A Companion to Ancient Greece and Rome on Screen
July 2017, Wiley-Blackwell
A comprehensive treatment of the Classical World in film and television, A Companion to Ancient Greece and Rome on Screen closely examines the films and TV shows centered on Greek and Roman cultures and explores the tension between pagan and Christian worlds.
Written by a team of experts in their fields, this work considers productions that discuss social settings as reflections of their times and as indicative of the technical advances in production and the economics of film and television. Productions included are a mix of Hollywood and European spanning from the silent film era though modern day television series, and topics discussed include Hollywood politics in film, soundtrack and sound design, high art and low art, European art cinemas, and the ancient world as comedy.
Written for students of film and television as well as those interested in studies of ancient Rome and Greece, A Companion to Ancient Greece and Rome on Screen provides comprehensive, current thinking on how the depiction of Ancient Greece and Rome on screen has developed over the past century. It reviews how films of the ancient world mirrored shifting attitudes towards Christianity, the impact of changing techniques in film production, and fascinating explorations of science fiction and technical fantasy in the ancient world on popular TV shows like Star Trek, Babylon 5, Battlestar Galactica, and Dr. Who.
Notes on Contributors
Arthur J. Pomeroy
PART I THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE DEPICTION OF ANCIENT GREECE AND ROME ON SCREEN
1. Greece and Rome on Screen: the Early Years
2. The Creation of Epic: Italian Silent Film to 1915
3. From 1916 to the Arrival of Sound: the Systematization, Expressivity, and Self-reflection of the Feature Film
4. The Resurgence of the Epics in the 1950s: Classical Antiquity in Postwar Hollywood
Konstantinos P. Nikoloutsos
5. Hollywood Ascendant: Ben Hur and Spartacus
6. The Peplum Era
Arthur J. Pomeroy
PART II COMEDY, DRAMA, AND ADAPTATION
7. Hollywood Meets Art-House Cinema: Michael Cacoyannis’ “Hybrid” Euripidean Trilogy
8. Greek Tragedy as Theater in Screen Media
9. Greece and Rome on the Comic Screen
10. The Return of a Genre
Jerry Benjamin Pierce
11. Franco Rossi’s Adaptations of the Classics
Arthur J. Pomeroy
12. I, Claudius and Ancient Rome as Televised Period Drama
13. Premium Cable Television
Monica S. Cyrino
14. Thinking Through the Ancient World: “Late Antique Movies” as a Mirror of Shifting Attitudes towards Christian Religion
15. Non-western approaches to the ancient world: India and Japan – Classical Heritage or Exotic Occidentalism?
PART III FILM PRODUCTION AND ANCIENT WORLD CINEMA
16. Man to Man: Music and Masculine Relations in Ben Hur (1925 and 1959)
17. Visual Poetry on Screen: Sets and Costumes for Ancient Greek Tragedy
Alejandro Valverde García
18. Filming the Ancient World: Have Film Historians Made a Spectacular Omission of Epic Proportions?
PART IV THE ANCIENT WORLD AS AN IDEA
19. High Art and Low Art Expectations: Ancient Greece in Film and Popular Culture
Alastair J.L. Blanshard
20. “Soft” Science Fiction and Technical Fantasy: the Ancient World in Star Trek, Babylon 5, Battlestar Galactica, and Dr. Who?
21. The Ancient World is Part of Us: Classical Tragedy in Modern Film and Television
22. Ancient World Documentaries
23. Mythology for the Young at Heart
Arthur J. Pomeroy is Professor of Classics and Head of School at Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand. He is author of several books on classical studies including And Then It Was Destroyed by the Volcano: the Ancient World in Film and Television and is a recipient of the VUW Teaching Award for sustained excellence in teaching.