Screengrab via Daily News/YouTube

Classics professor delighted by historically accurate reality dating show ‘Bromans’

'10/10 will watch again.'


Christine Friar

Internet Culture

Posted on Sep 15, 2017   Updated on May 22, 2021, 5:18 pm CDT

When classics professor Dr. Andrew Sillett livetweeted a British reality dating show set in ancient Rome Thursday night, he probably expected to make a few corrections. But it turns out the sexy couples show keeps things historically accurate, more or less.

First of all, it’s called Bromans. It invites a group of bros from 2017 to come live in a house and act like ancient Romans for the chance to win £10,000. Contestants are allowed to bring their girlfriends with them for moral support, but because they have to comply to the norms of Roman culture, the men go off and participate in grueling, gladiator-like challenges while the women practice wine-making and sculpting back at the house. It’s like the Real World/Road Rules Challenge, plus Bachelor in Paradise, plus cosplay. Tight.

Sillett, a classics lecturer at England’s University of Oxford, livetweeted the premiere Thursday, and actually seemed impressed by some of the details he saw.

For instance, one contestant bragging about his hotness seems to sum up the Roman concept of “triumph” well.

There’s apparently a lot of full-frontal male nudity on the show, but Sillett says humiliation was part of a gladiator’s career:

At some point, someone mentions that Latin came from the Roman civilization. Sillett can confirm!

So it looks like the staff actually did its homework. In one scene, contestants joke about ruining the emperor’s ring—an idea Sillett says would be totally feasible for a gladiator. For reference, he shared a pic of an old coin, which gladiators engraved to roast the emperor at the time, saying “To the Augustus, the Roman Hercules.”

Sillett continued with his notes for the rest of the hour-long episode, finally concluding “10/10 will watch again.”


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*First Published: Sep 15, 2017, 12:21 pm CDT