Classics For All: Reworking Antiquity in Mass Culture

Classical culture belongs to us all: whether as academic subject or as entertainment, it constantly stimulates new ideas. In recent years, following Gladiator’s successful revival of the ‘toga epic’, studies of the ancient world in cinema have drawn increasing attention from authors and readers. This collection builds on current interest in this topic, taking its readers past the usual boundaries of classical reception studies into less familiar—and even uncharted—areas of ancient Greece and Rome in mass popular culture. Contributors discuss the uses of antiquity in television programmes, computer games, journalism, Hollywood blockbusters, B-movies, pornography, Web 2.0, radio drama, and children’s literature. Its diverse contents celebrate the continuing influence of Classics on modern life: from controversies within academia to ephemeral pop culture, from the traditional to the cutting-edge.

The reader will find both new voices and those of more established commentators, including broadcaster and historian Bettany Hughes, Latinist Paula James, and Gideon Nisbet, author of Ancient Greece in Film and Popular Culture. Together they demonstrate that rich rewards await anyone with an interest in our classical heritage, when they embrace the diversity and complexity of mass popular culture as a whole.

Kim Shahabudin has given lectures on classical reception at the University of Reading since 2000. Her research specialism is in the reception of antiquity in post-war popular cinema. She has written articles and reviews on the ancient world on film and has presented papers at various conferences.

Dunstan Lowe is Lecturer in Classics at the University of Reading. His main research interests are Latin poetry and bodily abnormality in antiquity, but since 2005 he has developed a specialist knowledge of video games with classical themes, which has produced a range of research papers.

"Dunstan Lowe and Kim Shahabudin have put together an excellent collection of twelve analyses of classicizing material... The collection as a whole showcases the uses of antiquity outside the academy, but a handful of pieces offer major contributions in areas seldom touched by classicists, inspiring this reader to look with new eyes on both the ancient originals and their modern reconfigurations."

- Alison Futrell, University of Arizona

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ISBN: 1-4438-0120-8

ISBN13: 978-1-4438-0120-1

Release Date: 13th January 2009

Pages: 305

Price: £44.99