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Term 1 reading list

  • B. Babington and P. W. Evans (1993), Biblical Epics: Sacred Narrative in the Hollywood Cinema (Manchester)
  • P. Bondanella (1987), The Eternal City: Roman Images in the Modern World (Chapel Hill and London)
  • J. Elsner and J. Masters (1994), Reflections of Nero: Culture, History and Representation (London)
  • L. Hughes-Hallett (1990), Cleopatra: Histories, Dreams and Distortions (London)**
  • K. Jenkins (1991), Re-Thinking History (London)
  • D. Mayer (1994), Playing Out the Empire: “Ben Hur” and Other Toga Plays and Films, 1883-1908 (Oxford)
  • L. Mulvey, ‘Visual pleasure and narrative cinema’, Screen 1975 — reprinted in e.g. Constance Penley (edd.) (1988) Feminism and Film Theory, which also includes her important ‘Afterthoughts’ follow-up article.
  • J. Solomon (1978), The Ancient Word in the Cinema (Yale)
  • P. Sorlin (1980), The Film in History: Restaging the Past (New York) M. Winkler (2001), Classical Myth and Culture in the Cinema (Oxford)
  • M. Wyke (1997a), Projecting the Past: Ancient Rome, Cinema and History (London)
  • M. Wyke (1997b), ‘Herculean Muscle: the Classicizing Rhetoric of Bodybuilding’, Arion 4.3

** on order for Warwick Library 09/03

New to classics?

  1. The Oxford History of the Classical World (OUP, 1986) is a solid introduction to Greek and Roman history, literature and thought.
  2. The Oxford Classical Dictionary (OUP, 3rd edition 1996) is the standard reference work.
  3. Classics: A Very Brief Introduction by Mary Beard and Jon Henderson (OUP, 1995) is irreverent and thought-provoking on many aspects of the ancient world and its reception.

New to film and ‘reception’?

  1. Film Studies: Critical Approaches by John Hill and Pamela Church Gibson (OUP, 2000) is a terrific overview of film studies today.
  2. Imperial Projections: Ancient Rome in Modern Popular Culture (Johns Hopkins, 2001) usefully complements Maria Wyke’s Projecting the Past.
  3. Roman Presences: Receptions of Rome in European Culture, 1789-1945 by Catharine Edwards (Cambridge, 1999) is a good introduction to why reception should matter to classicists. It also includes several essays relevant to the themes of this course.

Supplementary information on bibliographies: Term 2

As previously stated, the term 1 bibliography contains the key secondary literature for the course as a whole. There is very little secondary literature specifically on receptions of ancient Greece.

From last term’s bibliography:

  1. Maria Wyke’s Projecting the Past remains the set coursebook for term 2. Although its content is biased towards receptions of Rome on film, its methodologies are just as relevant for our topics this term. It also contains an excellent chapter on Fall of the Roman Empire and Fellini Satyricon. The footnotes to this chapter will direct you to a wealth of additional secondary material. Wyke’s very full bibliography is a rich source of additional reading (largely, but not entirely, on receptions of Rome).
  2. Jon Solomon’s Ancient World in the Cinema, recommended last term as a useful alternative to Wyke, has plenty of information on the Greek films. Solomon is consistently entertaining, if methodologically basic. (Reception studies were in their infancy when Solomon’s book first came out.)
  3. Peter Bondanella’s The Eternal City: Roman Images in the Modern World is worth a look on Fall, Fellini Satyricon, and receptions of Rome in modern popular culture generally — including science-fiction.
  4. The bibliography on masculinity in Spartacus is also worth revisiting on Fall in particular, specifically the edited collections You Tarzan and Screening the Male (good material here on director Anthony Mann and the ‘male epic’).

Supplementary sources:

  1. For hard facts (cast and crew, etc) and many useful links, you are as ever urged to consult the authoritative Internet Movie Database.
  2. Chapters from my forthcoming monograph on receptions of Greece, Ancient Greece in Film and Popular Culture (Bristol Phoenix Press: 2004?) are available for short-term loan from the departmental office. Any direct citations of this material should make clear that the material is a draft; the published volume may differ in some respects. I would particularly welcome critical feedback on this material, e.g. via email or in office hours.