A large penis is always welcome

15 03 2007

One of my favourite programs on the telly has got to be the BBC/HBO instant classical (and classically baroque) Rome, which in its first season came up with the unforgettable line above.

Atia of the Julii (Polly Walker) is eyeing the impressive manhood of a slave she intends to gift to her rival for Julius Caesar’s affections, when her daughter questions whether such a gift is prudent.

“Nonsense,” Atia answers with a distracted toss of her hair, “A large penis is always welcome.”

The tradition for great dialogue continues into the second season. This from the latest instalment, in which Atia’s son, Octavian (who I expect is right on schedule sometime next season to crown himself the emperor Augustus), meets the young Livia Drusilla for the first time, and says:

“Tell me, how would you like to be married to me?”

“I would like that, if my husband does not object.”


“I know his family. They will not say no to a divorce. Excellent!”

You just can’t get away with that sort of stuff these days.