The Ancient World on Film

Course code AHIS3670Units 20Level 3000Faculty of Education and ArtsSchool of Humanities and Social Science

The course offers Ancient History students, as well as History, English and Film Studies students, the opportunity to study films about ancient subject matter in depth, but also demonstrates the influence of ancient history, mythology and civilisation on contemporary culture and values.

Not available in 2015

Objectives1 To extend students' knowledge of ancient Greece and Rome in terms of their narrative effects on Western film, contributing towards an in-depth knowledge of specific features of antiquity (e.g. politics, warfare, sport and spectacle, myth and legend, gender dynamics) specifically in relation to filmic representation.

2 To develop the ability to critically and imaginatively interpret specific films, analysing narrative, filmic techniques and audience responses.

3 To encourage the accurate expression of informed critical responses to the subject matter, both orally and, more especially, in written form.
Content1. The ancient world on film: definitions, genres, time-frames
2. Early representations: Italian and Hollywood films
3. 'Sword-and Sandal Epics' 1950s-1960s: Pietro Francisci's Hercules; Albert Gout's Rape of the Sabine Women
4. Greek 'Epic': Mario Camerini's Ulysses; Wolfgang Petersen's Troy; Don Chaffey's Jason and the Argonauts
5. Rudy Mate's The Three Hundred Spartans and Zack Snyder's 300
6. Stanley Kubrick's Spartacus
7. 'Christian' Rome: Mervyn LeRoy's Quo Vadis, Henry Koster's The Robe; Delmer Daves's Demetrius and the Gladiators
8. The Avant-garde: Pier Paola Pasolini's Oedipus Rex and Medea
9. Federico Fellini's Satyricon
10. Mihalis Cacoyannis' Electra, The Trojan Women, Iphigenia
11. Contemporary Hollywood Epics
12. Ridley Scott's Gladiator; Samuel Bronston's Fall of the Roman Empire
13. Oliver Stone's Alexander; Robert Rossen's Alexander the Great
14. Conclusion to the Course
TransitionNot Applicable
Industrial Experience0
Assumed Knowledge20 units at any level in Ancient History or History or English or Film Studies
Modes of DeliveryInternal Mode
Teaching MethodsLecture
Assessment Items
Examination: ClassClass test, 500 words, 15%
Essays / Written AssignmentsMajor essay, 2000 words, 45%
Group/tutorial participation and contributionSeminar participation and contribution, 40%: 4 seminar assignments at 10% each and 500 words each.
Contact HoursLecture: for 2 hour(s) per Week for Full Term
Seminar: for 1 hour(s) per Week for 7 weeks
Laboratory: for 2 hour(s) per Week for 11 weeks