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Whither Quo Vadis?: Sienkiewicz's Novel in Film and Television

ISBN: 978-1-4051-8385-7
304 pages
December 2008, Wiley-Blackwell
Whither Quo Vadis?: Sienkiewicz
Whither Quo Vadis? offers an engaging account of how the Roman world and its history are represented in film and the way in which the different adaptations reflect the shifting historical situations and ideological concerns of their own times.



  • Explores five surviving film adaptations – Guazzoni's of 1912; D’Annunzio/Jacoby of 1925; Mervyn LeRoy's of 1951; the Italian TV mini-series of 1985 by Franco Rossi; and Kawalerowicz’s 2001 Polish version
  • Examines how these different versions interpret, select from, and modify the novel and the ancient sources on which it is based
  • Offers an exceptionally clear view of how films have presented ancient Rome and how modern conditions determine its reception
  • Looks at rare and archival material which has not previously received close scholarly attention
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List of Illustrations.

Acknowledgments.

1 Novel and Film.

2 Adapting the Narrative.

3 Gender and Ethnicity.

4 Political Institutions, Political Subtexts.

5 The Roman People.

6 Religion and Religious Authority in Quo Vadis?.

7 Conclusions.

8 Exkursus: Chilo’s Mother: A Peculiarity of the German Translations of Quo Vadis?.

Description of the Films.

Synopsis of the Novel and the Film Versions of Quo Vadis.

References.

Index of Ancient Sources.

Index of Personal Names.

Index of Things and Places

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Ruth Scodel is D. R. Shackleton Bailey Collegiate Professor of Greek and Latin at the University of Michigan. She is the author of Listening to Homer (2002) and Epic Facework: Self-Presentation and Social Interaction in Homer (2008).

Anja Bettenworth is Assistant Professor of Latin at the University of Münster. She is the author of Gastmahlszenen in der antiken Epik von Homer bis Claudian. Diachrone Untersuchungen zur Szenentypik (2004).

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  • Explores five surviving film adaptations – Guazzoni's of 1912; D’Annunzio/Jacoby of 1925; Mervyn LeRoy's of 1951; the Italian TV mini-series of 1985 by Franco Rossi; and Kawalerowicz’s 2001 Polish version
  • Examines how these different versions interpret, select from, and modify the novel and the ancient sources on which it is based
  • Offers an exceptionally clear view of how films have presented ancient Rome and how modern conditions determine its reception
  • Looks at rare and archival material which has not previously received close scholarly attention
See More
"Recommended [to] all readers." (CHOICE, March 2010)

“There is much to admire in this book. It has a clear focus and a good set of questions. It knows its way round the five films and around the classical sources, and is prepared to look at broader issues in relation to the close reading of the films.” (Bryn Mawr Classical Review, March 2009)

“A remarkable achievement! Scodel and Bettenworth have produced a splendid synthesis at once inter-disciplinary and cross-cultural. Informed by fine classical scholarship and incisive film-criticism Whither Quo Vadis is a compelling contribution to the study of world literature, history, religion, cinema studies.”
John F. Makowski, Loyola University Chicago

“A masterly analysis of all aspects of the art of making a film from a historical novel. Written in a clear, engaging style, it makes an enjoyable read, with extensive references for readers who wish to explore the subject further.”
– David Hahm, Ohio State University

"Anyone interested in the translation of epic novel to epic film will find valuable insights and learned nuggets here, especially concerning gender roles and political subtexts in the four cinematic versions (1912 to 2001) and the 1985 television miniseries."
Emily Albu, University of California, Davis

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Whither Quo Vadis?: Sienkiewicz's Novel in Film and Television (US $125.95)

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