We've been a fan of this sort of stuff since we watched I, CLAUDIUS on PBS back in the Seventies. (That's a series we ought to revisit on DVD, if we could find the time.) We even wrote a mystery story with Claudius as the detective. ("The Singer at Dawn", in the October 1980 issue of MIKE SHAYNE MYSTERY MAGAZINE.) ROME isn't all that accurate historically, but it tells compelling stories nonetheless and is very well-acted, especially by Kevin McKidd and Ray Stevenson as a couple of Roman soldiers who wind up being on hand for most of the historical events and even playing pivotal parts in some of them. Also like DEADWOOD, there's plenty of purely fictional soap opera to go with the pseudo-history.
I enjoyed ROME and was sorry to see it end after only two seasons. I've heard that the new series SPARTACUS is a lot like it, only with more sex and violence (hard to imagine). I'm sure we'll give it a try, too, when it comes out on DVD.