom.
Rome: rude, unrefined, stuffed full with the arms of barbarians and bloody spoils.
Initially reluctant to once again serve queen and country fearing failures past to save his family and the city from a devastating plague, Archimedes takes up the cause. But, will his wonder weapons be ready in time or powerful enough to stop the blood-lusting sons of Mars led by the sword of Rome whose sole desire is to protect his family and nation from Punic oppression?
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" It's time for Romans to show men how to gloriously win wars."
"Hastati, positions! Archers, covering fire on my command! Artillery, lock and load!"
"...seldom are people ready for life's challenges but great men bravely accept the fate the gods have given them."
"At dawn, this fleet will rain down terror and death no man or god has ever seen; victory will be mine whatever the cost."
"...I recall that you weren't in the habit of drinking wine, yet I smell you've consumed a great quantity and are under the influence of a drunken mind."
"...all Rome reels in revulsion at the news that men of great repute have committed acts of infamy and impiety against the Gods, Republic and the People."
"...war, death and destruction are my legacies (but) I stand upon the bones of a man whose reputation will far exceed mine. A man of peace who had the courage to defend his people; a man of wisdom who dared to defy beliefs that keep men in fear."
A one-page synopsis in .PDF format is available to download below.