Imperial Projections: Ancient Rome in Modern Popular Culture

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Sandra R. Joshel, Margaret Malamud, Donald T. McGuire, Jr.
JHU Press, Sep 13, 2005 - Art - 299 pages
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The phenomenal success of the recent film Gladiator ensures that ancient Rome will continue to inspire moviemakers and attract audiences as it has done since the dawn of cinema. Indeed, the creators of popular culture have so often appropriated elements of Roman history and society for films and television programs, novels and comic books, advertising and computer games that most people's knowledge of ancient Rome derives from these representations. In Imperial Projections, scholars from a variety of fields—classics, history, film studies, and gender theory—provide an interdisciplinary look at how ancient Rome has been depicted in the media and what these varied portrayals tell us about contemporary culture.

The essays in Imperial Projections examine such films as Spartacus, Ben-Hur, Cleopatra, and The Fall of the Roman Empire; the acclaimed BBC television series I, Claudius; the Broadway musical A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum; and the Roman-themed Las Vegas casino Caesars Palace, combining ancient history and cutting-edge cultural studies in a challenging, engaging, and informative volume.

Contributors: Nicholas J. Cull, William Fitzgerald, Alison Futrell, Sandra R. Joshel, Margaret Malamud, Martha Malamud, Donald T. McGuire, Jr., Martin M. Winkler, and Maria Wyke

 

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Contents

Oppositions Anxieties and Ambiguities in the Toga Movie
23
The Roman Empire in American Cinema after 1945
50
Seeing Red Spartacus as Domestic Economist
77
I Claudius Projection and Imperial Soap Opera
119
Infamy Infamy Theyve All Got It in for Me Carry On Cleo and the British Camp Comedies of Ancient Rome
162
BrooklynontheTiber Roman Comedy on Broadway and in Film
191
Serial Romans
209
Shared Sexualities Roman Soldiers Derek Jarmans Sebastiane and British Homosexuality
229
Living like Romans in Las Vegas The Roman World at Caesars Palace
249
Bibliography
271
Filmography
287
Index
289
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About the author (2005)

Sandra R. Joshel is a professor of history at the University of Washington. Margaret Malamud is an associate professor of history at New Mexico State University. Donald T. McGuire, Jr. is Director of the College of Arts and Sciences Advisement Services and adjunct assistant professor of Classics at SUNY, Buffalo.

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