Publications by Imagines Members

A Companion to Ancient Greece and Rome on Screen

Edited by: Arthur J. Pomeroy

*With contributions of Imagines’ Anastasia Bakogianni, Filippo Carlà-Uhink, Martin Lindner and Anja Wieber.
Wiley Blackwell 2017
568 pages
ISBN: 978-1-118-74135-1
Link to publisher

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.

Table of Contents

Notes on Contributors ix

Introduction 1
Arthur J. Pomeroy

PART I The Development of the Depiction of Ancient Greece and Rome on Screen 15

1 Greece and Rome on Screen: On the Possibilities and Promises of a New Medium 17
Pantelis Michelakis

2 The Creation of the Epic: Italian Silent Film to 1915 37
Irmbert Schenk

3 From 1916 to the Arrival of Sound: The Systematization, Expressivity and Self –reflection of the Feature Film 61
Maria Wyke

4 The Resurgence of Epics in the 1950s: Classical Antiquity in Post –war Hollywood 91
Konstantinos P. Nikoloutsos

5 Hollywood Ascendant: Ben –Hur and Spartacus 119
Fiona Radford

6 The Peplum Era 145
Arthur J. Pomeroy

PART II Comedy, Drama, and Adaptation 161

7 Hollywood Meets Art -House Cinema: Michael Cacoyannis’s “Hybrid” Euripidean Trilogy 163
Anastasia Bakogianni

8 Greek Tragedy as Theater in Screen -Media 187
Meredith E. Safran

9 Greece and Rome on the Comic Screen 209
Lisa Maurice

10 The Return of a Genre 233
Jerry Benjamin Pierce

11 Franco Rossi’s Adaptations of the Classics 253
Arthur J. Pomeroy

12 I, Claudius and Ancient Rome as Televised Period Drama 271
Juliette Harrisson

13 Premium Cable Television 293
Monica S. Cyrino

14 Thinking through the Ancient World: “Late Antique Movies” as a Mirror of Shifting Attitudes towards
Christian Religion 307
Filippo Carlà –Uhink

15 Non -western Approaches to the Ancient World: India and Japan—Classical Heritage or Exotic Occidentalism? 329
Anja Wieber

PART III Film Production and Ancient World Cinema 349

16 Man to Man: Music and Masculine Relations in  Ben –Hur (1925 and 1959) 351
Stephan Prock

17 Visual Poetry on Screen: Sets and Costumes for Ancient Greek Tragedy 385
Alejandro Valverde García

18 Filming the Ancient World: Have Film Historians Made a Spectacular Omission of Epic Proportions? 403
Harriet Margolis

PART IV The Ancient World as an Idea 427

19 High Art and Low Art Expectations: Ancient Greece in Film and Popular Culture 429
Alastair J. L. Blanshard

20 “Soft” Science Fiction and Technical Fantasy: The Ancient World in Star Trek, Babylon 5, Battlestar Galactica and Dr Who 449
Otta Wenskus

21 The Ancient World is Part of Us: Classical Tragedy in Modern Film and Television 467
Anastasia Bakogianni

22 Ancient World Documentaries 491
Fiona Hobden

23 Mythology for the Young at Heart 515
Martin Lindner

Index 535


Publications by Imagines Members

The Colours of the Past in Victorian England

Edited by Charlotte Ribeyrol


Peter Lang: Oxford 2016.

XIV, 270 pp., 40 coloured ill.

Cultural Interactions: Studies in the Relationship between the Arts, 38
General Editor: J.B. Bullen

ISBN 978-3-0343-1974-4

Link to publisher

The experience of colour underwent a significant change in the second half of the nineteenth century, as new coal tar-based synthetic dyes were devised for the expanding textile industry. These new, artificial colours were often despised in artistic circles who favoured ancient and more authentic forms of polychromy, whether antique, medieval, Renaissance or Japanese. However faded, ancient hues were embraced as rich, chromatic alternatives to the bleakness of industrial modernity, fostering fantasized recreations of an idealized past.
The interdisciplinary essays in this collection focus on the complex reception of the colours of the past in the works of major Victorian writers and artists. Drawing on close analyses of artworks and literary texts, the contributors to this volume explore the multiple facets of the chromatic nostalgia of the Victorians, as well as the contrast between ancient colouring practices and the new sciences and techniques of colour.

Charlotte Ribeyrol: Introduction

Charlotte Ribeyrol/Philippe Walter: «A magic web with colours gay»: W.H. Hunt’s Chromatic Nostalgia 

Caroline Arscott: Whistler and Whiteness

Stefano Evangelista: Symphonies in Haze and Blue: Lafcadio Hearn and the Colours of Japan

Isabelle Gadoin: The Orient in Chromolithography: Owen Jones and the Colours of Islamic Art

Michael Seymour: Colour and its Reconstruction in the Nineteenth-Century Rediscovery of Assyrian Art

Lene Østermark-Johansen: «Like fragments of the milky sky itself»: The Late Nineteenth-Century Revival of Luca della Robbia’s Coloured Terracottas

Marc Porée: ‘Popularity’ in Blue

Muriel Pécastaing-Boissière: Annie Besant and Charles W. Leadbeater’s «Key to the Meanings of Colours» in Thought-Forms (1901)

Claire Masurel-Murray: «White Alb and Scarlet Camail»: The Colours of Catholicism in Fin-de-Siècle Literature.


Publications by Imagines Members

Imagining Ancient Cities in Film: From Babylon to Cinecittà

Edited by Marta García Morcillo, Pauline Hanesworth and Óscar Lapena Marchena

Routledge, London and New York 2015

Routledge Studies in Ancient History

338 p., 37 ill.

ISBN-10: 0415843979

Link to publisher

In film imagery, urban spaces show up not only as spatial settings of a story, but also as projected ideas and forms that aim to recreate and capture the spirit of cultures, societies and epochs. Some cinematic cities have even managed to transcend fiction to become part of modern collective memory. Can we imagine a futuristic city not inspired at least remotely by Fritz Lang’s Metropolis? In the same way, ancient Babylon, Troy and Rome can hardly be shaped in popular imagination without conscious or subconscious references to the striking visions of Griffiths’ Intolerance, Petersen’s Troy and Scott’s Gladiator, to mention only a few influential examples. Imagining Ancient Cities in Film explores for the first time in scholarship film representations of cities of the Ancient World from early cinema to the 21st century.

The volume analyzes the different choices made by filmmakers, art designers and screen writers to recreate ancient urban spaces as more or less convincing settings of mythical and historical events. In looking behind and beyond intended archaeological accuracy, symbolic fantasy, primitivism, exoticism and Hollywood-esque monumentality, this volume pays particular attention to the depiction of cities as faces of ancient civilizations, but also as containers of moral ideas and cultural fashions deeply rooted in the contemporary zeitgeist and in continuously revisited traditions.

Introduction: Cinematic Cityscapes and the Ancient Past Marta García Morcillo and Pauline Hanesworth

The Babylon of D. W. Griffith’s Intolerance Michael Seymour

City of God: Ancient Jerusalem and the Holy Land In Cinema Leonardo Gregoratti

From Ithaca to Troy: The Homeric City in Cinema and Television Francisco Salvador Ventura

Utopia: Cinematic Sparta as an Idea (Not A City) Thomas Blank

Monuments, Men and Metaphors: Recreating Ancient Athens in Film Pauline Hanesworth

City of Lights: Ancient Alexandria in Cinema and Modern Imagination Nacho García

The East in the West: The Rise and Fall of Ancient Carthage in Modern Imagery and in Film Marta García Morcillo

“Rome is No Longer in Rome”: In Search of the Eternal City in Cinema Alberto Prieto Arciniega

“It is like Soho, Only Bigger”: Doctor Who and Modern Interpretations of Pompeii Rosario Rovira Guardiola

The Late Antique City in Movies Filippo Carlà and Andreas Goltz

Barbaricum – Civilisation of Savages Martin Lindner

Atlantis and Other Fictional Ancient Cities Óscar Lapeña Marchena

  • Review by Seán Easton (Gustavus Adolphus College), in: Bryn Mawr Classical Review 2016.08.35
    Imagining Ancient Cities in Film is the first edited volume wholly devoted to the cinematic ancient cities of the Mediterranean. This book is not only a scrupulously documented bridge to the substantial body of film that touches on the topic as well as the scholarship devoted to it, it is also a fresh starting line for work in the area. In their introduction, editors Marta García Morcillo and Pauline Hanesworth situate the volume’s critical coordinates in the transition from Roland Barthes’s cinematic ‘balcony of history’ to a phenomenological model of viewership. Thus, rather than encounter urban spaces on screen as distanced objects of our static gaze from a balcony, we are invited to experience them as visitors, traveling in and through them. The watching of historical film, according to this model, becomes a mode of our ‘being-in-history’, or of embodied history; i.e. our physical, sensory experience of a vivid recreation of the past (pp. 5-6). … Click here to read the entire review
Publications by Imagines Members

War as Spectacle

Ancient and Modern Perspectives on the Display of Armed Conflict

Edited by : Anastasia Bakogianni and Valerie M. Hope

Bloomsbury Academic
London 2015
ISBN: 9781472522290
Link to publisher

War as Spectacle examines the display of armed conflict in classical antiquity and its impact in the modern world. The contributors address the following questions: how and why was war conceptualized as a spectacle in our surviving ancient Greek and Latin sources? How has this view of war been adapted in post-classical contexts and to what purpose?

This collection of essays engages with the motif of war as spectacle through a variety of theoretical and methodological pathways and frameworks. They include the investigation of the portrayal of armed conflict in ancient Greek and Latin Literature, History and Material Culture, as well as the reception of these ancient narratives and models in later periods in a variety of media. The collection also investigates how classical models contribute to contemporary debates about modern wars, including the interrogation of propaganda and news coverage.

Embracing an interdisciplinary approach to the study of ancient warfare and its impact, the volume looks at a variety of angles and perspectives, including visual display and its exploitation for political capital, the function of internal and external audiences, ideology and propaganda and the commentary on war made possible by modern media. The reception of the theme in other cultures and eras demonstrates its continued relevance and the way antiquity is used to justify as well as to critique later conflicts.

List of Illustrations
Notes on Contributors

1 Introduction: War as Spectacle, a Multi-sensory Event Worth Watching? Anastasia Bakogianni

Part 1 Ancient and Modern Literary Spectacles of War
A. Epic Spectacles

2 ‘What if We Had a War and Everybody Came?’: War as Spectacle and the Duel of Iliad 3 (Tobias Myers, Connecticut College, USA)

3 From Our Own Correspondent: Authorial Commentary on the ‘Spectacles of War’ in Homer and in the Tale of the Heike (Naoko Yamagata, The Open University, UK)

4 ‘The Clash of Weapons and the Sight of War’: Spectatorship and Identification in Roman Epic
(Neil W. Bernstein, Ohio University, USA)

5 Death on the Margins: Statius and the Spectacle of the Dying Epic Hero (Helen Lovatt, University of Nottingham, UK)

B. Poetical, Historiographical and Philosophical Spectacles

6 Lyric Visions of Epic Combat: The Spectacle of War in Archaic Personal Song (Laura Swift, The Open University, UK)

7 ‘The Greatest Runway Show in History’: Paul Violi’s ‘House of Xerxes’ and the Herodotean Spectacle of War (Emma Bridges, The Open University, UK)

8 Plato’s Cinematic Vision: War as Spectacle in Four Dialogues (Laches, Republic, Timaeus and Critias) (Andrea Capra, Universita degli Studi di Milano, Italy)

9 Shadow-Boxing in the East: The Spectacle of Romano-Parthian Conflict in Tacitus (Rhiannon Ash, University of Oxford, UK)

10 Bodies on the Battlefield: The Spectacle of Rome’s Fallen Soldiers (Valerie M. Hope, The Open University, UK)

Part 2 Spectacles of War in Material Culture

11 The Monument and Altar to Liberty: A Memory Site for the United States’ Own Thermopylae (Jared A. Simard, CUNY, USA)

12 Triumphal Washington: New York City’s First ‘Roman’ Arch (Elizabeth Macaulay-Lewis, CUNY, USA)

13 An Unwinding Story: The Influence of Trajan’s Column on the Depiction of Warfare (Andrew Fear, University of Manchester, UK)

Part 3 Spectacles of War on Stage and in Modern Media

14 Epic Parodies: Martial Extravaganzas on the Nineteenth-Century Stage (Justine Mc Connell, University of Oxford, UK)

15 Parading War and Victory under the Greek Military Dictatorship: The Hist(o)rionics of 1967–74 (Gonda Van Steen, University of Florida, USA)

16 The Anti-War Spectacle: Denouncing War in Michael Cacoyannis’ Euripidean Trilogy (Anastasia Bakogianni, The Open University, UK)

17 Terrence Malick’s The Thin Red Line and Homeric Epic: Spectacle, Simile, Scene and Situation (Jon Hesk, University of St Andrews, UK)

18 Animating Ancient Warfare: The Spectacle of War in the Panoply Vase Animations (Sonya Nevin, University of Roehampton, UK)


“The book’s greatest strength, apart from the fascinating breadth of topics under discussion, comes from its editorial organisation, which brings a logical structure with which to explore the notion of war as spectacle … [It] offer[s] fascinating insights into Greek and Roman notions of the spectacle of war, and bring[s] into question our own fascination with warfare as a form of entertainment.” –  Classics For All Reviews

“The reader … walks away from this impressive volume with heightened awareness of the ramifications of spectacle when approaching both the ancient and modern.” –  Thersites

“A spectacular performance on every front. Ambitiously conceptualized, prefaced by a brilliant introduction that contextualizes and theorizes its eighteen essays, this volume represents interdisciplinary scholarship in classics and classical reception at its very best.” –  Judith P. Hallett, Professor of Classics and Distinguished Scholar-Teacher, University of Maryland, USA,

“War as Spectacle offers a unique cross-cultural insight into a dramatic human experience that has shaped individual and collective identities and shaken consciences since the dawn of time. The idea of performance and of the multi-sensorial that impregnates the volume succeeds in banding together a set of original contributions that range from ancient literature and its post-Classical reception to modern commemorative art, cinema, stage and 21st century visual media. War as Spectacle provides a refreshing and stimulating view of Antiquity and its long shadow over current debates about modern war-conflicts and their impact in the age of internet and globalisation.” –  Marta Garcia Morcillo, Senior Lecturer in Ancient History, University of Roehampton, UK,

“This book is a 400-plus-page wake-up call to classicists, warfare scholars and anyone interested in the value of the classical world as a cultural vantage point. Ancient warfare has long come into debates concerning the nature and ethics of warfare; this book shows how over-simple many of the terms of this debate have been. The editor writes: ‘War as Spectacle is not your typical book on the subject of ancient warfare.’ Where this book differs from other work to date is in its focus on warfare as a performance, as a multi-sensory experience, and as entertainment. The contributors consider the implications of a performative approach for reassessing how the ancients thought about war, and about the ethics of classical reception. The authors keep coming back to the issue of the distance between antiquity and the modern world. Conversely, the whole book is an exercise in reception: for instance in how commemorative monuments receive ancient battles, and in how archaic and classics authors were already reworking and rejecting a Homeric aesthetics of warfare.” –  Susan Deacy, Principal Lecturer, University of Roehampton, UK.

Publications by Imagines Members

Status Quaestionis. Rivista di Studi Letterari, Linguistici e Interdisciplinari is an an on-line, open-access peer-reviewed journal edited by the the Department of European, American and Intercultural Studies of Sapienza University of Rome. Issue 8 (2015) of the journal was dedicated to ClasStatus Questionis Logosical Reception Studies and published several papers presented and discussed at the conference Ktema es aei: La ricezione del mondo antico, an event organised in 2013 at the Università degli Studi di Torino by Maria G. Castello and Carla Scilabra in collaboration with Imagines.


Publications by Imagines Members

Caesar, Attila und Co. – Comics und die Antike

Edited by: Filippo Carlà

Philipp von Zabern: Darmstadt 2014

ISBN: 978-3-8053-4757-0

Link to publisher

Ob Metauro oder Mosaik – die Antike ist in zahlreichen europäischen Comics verbreitet. Von den Graphic Novels über die didaktischen Comics, von längeren Serien über sporadische Erscheinungen des Altertums in etablierten Reihen bis hin zu kleineren satirischen Produktionen und den erotischen »schwarzen« Comics der 1970er Jahre wird hier exklusiv die gesamte Bandbreite präsentiert.

 Dazu kommen Zeichner und Autoren selbst zu Wort: Wieso haben sie die Entscheidung getroffen, sich mit antiken Themen und Mustern zu befassen? Woher beziehen sie ihre Informationen – in erster Linie zur antiken Geschichte und Literatur, aber auch zum Alltagsleben und zu den Ikonographien, ihres Zeichens unabdingbare Elemente, um die Antike visuell repräsentieren zu können? Welche Bedeutung oder welchen, auch nur ästhetischen, Wert hat ihres Erachtens die Antike für die heutige Welt? Denn es geht nicht nur um die Comics, die einzeln vorgestellt und analysiert werden, sondern um ganze Traditionen!


Vorwort (7)

Michele Petrucci: Genius Loci (12)

Giovanni Brizzi und Sergio Tisselli: Ein Streifzug durch einen historischen Comic: die Abenteuer von Ducarius dem Gallier (22)

Michaela Hellmich: Lateinische Schullektüre als Comic (32)

Martin Lindner: Zum Comic gemacht – Cäsars Gallischer Krieg als didaktischer Comic (39)

Thomas Kramer: Gladiatoren, Legionäre, Funktionäre: die Rom-Serie des DDR-Comic Mosaik zwischen Historienepos, Antikeparodie und zeitgenössischer Medienadaption (53)

Filippo Carlà: Messalina und die anderen »Girls« – römische Erotik im italienischen Comic (62)

Patrick Schollmeyer: Ein Lied für Kaiser Nero (76)

Dorothée Šimko: Das goldene Halsband – eine römische Provinzstadt erwacht zu neuem Leben (87)

Maria G. Castello: Kaiser Julian: Apostasie und Comics (95)

Valérie Mangin: Von der Antike in den Weltraum (107)

Andreas Goltz: Der Inbegriff von Sex, Gewalt und Barbarentum – Attila im Comic (119)

Literatur (136)

Abbildungen (140)


Publications by Imagines Members

Antikenrezeption 2013 n. Chr.

Edited by: Martin Lindner

Verlag Antike: Mainz 2013

Series: Rezeption der Antike

ISBN: 978-3-938032-65-7

Link to publisher

Die Antike hat Konjunktur – zumindest bei Romanen, Computerspielen, Reenactment, Comics, Historienfestivals, Brettspielen, Ausstellungen, Filmen… Dabei gerät leicht aus dem Blick, wie komplex und vielgestaltig die Traditionen einer immer wieder neue gestalteten Antike eigentlich sind. Was also verstehen wir unter Antikenrezeption, und wie können wir das Phänomen greifbar machen?

Der vorliegende Band präsentiert die Erträge einer Göttinger Tagung vom November 2012. Zugleich eröffnet er die Reihe Rezeption der Antike, die auf ein bewusst breites Begriffsverständnis – von der antiken Antikenrezeption über historische und moderne populäre Rezeption bis hin zur Metaebene der Forschungs- und Ideengeschichte – setzt. Die Herausgeber gehen die obige Frage mit fünf Beispielen aus der eigenen Forschungspraxis an. Sie beschäftigen sich mit der Mythenaufnahme in mittelalterlicher Dichtung und Gegenwartsliteratur, dem Verhältnis zwischen Forschungsgeschichte und Nationalismus, dem filmischen Germanenbild und der Benennung von Fußballvereinen.


  • Einleitung
  • Susanna Phillippo (Newcastle upon Tyne): Greek through the back door? Medieval Troy romances and the transmission and reception of Greek literature
  • Jörg Fündling (Aachen): Das Spiel mit den Blitzen – Funktionen der antiken Götterwelt für die Gegenwartsliteratur
  • Peter Van Nuffelen (Gent): Sind die Mazedonier Griechen? Über Forschungsgeschichte und Nationalismus
  • Martin Lindner (Göttingen): Germania Nova – Das antike Germanien in neuen deutschen (Dokumentar-)Filmen
  • Klaus Freitag (Aachen): Antikenrezeption im Spiegel der Namensgebung von modernen Fußballvereinen
  • Über die Autoren


Claudio Franzoni, histara. les comptes rendus, 28.08.2014

„Si tratta di cinque saggi che spaziano in ambiti anche molto distanti l’uno dall’altro, dalla letteratura allo sport, dalla politica al cinema e alla televisione, immergendosi così nel complesso intreccio tra livelli „alti“ e livelli popolari che tanto caratterizza la cultura dei nostri anni e, di conseguenza, la stessa ricezione dell’antichità.“

Link to full text

Kerstin Droß-Krüpe, BMCR 2015.02.36

„Man kann diesem Band, der unterschiedlichste Ansätze der Rezeptionsgeschichte ebenso wie ganz unterschiedliche ‚Ausbaustufen‘ entsprechender Forschungen präsentiert, nur eine breite Leserschaft wünschen. Er zeigt eindrücklich das vielfältige Potential rezeptionsgeschichtlicher Fragen, die das ‚Gegenwärtige der Antike‘ zum gleichberechtigten Analysegegenstand althistorischen Forschens machen können.“

Link to full text

Lucia Cecchet, Status Quaestionis 8 (2015)

„(…) il volume ha senza dubbio il merito di dare al lettore, anche a quello meno esperto in materia, una chiara idea della varietà degli ambiti nei quali la ricezione dell’antico puó essere studiata (…).“

Link to full text



Publications by Imagines Members

Il teatro antico nel Novecento

Author: Martina Treu

Carocci: Roma 2009

Series: Le Bussole

ISBN: 9788843048403

Link to publisher

Nel XX e XXI secolo gli spettacoli classici si diffondono in tutto il mondo: il teatro antico, greco e latino, rivive nell’immaginario contemporaneo, dialoga con gli altri media, affascina registi e drammaturghi, attori e spettatori, lettori, studenti e appassionati. Questo pubblico sempre più numeroso ed esigente, che sente il dramma antico come profondamente attuale, può trovare qui una sintesi dell’ultimo secolo di storia teatrale – condotta per temi, tendenze e casi esemplari – ma anche gli strumenti di comprensione necessari per scoprire o riscoprire il teatro classico e partecipare attivamente a un’esperienza teatrale collettiva in modo più coinvolgente e appagante.

Table of contents:

Introduzione. Sei domande essenziali
1. Lo spettacolo come performance e il ruolo del pubblico
Dramma antico e pubblico moderno/Lettori-spettatori/Passato e presente/Scuola e teatro
2. Drammaturgia e messinscena
Il teatro ad Atene: testi, concorsi, spettacoli, spazi/Originali e riscritture/Archeologia e attualizzazione/Classici e musica/Dramma antico e censura moderna
3. Il revival del Novecento tra Edipo e l’Orestea
Edipo: da enigma a complesso/Tra rito e musica/Le molte anime di Edipo/ Orestea sulla breccia
4. Teatro antico e conflitti moderni
Il Sessantotto e la tragedia: Antigone, Baccanti, Troiane/Dagli anni settanta ai novanta: Medea/Verso il nuovo millennio: i Persiani
5. Oltre la scena: conclusioni e prospettive
Teatro e altri media/Fedeltà ai modelli e libertà creativa
Cronologia essenziale
Glossario minimo
Indice dei nomi notevoli.


Publications by Imagines Members

Hellas on Screen: Cinematic Receptions of Ancient History, Literature and Myth

Edited by Irene Berti and Marta García Morcillo

Steiner Verlag: Stuttgart 2008

Series HABES 45 (Heidelberger Althistorische Beiträge und Epigraphische Studien)

ISBN: 978-3-515-09223-4 

Link to publisher

The recent success of Hollywood blockbusters such as Troy, Alexander and 300 demonstrates how popular Greek antiquity still is and how well it can be marketed. Today as in the golden age of the peplum-genre, its myths, the Homeric heroes, the Attic tragedies, and – less frequently – historical personages such as Alexander the Great or the Spartan king Leonidas represent Hellas.
The authors of this volume highlight the many and varied forms of the reception of ancient Hellas in the history of the cinema, from mythology to Roman Greece, from the era of silent films to the new millennium. In this, they are examining classic films, recent releases, and lesser known and often overlooked productions.

Der jüngste Erfolg von Hollywood-Blockbustern wie Troy, Alexander und 300 zeigt, wie medienwirksam sich die griechische Antike in Szene setzen läßt. Sowohl heute als auch im goldenen Zeitalter des peplums wird Hellas dabei vor allem durch seine Mythen, homerischen Helden, seine Tragödien und – etwas seltener – durch einzelne historische Figuren wie Alexander oder den Spartaner Leonidas repräsentiert.
Die Autoren beleuchten die vielfältigen Rezeptionsformen antiker griechischer Themen in der Filmgeschichte: von der Mythologie bis zum römischen Griechenland, von der Stummfilmzeit bis zum neuen Millennium. Dabei werden sowohl Klassiker, aktuelle Kinoerfolge als auch weniger bekannte Produktionen behandelt.


Preface, by Robin Lane Fox (Oxford)                                                                                                        

Introduction: “Does Greece – and the Cinema – need another Alexander?”, by Irene Berti (Heidelberg) and Marta García Morcillo (Dresden)

Classic Sceneries: Setting Ancient Greece in Film Architecture, by Nacho García (Barcelona)

Colourful Heroes: Ancient Greece and the Children’s Animation Film, by Martin Lindner (Oldenburg)

By Heracles! From Satyr-Play to Peplum, by Luigi Spina (Napoli)

Odysseus’ Journey through Film, by Herbert Verreth (Leuven)

The Legend of Oedipus: Silent Cinema, Theatre, Photography, by Pantelis Michelakis (Bristol)

Pasolini, Aristotle and Freud: Filmed Drama between Psychoanalysis and “Neoclassicism” , by Filippo Carlà (Udine)

Sparta and Ancient Greece in The 300 Spartans, by Fernando Lillo Redonet (Vigo)

“A rare ensample of Friendship true”: the Story of Damon and Pythias, by Irene Berti (Heidelberg)

Celluloid Alexander(s): A Hero from the Past as Role Model for the Present?, by Anja Wieber (Dortmund)

Plutarch’s and Stone’s Alexander, by Ivana Petrovic (Durham)

Making Alexander Fit for the Twenty-first Century: Oliver Stone’s Alexander, by Angelos Chaniotis (Oxford)

Phryne: from Knidian Venus to Movie Star, by Eleonora Cavallini (Bologna)

Graecia capta? Depictions of Greeks and Hellas in “Roman films”, by Marta García Morcillo (Dresden)



List of contributors                                                                                                                                                                           

Scholia Reviews 18, 2009;

BMCR 7, 63, 2009;

Informationsmittel IFB. Digitales Rezensionsorgan für Bibliothek und Wissenschaft, 2009;

Rivista di Cultura Classica e Medievoevale 52, 2, 2010, 409-414;

Americal Journal of Philology 2010;

Classical Review 60, 2, 2010;

Antiquité Classique 79, 2010, 810-8011;

Historische Zeitung 292, 2011, 460-462.


Publications by Imagines Members

Rom und seine Kaiser im Historienfilm

Author: Martin Lindner

Verlag Antike: Mainz 2007

ISBN: 978-3-938032-18-3

Link to publisher


Der Film ist die populärste Form der Antikenrezeption. Er lockt Millionen von Zuschauern ins Kino oder vor den Bildschirm und bringt sie dazu, sich über viele Stunden hinweg mit althistorischen Themen zu beschäftigen. Die Bewertung in den betroffenen Teildisziplinen ist zwiespältig: Der Historienfilm irritiert und fasziniert zugleich, indem er sich stark von einer wissenschaftlichen Geschichtsdarstellung abhebt.

Wie historisch ist die gezeigte Antike? Welche Traditionen liegen der lebendig gewordenen Vergangenheit zugrunde? Wie gestaltet der Historienfilm seine Erzählung? Worin bestehen seine übergreifenden und seine individuellen Merkmale? Welche methodischen Herausforderungen stellt der Film für eine historische Untersuchung? Und wie kann der Antikenfilm in Forschung und Lehre eingesetzt werden?

Die vorliegende Studie hinterfragt Konzepte wie Authentizität und Legitimität am Beispiel der römischen Kaiserzeit im Historienfilm. Auf der Basis mehrerer Hundert Produktionen wird eine interdisziplinäre Perspektive entwickelt und ein Modell der filmischen Antike entworfen. Im Zentrum stehen die Herrscherfiguren und ihr Einsatz als Exponenten bestimmter Zeitabschnitte.

Table of contents:


I. Einleitung
1. Fragestellung
2. Eingrenzung – Rom, Kaiser und Historienfilm
3. Materialgrundlage
4. Exkurs: Die „richtige Edition“
5. Forschungsstand

II. Authentizität
1. Historienfilme und populäre Geschichtsbilder
2. Die Suche nach der „wahren Geschichte“
3. Fehler in der filmischen Geschichtsdarstellung
4. Kategorien der Fehlerbewertungen
5. Realität als variables Konzept
6. Legitimationsstrategien
7. Fallstudie: The Ten Commandments
8. Ansprüche und Kompromisse
9. Zusammenfassung

III. Traditionen
1. Direkte intermediale Tradition
2. Weitere Traditionen
3. Identifikation der Tradition
4. Urheber und Absichten
5. Zusammenfassung

IV. Erzählformen
1. Auswahl der Figuren
2. Antike Herrscher im Film
3. Thematische Konzentration
4. Zeitlicher Aufbau
5. Exkurs: Antikfilme und biopics
6. Räumlicher Aufbau
7. Epische Dimensionen der Erzählung
8. Zusammenfassung

V. Kaiserbilder
1. Physische Bewährung
2. Militärische Leistung
3. Gewalt und Eskalation
4. Exkurs: Äußere Erscheinung
5. Sexualität
6. Religion und Götter
7. Zeitlose Muster?
8. Individualisierungen
9. Zusammenfassung

VI. Genre
1. Einzelstücke und Genre
2. Neuer und alter Antikfilm
3. Exkurs: „Genre“ und Filmtheorie
4. Die Grenzen des Antikfilms
5. Zusammenfassung

VII. Fazit und Ausblick
Antike Quellen
Moderne literarische Vorlagen
Kommentierte Filmographie
Verzeichnis der weiteren Produktionen

Michael Kleu, Anzeiger für die Altertumswissenschaften, LXIV. Band (2011), 3./4. Heft, Sp. 226-231

„… eine (…) gelungene und um Objektivität bemühte Studie, die zahlreiche Anregungen bietet und der Erforschung der filmischen Antike großen Nutzen bescheren wird.“

Wilbert Ubbens, Informationsmittel (IFB): digitales Rezensionsorgan für Bibliothek und Wissenschaft

„Lindner hat mit seiner Dissertation eine methodisch breite Grundlage für die stoffliche Erschließung und Nutzbarmachung von Filmen mit in der Historie spielenden Handlungen gelegt. (…) Wer die Faszination (…) einbinden und nutzbar machen will für deren methodisch abgesicherte und zuverlässige Interpretation (…) wird hier solide Kenntnisse und konkrete methodische Beispiele finden. Daß er möglicherweise seine Interpretationen und Vergleiche nicht auf eine so breite Materialbasis und deren stupende Kenntnis wird stützen könne, wie Lindner sie besitzt, wird hinzunehmen sein.“

Link to review

Marcus Junkelmann, HZ 289 (2009), S. 390-391

„Unvermeidlicherweise stößt L(indner) immer wieder auf das für den Historienfilm fundamentale Problem der ‚Authenzität‘. Er möchte diesen Begriff lieber meiden und von ‚Legitimitätsstrategien und Realitätskonzepten‘ sprechen, wobei es offenbar einen Punkt gebe, ‚ab dem wir bereit sind, die bewegten Bilder als Geschichtsdarstellung zu begreifen, und dieser Punkt ist von individuellen Faktoren wie Bildung und Lebenswelt abhängig‘ (S.227). So zutreffend letzteres zweifellos ist, so rechtfertigt es doch kam den geradezu schrankenlosen Relativismus, dem L(indner) das Wort redet.“

Tatjana Timoschenko, sehepunkte 9 (2009), Nr. 12

„Die Darstellung von Antike im Historienfilm hat sich inzwischen als eigener Forschungszweig etabliert, was nicht zuletzt auch den Schriften von Martin Lindner geschuldet ist.“

Link to review

Kresimir Matijevic, BMCR 2008.12.17

„Lindner betritt mit seinem Buch zweifellos Neuland und gerade die theoretischen Aspekte haben epochenübergreifenden Wert.“

Link to review

Sven Günther, H-Soz-u-Kult, 28.05.2008

„… grundlegende Basis für jegliche weitere Forschung in diesem Gebiet.“

Link to review