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Classics on Screen

Cinema loves Greece and Rome. Hollywood epics, animated movies, avant-garde features - all have turned to classical antiquity for inspiration. On the silver screen, we see a world of virtuous Christians, depraved pagans, gladiators, charioteers, Spartan warriors, and muscle-bound demigods - a potent mix of sex, violence and art. So pervasive are these images that this cinematic output dominates the public understanding of the ancient world. Through analysis of ten influential films, this book examines the representation of Greece and Rome in both popular and art-house cinema, arranged by cinematic genre. Key scenes are discussed and each film is located in its historical context.
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An accessible introduction to the depiction of antiquity in cinema, through analysis of ten influential films, arranged by cinematic genre.

Table of Contents

Introduction List of Figures Chapter 1 Establishing the conventions: Cleopatra (1934) Chapter 2 The Roman Epics of Classical Hollywood: Quo Vadis (1951) Chapter 3 Peplum Traditions: Hercules (1958) Chapter 4 Roman History on Screen: Spartacus (1960) Chapter 5 Greek History on Screen: The 300 Spartans (1962) Chapter 6 Myth and the Fantasy: Jason and the Argonauts (1963) Chapter 7 Art Cinema: Fellini-Satyricon (1969) Chapter 8 Satirizing Cine-antiquity: Monty Python's Life of Brian (1979) Chapter 9 The Disney Version: Hercules (1997) Chapter 10 The Return of the Epic?: Gladiator (2000) Notes Bibliography

About the Author

Alastair Blanshard is Senior Lecturer in Classics and Ancient History at the University of Sydney, Australia. He is the author of Sex, Vice, and Love from Antiquity to Modernity (2010) and Hercules: A Heroic Life (2005). Kim Shahabudin gives guest lectures in the Department of Classics, University of Reading, UK, on classical reception in popular culture. She is the co-editor of Classics for All: Reworking Antiquity in Mass Culture (2009).

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