"The Ancient World in the Cinema" by Jon Solomon

The Ancient World in the Cinema Revised and Expanded Edition Jon Solomon

Publication date:
08 Feb 2001
Yale University Press
384 pages: 254 x 178mm
205 b-w illus.
Sales territories:

This entertaining and useful book provides a comprehensive survey of films about the ancient world, from The Last Days of Pompeii to Gladiator. Jon Solomon catalogues, describes, and evaluates films set in ancient Greece and Rome, films about Greek and Roman history and mythology, films of the Old and New Testaments, films set in ancient Egypt, Babylon, and Persia, films of ancient tragedies, comic films set in the ancient world, and more. The book has been updated to include feature films and made-for-television movies produced in the past two decades. More than two hundred photographs illustrate both the films themselves and the ancient sources from which their imagery derives.

Jon Solomon is professor of classics at the University of Arizona.

Listed in The Signet Book of Movie Lists by Jeff Rovin as one of the best books about film ever written 

?The author, a classical scholar, demonstrates that the films including those of the silent era are based on careful research and a noteworthy effort at authentication. The work is profusely illustrated with not only stills from the films but art and architecture from the ancient world.??Virginia Quarterly Review

?Solomon . . . brings a film buff?s enthusiasm and a scholar?s knowledge to this erudite and entertaining survey.??Jennifer Howard, Washington Post Book World

?The Ancient World in the Cinema [is] now republished in a revised and expanded edition more than twenty years after its first appearance. Solomon covers over four hundred films, arranged according to predominant genre?dealing separately with films which incorporate ancient comedy, historical themes, and so on. Copious photographic illustrations bring the analysis visually to life, and two appendices neatly and evocatively summarize precisely which episodes of Greco-Roman history and of the Old Testament have attracted cinematic treatment.??Greece & Rome

?A valuable resource for students of ?ancient? cinema.??Emily Albu, Classical World

Review of the previous edition:?This important study combines insightful observations on over four hundred films, along with significant illustrations, to produce the best text yet published on the subject of the ancient epic art forms being translated to the screen.??Frank Manchel, Film Study: An Analytical Bibliography

"As a trained classicist, Solomon offers much insight into the art, life-style, dress, military strategy, religion, and architecture of the ancient world. He also demonstrates that a great majority of feature films about the ancient world, including those of the silent era, have been carefully researched for historical authenticity. He also raises important questions about the artistic function of film and the interrelationships of historical fact and artistic interpretation."?Choice