Brill's Companion to Ancient Greek and Roman Warfare on Film


Brill’s Companion to Ancient Greek and Roman Warfare on Film is the first volume exclusively dedicated to the study of a theme that informs virtually every reimagining of the classical world on the big screen: armed conflict. Through a vast array of case studies, from the silent era to recent years, the collection traces cinema’s enduring fascination with battles and violence in antiquity and explores the reasons, both synchronic and diachronic, for the central place that war occupies in celluloid Greece and Rome. Situating films in their artistic, economic, and sociopolitical context, the essays cast light on the industrial mechanisms through which the ancient battlefield is refashioned in cinema and investigate why the medium adopts a revisionist approach to textual and visual sources.

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Konstantinos P. Nikoloutsos is Professor in the Department of History at Saint Joseph's University in Philadelphia (USA). He has published widely on Roman sexuality, celluloid antiquity, and classical reception. He is the editor of Ancient Greek Women in Film (Oxford University Press, 2013) and co-editor of Greeks and Romans on the Latin American Stage (Bloomsbury, 2020).

Contributors are: Oskar Aguado-Cantabrana, Jeremy Armstrong, Djoymi Baker, Anastasia Bakogianni, Irene Berti, Lee L. Brice, Hannah-Marie Chidwick, Kaiti Diamantakou, Seán Easton, Renata Senna Garraffoni, Elias Koulakiotis, Óscar Luis Lapeña Marchena, Konstantinos P. Nikoloutsos, Arthur J. Pomeroy, Owen Rees, Robert A. Rushing, Patricia Salzman-Mitchell, Jonathan Stubbs, Michael Williams, Jorit Wintjes.
Series Editor:
Lee L. Brice, Western Illinois University

Editorial Board:
Jeremy Armstrong, University of Auckland
Jessica H. Clark, Florida State University
Fernando Echeverría, Universidad Complutense de Madrid
Jenn Finn, Loyola University Chicago
Elizabeth M. Greene, University of Western Ontario
Matthew A. Sears, University of New Brunswick
List of Figures
Notes on Contributors

Part 1: Introduction

1 Swords Made of Rubber: Cinematic Antiquity through the Lens of War
Konstantinos P. Nikoloutsos

Part 2: Cinema vs. History: Testing the Accuracy of Celluloid Battles

2 Form and Function: The Importance of Military Formations in Cinematic Depictions of the Roman Army
Jeremy Armstrong

3 Alexander in Ares’ Mirror: Armed Conflict in Oliver Stone’s Historical Epic
Elias Koulakiotis

Part 3: The Leading Men of Celluloid Armies

4 “Hail! The Sign of the Cross”: Industrial Campaigns and Commanding Performances in The Sign of the Cross (1932) and Cleopatra (1934)
Michael Williams

5 Richard Burton in Alexander the Great (1956) and the Mechanisms of Hollywood Stardom: Fashioning an Ancient Military Icon in Post-WWII American Cinema
Konstantinos P. Nikoloutsos

6 Brad’s Biceps and Dwayne’s Delts: Stardom as Physicality and Digital Spectacle in Troy (2004) and Hercules (2014)
Djoymi Baker

Part 4: Women and Military Conflict

7 Atalanta as Celluloid Warrior in Jason and the Argonauts (2000) and Hercules (2014)
Patricia Salzman-Mitchell

8 Women on the Battlefield: Ancient Warrior Queens and Female Military Commanders on the Millennial Screen
Irene Berti

9 “She Wants to Be Married and Give the Children Names!”: Women and the Roman Army in Post-Gladiator Films
Jorit Wintjes

10 Women in Captivity: The Human Cost of Armed Conflict from the Trojan War to Modern Greek Cinema
Anastasia Bakogianni

Part 5: Western Colonialism and Racist Attitudes

11 Rome vs. Carthage: Imperial and Racist Aspirations in Italian Films of the Twentieth Century
Arthur J. Pomeroy

12 Porus vs. Alexander in Modi’s Sikandar (1941) and Stone’s Alexander (2004–2014)
Seán Easton

Part 6: Ancient Warfare on Film and Modern Politics

13 Armed Conflict in Italian Historical Films of the Fascist and Post-WWII Era (1937–1954)
Óscar Lapeña Marchena

14 The Noise of War: Sound, Politics and Space in the Italian Peplum
Robert A. Rushing

15 “Make Love, Not War”: Roman Soldiers and 1960s Countercultural Masculinity in Fellini-Satyricon
Renata Senna Garraffoni

16 Epic Combat in Ancient and Modern History: A Comparative Analysis of The Fall of the Roman Empire (1964) and The Longest Day (1962)
Jonathan Stubbs

17 Lysistrata (1972): Political and Sexual Refractions of the Peloponnesian War during the Greek Junta
Kaiti Diamantakou

Part 7: Ancient Battles for Millennial Spectators and the Impact of the Hollywood War Film

18 Sensational Violence: Brutality in Twenty-First-Century Cinematic Depictions of Roman Battles
Hannah-Marie Chidwick

19 Rockules’ Revenge: The Portrayal of the Veteran Warrior in Brett Ratner’s Hercules
Owen Rees

20 Romans and Zealots in the Global War on Terror: Asymmetric Warfare and Counterinsurgency in Risen (2016) and Ben-Hur (2016)
Oskar Aguado-Cantabrana

Part 8: Epilogue

21 To Be Continued: Considerations of Ancient Warfare in Film
Lee L. Brice

Researchers of classical reception; faculty and students in ancient history, film studies, military studies, Italian studies, peace studies; academic libraries.
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