Ancient Worlds in Film and Television

Gender and Politics


More than a century ago, filmmakers made their primary focus innovative and widely promulgated visions of antiquity, creating a profound effect on the critical, popular, and scholarly reception of antiquity. In this volume, scholars from a variety of countries and varying academic disciplines have addressed film’s way of using the field of Classical Reception to investigate, contemplate, and develop hypotheses about present-day culture, society, and politics, with a particular emphasis on gender and gender roles, their relationship to one another, and how filmic constructions of masculinity and femininity shape and are shaped by interacting economic, political, and ideological practices.
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Almut-Barbara Renger, Dr. phil. (2001), Freie Universität Berlin, is Professor of Ancient Religions, Cultures and their Reception History. She has published monographs, anthologies and many articles on receptions of classical antiquity, including Oedipus and the Sphinx: The Threshold Myth from Sophocles through Freud to Cocteau (2013).

Jon Solomon, Robert D. Novak Professor of Western Civilization and Culture, and Professor of the Classics at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, works on the classical tradition in cinema and opera. His publications include The Ancient World in the Cinema (2001) and Volume I of the I Tatti translation and edition of Boccaccio’s Genealogy of the Pagan Gods (2011).

Contributors: Thorsten Beigel, Elisabeth Bronfen, Marieke Dhont, Xanne Huybrecht, Tal Ilan, Michael Kleu, Andreas Krass, Jeroen Lauwers, Christian Pischel, Ralph J. Poole, Celina Proch, Almut-Barbara Renger, Barbara Schrödl, Svetlana Slapšak, Jon Solomon, Thomas Späth, Lada Stevanović, Margaret M. Toscano, Margrit Tröhler, Xenia Zeiler
"[A] obra é um rico contributo no justificar da percepção de como a indústria do cinema tem ajudado à nossa compreensão de nós mesmos, da nossa cultura e sociedade, e de como o conhecimento cultural e social, bem como a experiência, pode ser veiculado pelos filmes e pelas imagens" Ricardo Duarte, CADMO, Revista de História Antiga 23 (2014), pp. 249-252.
Historical Ancients

Ben-Hur and Gladiator: Manifest Destiny and the Contradictions of American Empire, Jon Solomon

Muscles and Morals: Spartacus, Ancient Hero of Modern Times, Thomas Späth & Margrit Tröhler

With Your Shield or On it: The Gender of Heroism in Zack Snyder’s 300 and Rudoph Maté’s The 300 Spartans, Thorsten Beigel

‘This is Sparta!’: Discourse, Gender, and the Orient in Zack Snyder’s 300, Jeroen Lauwers, Marieke Dhont & Xanne Huybrecht

‘Everybody Loves a Muscle Boi’: Homos, Heroes, and Foes in Post-9/11 Spoofs of The 300 Spartans, Ralph Poole

The Womanizing of Mark Antony: Virile Ruthlessness and Redemptive Cross-Dressing in Rome, Season Two, Margaret M. Toscano

Cleopatra’s Venus, Elisabeth Bronfen

Mythological Ancients

Over his Dead Body: Male Friendship in Homer’s Iliad and Wolfgang Petersen’s Troy (2004), Andreas Krass

Models of Masculinities in Troy: Achilles, Hector and Their Female Partners, Celina Proch & Michael Kleu

‘Include me out’ – Odysseus on the Margins of European Genre Cinema: Le Mépris, Ulisse, L’Odissea, Christian Pischel

Between Mythical and Rational Worlds: Medea by Pier Paolo Pasolini, Lada Stevanovic

Gender Norms and Hindu Authority in the Global Media Debate on Representing the Hindu God Krishna in Xena: Warrior Princess, Xenia Zeiler

Mythological and Historical Thematics

Ancient Women’s Cults and Rituals in Grand Narratives on Screen: From Disney’s Snow White to Olga Malea’s Doughnuts with Honey, Svetlana Slapšak

Pandora-Eve-Ava: Albert Lewin’s Making of a ‘Secret Goddess’, Almut-Barbara Renger

Phryne Paves the Way for the Wirtschaftswunder: Visions of Guilt and ‘Purity’ Fed by Ancient Greece, Christian Narrative, and Contemporary History, Barbara Schrödl

The New Israeli Film Beruriah: Between Rashi and Talmud, between Antiquity and Modernity, between Feminism and Religion, Tal Ilan
All interested in Classics, the Classical Tradition, Film Studies, Gender Studies, American Studies, Comparative Literature, Myth & Folklore, Religious Studies
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