The University of Newcastle, Australia
Not currently offered
Course code



20 units


3000 level

Course handbook


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 currently offered.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of the course students will be able to:

1. 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.


  1. 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

Assumed knowledge

20 units at any level in Ancient History or History or English or Film Studies

Assessment items

Essay: Major essay

In Term Test: Class test

Participation: Seminar participation and contribution