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The Great Courses Plus

A Historian Goes to the Movies: Ancient Rome

via The Great Courses Plus


The glory of ancient Rome meets the grandeur of modern Hollywood in these 12 lectures that examine the historical accuracy of Ben-Hur, Gladiator, and other classic sword-and-sandal epics.

Topics Covered:
  • 1: Quo Vadis Kick-Starts the Sword-and-Sandal Genre
  • 2: Ben-Hur: The Greatest Chariot Race
  • 3: Spartacus: Kubrick’s Controversial Epic
  • 4: Cleopatra: Spectacle Gone Wild
  • 5: The Fall of the Roman Empire and Ancient Epics
  • 6: I, Claudius: The BBC Makes an Anti-Epic
  • 7: Life of Brian: The Roman World’s a Funny Place
  • 8: Gladiator: The Historical Epic Revived
  • 9: Rome: HBO’s Gritty Take on Ancient History
  • 10: Centurion and The Eagle: The Legions in Britain
  • 11: Scipione l’africano and Fellini Satyricon
  • 12: Bread and Circuses in Sci-Fi Films

Taught by

Gregory S. Aldrete, Ph.D.

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