An Empire Conquered

DVD Release: December 18, 1990
An Empire Conquered


This moving investigation, filmed on location in Rome, looks at five heroic martyrs—Augustus, Clement, Cecilia, Apollonius, and Agnes—who lived in Rome during the turbulent years when Christians were cruelly persecuted and martyred for their beliefs.

Dove Review

“An Empire Conquered” is an interesting look at the early church and its persecution by the Roman Empire. Hosted and narrated by the likable and award-winning actor Joseph Campanella, the film makes use of paintings, commentary, location shots from Italy, and reenactments to present a history of martyrdom that many viewers likely do not know.

The paintings include depictions of beheadings—with blood—as well as bloody severed hands and comments about the gruesome deaths of the early Christian martyrs. Yet it also speaks of the multiplication of Christian converts every time these deaths occurred. The documentary focuses also on the conversion of Constantine and how that opened up a time of liberty for Christians living in or near the Roman Empire.

Various church fathers are featured including Augustus and Clement, as well as the female martyr Cecilia. We are pleased to award “An Empire Conquered” our “Faith-Friendly” Seal for ages twelve plus. It does a good job showing that persecution didn’t stop the early church—it ignited it!

Content Description

Sex: It's stated that young girls were stripped naked and sent to brothels.
Language: None
Violence: Ruler says "Kill her" regarding a woman; it's stated that a man who pulled a knife on a Christian group was blinded but later healed by the prayer of a Christian; paintings and depictions of Christians beheaded with blood on their necks; depiction of a person's severed hands with blood; comments about boiling, beheading, and other deaths of Christians; depiction of Christian hung by the feet; depiction of lion about to attack a Christian; depiction of woman in a cauldron and a character's eye hanging from socket; it's stated children would be targeted in order to get parents to forsake Christianity; it's stated children were drowned.
Drugs: None
Nudity: Statue of shirtless man; woman's breasts seen on statue; statue showing male genitalia; painting of shirtless man in loin cloth.
Other: Woman mentions and calls on "the gods;" many believed the Roman emperors were divine; terrible treatment of Christians is examined.


Company: Gateway Films / Vision Video
Director: Rob Marcarelli
Producer: Edward Lopatin
Genre: Documentary
Runtime: 54 min.
Industry Rating: Not Rated
Reviewer: Edwin L. Carpenter