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Gladiator: Film and History

ISBN: 978-1-4051-1042-6
228 pages
May 2004, ©2004, Wiley-Blackwell
Gladiator: Film and History (1405110422) cover image
This is the first book to analyze Ridley Scott’s film Gladiator from historical, cultural, and cinematic perspectives.

  • The first systematic analysis of Ridley Scott’s film, Gladiator.
  • Examines the film’s presentation of Roman history and culture.
  • Considers its cinematic origins and traditions.
  • Draws out the film’s modern social and political overtones.
  • Includes relevant ancient sources in translation.
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List of Illustrations.

Notes on Contributors.

Editor's Preface.

1. Gladiator from Screenplay to Screen: Jon Solomon (University of Arizona).

2. Gladiator and the Traditions of Historical Cinema: Martin M. Winkler (George Mason University).

3. Gladiator in Historical Perspective: Allen M. Ward (University of Connecticut-Storrs).

4. The Pedant Goes to Hollywood: The Role of the Academic Consultant: Kathleen M. Coleman (Harvard University).

5. Commodus and the Limits of the Roman Empire: Arthur M. Eckstein (University of Maryland).

6. Gladiators and Blood Sport: David S. Potter (University of Michigan).

7. Gladiator and the Colosseum: Ambiguities of Spectacle: Martin M. Winkler (George Mason University).

8. The Vision of a Fascist Rome in Gladiator: Arthur J. Pomeroy (Victoria University of Wellington).

9. Gladiator and Contemporary American Society: Monica S. Cyrino (University of New Mexico).

10. The Politics of Gladiator: Peter W. Rose (Miami University of Ohio).

11. The Major Ancient Sources:.

Cassius Dio on Commodus.

The Augustan History: Commodus.

Herodian on the Death of Commodus.

Aurelius Victor on Commodus.

Chronology: The Roman Empire at the Time of Commodus.

Further Reading.

Index to Chapters 1-10
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Martin M. Winkler is Professor of Classics at George Mason University, Virginia, U.S.A. He is the editor, most recently, of Juvenal in English (2001) and Classical Myth and Culture in the Cinema (2001). He has also published articles on Roman literature, the classical tradition, and on classical and medieval culture and mythology in film.
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  • The first systematic analysis of Ridley Scott’s film, Gladiator.

  • Examines the film’s presentation of Roman history and culture.

  • Considers its cinematic origins and traditions.

  • Draws out the film’s modern social and political overtones.

  • Includes relevant ancient sources in translation.
See More
"Invaluable." Times Literary Supplement

"A most welcome addition to this rapidly expanding discourse. It succeeds in collecting an insightful and diverse set of reflections 'inspired by' Gladiator (as filmmakers might say) and will hopefully encourage similar explorations of more recent and forthcoming films set in antiquity." Bryn Mawr Classical Review


"This book provides a very useful resource that will enhance the analytical sophistication of students of Scott's film and one that will deepen their appreciation of the complexity of Roman society in the reign of Commodus as well as the problem of imperialism then and today. I have no doubt that it will be a great success and a distinct credit to its editor and his contributors." Scholia


"Martin Winkler is one of the pioneers in the use of film as applied to classical antiquity." New England Classical Journal


Winkler has created an unlikely meeting of brains and brawn in this collection of papers from classicists who contemplate the popularity of Ridley Scott's film Gladiator." Reference and Research Book News

"Martin Winkler has brought together classicists who understand and respect the power of modern film. This volume will set the standard for the serious study of the reflections and influence of the classical world on contemporary popular culture." Gregory N. Daugherty, Randolph-Macon College

"Boasting its own triumphant array of stimulating double takes on the film Gladiator, this book successfully recaptures the excitement and immediacy of the turn of the 21st century cinematic epic." Paula James, The Open University

"A promising model of the multiple approaches that may be taken to a single cinematic text ... Its demonstration that even highly commercial products of popular culture can still yield serious insights and analysis can only benefit the study of classics and cinema." Journal of Roman Studies

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