Aldrete publishes new book on Roman movies

Professor Emeritus Gregory S. Aldrete (History) just published a new book titled “Ancient Rome on the Silver Screen: Myth versus History” with Rowman & Littlefield Press.

The book examines 50 films set in Ancient Rome that were made from the early 20th century up through today, and analyzes how historically accurate each one is in terms of plot, characters, sets, and costumes. It also relates interesting stories about the making of the films and the challenges film makers faced in bringing the ancient world to cinematic life. A special feature is over 50 paintings by historical artist Graham Sumner which depict costumes actually worn in the films and then reconstructions of what the characters should have worn, if their costumes were historically accurate.

Read more or order your copy at Amazon. And two reviews: “This is a fascinating book that expertly goes behind the scenes to show how the needs of Hollywood have often clashed with the realities of the Roman past. Entertaining and erudite, its broad sweep of cinematic history tells a story of the use and abuse of ancient realities on an epic scale.”– Dr. Jerry Toner, Churchill College, Cambridge

“Aldrete’s book is a triumph. Unlike the—many—other books that discuss ancient Rome and the cinema, it successfully combines historical analysis and film criticism. And it does so in an accessible writing style that does not presume prior knowledge of the bibliography of Roman history. It provides everything the reader needs to understand and appreciate these works of cinema, and to untangle fact from fiction, history from modern storytelling.” — Dr. Steven L. Tuck, professor of history and classics, Miami University

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