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Sword of the Empire (1964)

Una spada per l'impero (original title)
Rome, under Commodus: intrigue, fight for power, gladiators, senators, Christians, Barbarians, slaves, Pretorians, battles, wrestles, swords and muscles in by-the-numbers Italian epic.


Sergio Grieco


Fulvio Tului


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Lang Jeffries ... Quintus Marcus, Roman Consul
José Greci ... Nissia, blonde slave
Enzo Tarascio Enzo Tarascio ... Emperor Commodus
Howard Ross Howard Ross ... Leto (as Renato Rossini)
Mila Stanic Mila Stanic ... Marcia, a Christian
Angela Angelucci Angela Angelucci ... Omah, brunette slave
Giuseppe Addobbati ... Pertinacius
Ignazio Leone ... Tigerio
Adriano Micantoni Adriano Micantoni ... Artale
Edgardo Siroli Edgardo Siroli ... Sisto
Antonio Devi Antonio Devi ... Fabio
Mario Ghignone Mario Ghignone ... Roman Christian
Fedele Gentile Fedele Gentile ... Valerio
Paola Di Mario Paola Di Mario ... Lucilla
Pasquale Basile Pasquale Basile ... Orazio


In AD 190 Rome is in terror. Hordes of barbarians have crossed the Alps leaving Rome under threat. Emperor Commodus is becoming increasingly hateful. Christians are being persecuted and the situation is becoming worse. Only one man can help. Consul Quintus Marcus is allied with legionnaires, gladiators and Christians and decides to generate an insurrection against the emperor. His fellow officers say they will fight with him, but Rome needs Quintus Marcus, "the sword of the people." Written by bcarruthers-76500

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

gladiator | rome italy | peplum | See All (3) »


He pledged his sword against the murdering invaders!







Release Date:

21 October 1964 (Italy) See more »

Also Known As:

Sword of the Empire See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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User Reviews

SWORD OF THE EMPIRE (Sergio Grieco, 1964) *1/2
19 April 2011 | by Bunuel1976See all my reviews

This is one of the least peplums I have watched, one I was not familiar with previously and actually only acquired for the sake of an American fanatic of such low-brow fare! Despite the plot being virtually a skeleton of the same year's THE FALL OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE, the result is thoroughly undistinguished; the main culprits for this are the ineffectual presence of both hero and villain – with the latter managing to render Commodus (so vividly incarnated by Christopher Plummer in the above-mentioned Hollywood epic) uninteresting and his inherent volatile nature suggesting not madness but a pathetic figure (being also something of a lecher)!

Incidentally, the presence of the barbarians here feels almost like an afterthought: amusingly, the hero is greeted by them during an official visit and is even engaged in a wrestling match…but, as soon as he has exited the tent, their head violently berates the men for making his tribe the laughing-stock of the Empire by having allowed the Roman to win! Sequences depicting military skirmishes and Senate meetings, then, are par for the course – which is ideal for watching with a running tongue-in-cheek commentary when in good company!

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