Cinema and Ancient Greece and Rome

Antony Keen

The ancient Greek and Romans have been represented in cinema since movie-making began. This ten week-course aims to introduce students to how cinema has made use of Greco-Roman antiquity. Each week a particular genre will be discussed, and an example of that genre studied in depth.

At the beginning of each week, students will be sent a 15-minute audio-visual introduction to the genre being studied and a c. 4,000-word essay on the movie under discussion. You’ll also be sent links to some online further reading. At the end of the week, there will be a synchronous online discussion, where you will be able to ask the course tutor questions about the material you’ve been sent.

Course Schedule

16 July 2020            An introduction to studying cinema and a brief overview of ancient Greece and Rome on Screen before 1950

23 July 2020             Roman movies I: The 1950s and 1960s Hollywood epic

Case study movie: Ben-Hur (1959)

30 July 2020            Roman movies II: The twenty-first century technological Hollywood epic

Case study movie:         Gladiator (2000)

6 August 2020           Roman movies III: British comedy movies using Rome, and the subversion of Hollywood epic

Case study movie:         Monty Python’s Life of Brian (1981)

13 August 2020            Roman movies IV: Shakespeare’s Roman plays on screen

Case study movie:         Julius Caesar (1954)

27 August 2020            Greek movies I: Mythology

Case study movie:         Jason and the Argonauts (1963)

3 September 2020            Greek movies II: History, ‘history’, and Hollywood

Case study movie:         300 (2007)

10 September 2020            Greek movies III: The Odyssey, myth and contemporary Hollywood

Case study movie:         O Brother, Where Art Thou? (2000)

17 September 2020            Greek movies IV: Athenian tragedy and European art cinema

Case study movie:         Medea (1969)

24 September 2020          Lecture: The ancient world movie since 2010

Case study movie:         Chi-Raq (2015)

Required materials: Students will need to source the movies themselves. However, all the movies to be discussed are easily available to rent online. The course materials will assume that students have watched them.

Day: Thursdays, starting  Start date, 16 July  2020  Time: 11.00-13.00 with a one week break in the middle.



£8/session or £70 for the ten-week course.

Virtual Learning Environment:

Price Concessions Minimum No. Maximum No.
£8/session or £70/course * 8 50

Pay via the following Eventbrite links:
To pay for the full course: please use this link:

And for the individual lectures: please, use this link:

To book, complete the MANCENT booking form and send  to the email address below. Payment can be made via the following eventbrite links. If you would like to pay via BACS or Paypal please contact Tony Keen for details.

Adult Education in Manchester and Cheshire