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The BBC documentary series THE DARK AGES: AN AGE OF LIGHT reassesses the artistic legacies of Late Antiquity, including the development of early Christian iconography (depicting Jesus using the imagery of Apollo and Jupiter) and the dazzling artwork of the Barbarians. Steven says, “Presenter Waldemar Januszczak is one of those super-erudite (and slightly over-the-top) scholars you only see from the BBC.”


TIME SCANNERS: PETRA New laser technology is used to map the ancient stone city of Petra, with an eye toward exploring new ideas about how these fabulous structures were built. TIME SCANNERS: EGYPTIAN PYRAMIDS New laser technology is used to the pyramids of Egypt, with an eye toward exploring new ideas about how these amazing structures were built.
JOANNA LUMLEY’S GREEK ODYSSEY The Ab Fab star shows her brainy side on a grand tour of Greece, exploring the fascination of ancient sites. JOANNA LUMLEY’S NILE Float down the Nile with the travel companion of your dreams—the intrepid, inexhaustible, ever-curious Joanna Lumley of Ab Fab fame.
HOW NERO SAVED ROME Virtual reconstructions of the Great Fire, the rebuilding of Rome, and Nero’s Golden House highlight this National Geographic documentary. WHEN ROME RULED 3-disk series from National Geographic spans Roman history from the city’s origins to the reigns of Caesar and Caligula, the destruction of Pompeii, and Rome’s legacy. Also on Blu-ray.
HISTORY CLASSICS: ANCIENT GREECE 5-disk collection of docs from the History Channel looks at pivotal figures and conflicts in the history of a great civilization. HISTORY CLASSICS: ANCIENT ROME 5-disk collection of docs from the History Channel looks at tumultuous rise and enduring legacy of an epic civilzation.
HISTORY CLASSICS: EGYPT 5-disk collection of docs from the History Channel explores the monumental achievements of the civilization that arose along the Nile. ATLANTIS National Geographic explores the truth behind the legends of the lost realm of Atlantis.
HANNIBAL V. ROME Large-scale docudrama about Rome’s legendary enemy; Tamer Hassan plays the Carthaginian general. IN THE SHADOW OF VESUVIUS Scientists explore the continuing legacy of the terrifying eruption that buried Pompeii and Heruclaneum.
THE ROMAN INVASION OF BRITAIN Bettany Hughes examines new research and archaeological evidence to reveal the brutal realites of the Roman conquest; includes 12-page viewer’s guide. THE ROMAN INVASIONS OF BRITAIN Brian Blessed narrates this episode from the History of Warfare series. Other episodes: The Gallic WarsHannibal & the Punic WarsGreek & Persian WarsHoplite Warfare
DEADLIEST WARRIOR, Season One The popular show from Spike TV pits Spartan againt Ninja and gladiator against Apache to see who would win. MOUNT NEMRUD: The Throne of the Gods explores the remarkable mountaintop burial site of Antiochus I, ally of Pompey and victor over Marc Antony, who ruled the kingdom of Commagene in the 1st Century B.C.
CLASH OF THE GODS 3-disk set explores the fantastic worlds of Greek mythology, Norse sagas, and Tolkien’s Middle Earth.
THE FORGOTTEN MEN OF THE VALLEY OF THE KINGS Focusing on artifacts found in the humble tombs of laborers, French filmmaker Jérôme Prieur shines a light on the lives of these ancient Egyptians.
BATTLES B.C. Smart and engaging docudrama from The History Channel, with especially eye-opening commentary about the genocidal battles of the Bible.
BYZANTIUM: THE LOST EMPIRE As Rome declined, the empire in the East continued for almost a thousand years, ruled by Christian emperors from the city of Constantinople. 2-disk series.
THE TERRY JONES COLLECTION 2-disk set includes Ancient Inventions (three episodes), The Surprising History of Sex & Love, The Hidden History of Egypt, and The Hidden History of Rome. TERRY JONES’ BARBARIANS The erstwhile Python posits a new paradigm: Rome bad, barbarians good. Read the companion book by Jones and Alan Ereira.
THE GERMANIC TRIBES 4-part doc produced in German incorporates the latest archaeological findings, sophisticated CGI, and the ancient historical sources to trace the rise of the tribes of the North. BARBARIANS & BARBARIANS II Multi-disk sets from the History Channel explore the successors of the crumbling Roman Empire in Europe.
EGYPT: Beyond the Pyramids 2-disk series examines how current archaeological work is changing our perceptions of Ancient Egypt.
DIGGING FOR THE TRUTH Season 1Season 2 • Josh Bernstein traverses the globe seeking new insights into ancient mysteries.
NERO’S GOLDEN HOUSE It was the grandest palace on earth; now only a few rooms remain. Excellent BBC Timewatch doc revisits Nero’s legendary complex in the heart of Rome. A CELTIC FORT IN THE IRON AGE Explore Castell Henllys, set amongst the wild hills and forests of Wales, a Celtic homestead between 600 BC and the first century AD.
FINDING OUR ANCIENT WISDOM With a focus on the pre-Socratic philosopher Empedocles, Peter Kingsley argues that mysticism, not rationality, underlies much of Western Civilization. JESUS: THE MISSING HISTORY Discovery Channel and Bible scholar Kent Dobson set out to fill in the missing pieces.
PERSEPOLIS In 520 B.C. King Darius I made Persepolis the capitol of the Persian Empire; Alexander the Great burned it to the ground. Architects use CGI to recreate the lost city. ROME: RISE & FALL OF AN EMPIRE Ambitious series recounts 500 years of history over 13 action-filled episodes, from Julius Caesar to the last emperor of the West. Watch a preview here.
POMPEII & THE ROMAN VILLA Sir Derek Jacobi narrates this half-hour documentary presented by the National Gallery of Art to accompany the touring exhibit; see also the companion book. UNLOCKING THE GREAT PYRAMID National Geographic follows architect Jean-Pierre Houdin and Egyptologist Bob Brier as they use 3-D software to unlock the secret of the pyramid’s construction.
THE LOST GODS Christy Kenneally examines the religious systems of six ancient cultures — Egyptian, Greek, Celtic, Roman, Mayan and Incan — through their art, architecture and stories. I, CAESAR explores the lives of six key figures in Roman imperial history: Julius Caesar, Augustus, Nero, Hadrian, Constantine the Great, and Justinian.
HEROD’S LOST TOMB The search for the tomb of Herod the Great includes visits to the king’s awe-inspiring edifices at Caesarea, Masada, and Jerusalem. THE GOSPEL OF JUDAS National Geopraphic examines the discovery, authenticity, and significance of the controversial document which provides a different view of the reviled Disciple.
EMPIRES COLLECTION 5 disk set from PBS includes Egypt’s Golden Empire, The Greeks: Crucible of Civilization and The Roman Empire in the First Century. Recent titles from The History Channel: Roman ViceDecisive Battles: Birth of the Roman EmpireRoman Roads: Paths to EmpireThe True Story of GladiatorsModern Marvels: The Coloseum
THE MINOTAUR’S ISLAND Historian Bettany Hughes (Athens: Dawn of Democracy; Helen of Troy; The Spartans) explores Crete for new insights into ancient Minoan culture. ATHENS: DAWN OF DEMOCRACY Historian Bettany Hughes re-examines the story of the world’s first democracy, including a look at slavery and sexism.
METROPOLIS chronicles the glories of cities from the ancient world to the Dark Ages, including Athens, Rome, Carthage, Alexandria, Constantinople, Venice and Paris; 7-part series on 2 disks. INCREDIBLE MONUMENTS OF ANCIENT ROME The temples, arenas and palaces of Rome still astound us as monuments to human vantiy and human suffering. Leonard Nimoy narrates.
THE TRUE STORY OF HANNIBAL Benjamin Maccabee plays the Carthaginian general in this History Channel docudrama about the gravest challenge ever faced by the Roman Republic. CRUCIFIXION History Channel explores the origins of crucifixion and scientifically examines its impact on the human body.
SECRETS OF THE PARTHENON Nova looks at the restoration of one of the world’s greatest monuments, and confronts the riddle of its construction.
SEVEN WONDERS OF THE ANCIENT WORLD Vivid recreations depict the construction and awesome appearance of these ancient marvels. Narrated by Pierce Brosnan.
ALEXANDER THE GREAT & THE CATAPULT Laying siege to Tyre, the young Alexander resorts to a daring secret weapon that will change history — the catapult. THE TRUE STORY OF GLADIATORS Historians and scholars recount the amazing stories of these larger-than-life warriors, who included women, senators, and even an emperor.
GLADIATORS: BLOODSPORT OF THE COLOSSEUM explores the brutality and popularity of gladiators in Ancient Rome. Narrated by David Hemmings. AMAZON WARRIOR WOMEN Did the Amazons of Greek legend really exist? Read the companion book by archaeologist Jeannine Davis-Kimball.
DECISIVE BATTLES OF THE ANCIENT WORLD Excellent series uses real locations and computer graphics to visualize the actual scale and tactical movements of 13 battles that changed history. ANCIENT DISCOVERIES Thought-provoking series reconsiders technology in the ancient world with evidence of ingenious machines, massive ships, and other startling innovations.
ROME: POWER & GLORY 6-hour series narrated by Peter Coyote for Discovery Channel observes the rise and fall of the Roman Empire. LEADERS IN BATTLE: JULIUS CAESAR Also available in a 4-disk boxed set (with documentaries about Cromwell, Lord Nelson, and the Duke of Marlborough).
CLEOPATRA: DESTINY’S QUEEN Karen Allen narrates this portrait of the Egyptian queen from the popular A&E Biography series. CLEOPATRA: FIRST WOMAN OF POWER A sympathetic portrait shatters negative images perpetuated by historians and Hollywood. Narrated by Angelica Huston.
ANCIENT ROME Footage of ancient ruins and scholars from Oxford, the University of Michigan and UCLA tell the story of Rome in this brief overview from Just the Facts Learning Series LAST STAND OF THE 300 The History Channel explores the battle of Thermopylae, basis for the movie 300; includes an eye-opening look at the brutal customs of the Spartan ruling class.
ROME: ENGINEERING AN EMPIRE The History Channel explores the great aqueducts, the Baths of Caracalla, Hadrian’s Wall, Caesar’s bridge, the Coliseum, and the Pantheon. ENGINEERING AN EMPIRE Boxed Set 4-disk set from History Channel explores Persia, Greece, Alexander, Carthage, the Byzantines, and more. Also available: Egypt: Engineering an Empire.
HERCULANEUM UNCOVERED 2000 years after Vesuvius buried the city, researchers use new forensic techniques to study the Romans who lived and died there. HEADLESS ROMANS Archaeologists explore the mystery of 45 ancient skeletons, all missing their heads, uncovered in an English garden in York.
THE GREAT FIRE OF ROME Modern forensic analysis yields fresh ideas on the origins and extent of the fire that devastated Nero’s Rome in 64 A.D. THE LEGIONS OF ROME Available as a 3-disk boxed set or as individual DVDS: Punic WarsGallic WarsRoman Invasions of Britain
THE ROMANS AND BARBARIANS The Romans invade Britain; expert commentary, re-creations, and location footage examine the military tactics and weaponry that made Rome a force to be feared. GREAT GENERALS OF THE ANCIENT WORLD Available as a 3-disk boxed set or as individual DVDS: Alexander the GreatHannibalJulius Caesar
HELEN OF TROY Scholar Bettany Hughes embarks on a journey across the eastern Mediterranean to discover the unconventional truth about Helen. Read the companion book. IN SEARCH OF MYTHS & HEROES Michael Wood travels the world to find the Golden Fleece, the Queen of Sheba, Shangri-La, and the Holy Grail. Read the companion book.
ANCIENT ROME Examines Roman feats of architecture and engineering — roads, aqueducts, the Pantheon, Trajan’s Forum, Caracalla’s Baths, the Colosseum, and the Circus Maximus. ANCIENT GREECE Celebrates ancient feats of architecture and engineering — the Palace of Knossos, the Theatre of Epidaurus, the Colossus of Rhodes, the Parthenon, and the legends of Lost Atlantis.
SECRETS OF LOST EMPIRES: Colosseum / Stonehenge PBS’s Nova series reveals the methods used to create two early marvels of design and construction.
ROMAN CITY Based on his acclaimed book, David Macaulay uses computor graphics and visits real sites to explain the workings of a Roman City. Also available: Pyramid, Castle, Cathedral, Mill Times
THE REAL OLYMPICS Superior PBS documentary features first-rate scholars along with authentic (though not completely naked) re-enactments of the early games. THE FIRST OLYMPICS: BLOOD, HONOR, & GLORY Three History Channel docs about the mythic background and historical origins of the Olympic Games in ancient Greece.
YOU ARE THERE: ANCIENT GREECE Vintage TV: Walter Cronkite covers Alexander the Great and the death of Socrates as breaking stories. Robert Culp and E.G. Marshall star. BOUDICCA: WARRIOR QUEEN Documentary about the Queen of the Iceni who led a massive uprising against the Romans in Britain, based on the accounts of Tacitus and Cassius Dio.
POMPEII: The Last Day / COLOSSEUM: A Gladiator’s Story Two superb docudrama mini-movies on one DVD. Hunky Robert Shannon scores as Verus the gladiator! JULIUS CAESAR’S ROME 6 episodes on 2 disks from The History Channel focus on Caesar, Antony, and Cleopatra, the end of the republic, and the birth of the empire.
IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF ALEXANDER A fascinating journey across 16 countries traces Alexander’s conquests from the Balkans to India. Read the companion book by Michael Wood.
ALEXANDER THE GREAT: BEYOND THE MOVIE National Geographic examines the remarkable life of the world conqueror.
THE TRUE STORY OF ALEXANDER THE GREAT Special presentation from The History Channel, hosted by Peter Woodward.
THE SPARTANS Superior series from PBS about the elitist warrior culture of Sparta, rival of Athens and nemesis of Persia.
IN SEARCH OF THE TROJAN WAR Brilliant on-site exploration of the truth behind the legend. Read the companion book by Michael Wood.
TROY: BEYOND THE MOVIE National Geographic looks at the ancient myths and unsolved mysteries behind the epic tale.
THE GREEKS Liam Neeson narrates this look at the politics, ideas, wars and monuments of the ancient Greeks and their enduring impact on Western Civilization.
ANCIENT GREECE Four documentaries filmed on location: Art In Ancient Greece; Mining In Ancient Greece; Bacchus, The God of Wine; Firewalking in Greece.
Lost Treaures of the Ancient World: The Celts7 Wonders of the Ancient WorldHadrian’s WallAncient Greece Ancient RomePompeiiCarthageRomans in North Africa • Also available in 6-disk boxed sets. Volume I: Stonehenge, Hadrian’s Wall, Pyramids, Pompeii, Rome, Mayans & Aztecs • Volume II: Egypt, Greece, Carthage, Jerusalem, Romans in North Africa, 7 Wonders • Volume III: China, India, Samurai Japan, Empires in the Americas, Dark Age England, Celts.
Documentaries from A&E and The History Channel: The Seven Wonders of the Ancient WorldThe Hidden City of PetraPompeii: Buried AlivePrivate Lives of Pompeii • • Private Lives of the EmperorsThe Greek Gods Gods & GoddessesIncredible Monuments of RomeCleopatra’s World: Alexandria RevealedAncient Rome & Its Mysterious CitiesSecrets of DelphiMystical Monuments of Ancient Greece

ANCIENTS BEHAVING BADLY is History Channel’s latest docu-mashup of forensic second-guessing, over-the-top narration, and lurid cartoon art, like this impalement from the Attila episode—yikes! Steven says the series is “marred by sloppy methodology and minor errors—such as the assertion that Nero’s wife Poppaea was an ex-slave (confusing her with Nero’s mistress, Acte)—but I certainly approve the show’s indictment of so-called ‘great’ figures of history as mass murderers. I love the end of each show when the subject is placed on ‘the Ancients Behaving Badly psychograph’—an X axis from goal-driven killer (Caesar) to psychopathic murderer (Caligula), and a Y axis measuring individual pathologies (like Nero’s off-the-chart ‘histrionic personality disorder’). The episode about Hannibal debunks the myth that he was a military genius, while the devastating portrait of Alexander strips any grandeur from the Great.” Also in the line-up: Cleopatra and Genghis Khan. Indvidual episodes can be downloaded at iTunes.


IMAGINING ANCIENT CITIES IN FILM ed. by Morcillo, Hanesworth & Marchena looks behind and beyond intended archaeological accuracy, symbolic fantasy, primitivism, exoticism and Hollywood-esque monumentality. TRANSGRESSIVE MASCULINITIES IN SELECTED SWORD & SANDAL FILMS: Queer Resistance to Hetero-Normativity in the Classical Film Epic by Merle Peirce can be read online or downloaded here.
ANCIENT GREEK WOMEN ON FILM ed. by Konstantinos P. Nikoloutsos looks at cinematic treatments of women, from Helen of Troy to Cleopatra of Egypt. CLASSICAL MYTH ON SCREEN ed. by Cyrino and Safran looks at the ways that movie embrace, refute, and reinvent the cultural heritage of classical antiquity,
Gladiator and Contemporary American Society” by Monica S. Cyrino links to an online pdf with some thought-provoking ideas about why the landmark movie became such a huge hit in the pivotal year of A.D. 2000. “From Helen of Sparta to Helen of Troy by Monica S. Cyrano (free download of a Word doc) A lecture by the author of Big Screen Rome, delivered at the U. of New Hampshire in 2006 as part of the Professor John C. Rouman Classical Lecture Series.
ROME SEASON TWO: TRIAL & TRIUMPH ed. by Monica S. Cyrino Sixteen pioneering and provocative essays written by an international cast of leading classical scholars and media critics. ROME SEASON ONE: History Makes Television ed. by Monica S. Cyrino Thought-provoking essays by influential scholars in the fields of classical antiquity and popular culture.
WITH FIRE & SWORD: Italian Spectacles on American Screens, 1958-1968 ed. by Patrick Lucanio 540-page filmography of over 300 Sword & Sandal movies. OF MUSCLES AND MEN: Essays on the Sword & Sandal Film ed. by Michael G. Cornelius Wide-ranging essays examine the mystique of the Sword & Sandal genre, from the days of Steve Reeves to Spartacus: Blood & Sand.
HOLLYWOOD’S ANCIENT WORLDS by Jeffrey Richards looks at the rise and decline of each successive cycle of Ancient World epics, from the silent film era, to the Golden Age of the 1950s, right up to the present day. PROJECTING THE PAST: Ancient Rome, Cinema & History by Maria Wyke pays special attention to the recurring fascination with Spartacus, Cleopatra, Nero, and Pompeii.
WRITTEN IN STONE by Katherine Orrison Fascinating account of the making of Cecil B. DeMille’s spectacular epic The Ten Commandments on location in Egypt.
THE ROMAN SALUTE: Cinema, History, Ideology by Martin M. Winkler Did the raised-arm salute of the Nazis and Fascists originate in ancient Rome, or in popular depicitons of Rome in art and cinema?
HELLAS ON SCREEN: Cinematic Receptions of Ancient History, Literature and Myth ed. by Morcillo & Berti Explores cinematic visions of ancient Greece from the silent era to the new millennium.
CINEMA & CLASSICAL TEXT: Apollo’s New Light by Martin M. Winkler Essays explore the affinities between Greco-Roman literature and the cinema.
THEN IT WAS DESTROYED BY THE VOLCANO by Arthur J. Pomeroy A Classicist looks at representations of the ancient world in film and on television.
THE ANCIENT WORLD IN THE CINEMA by Jon Solomon Comprehensive survey of movies set in the ancient world, with over 200 photos.
BIG SCREEN ROME by Monica S. Cyrino Systematic survey of the most important and popular films from the past half century that reconstruct the image of Roman antiquity.
IMPERIAL PROJECTIONS: Ancient Rome in Modern Popular Culture ed. by Joshel, Malamud & McGuire How we celebrate Ancient Rome, from the cinema to Caesar’s Palace.
ROME by Jonathan Stamp Deluxe illustrated “making of” book loaded with images, interviews and commentary about the HBO series Rome.
THE MAKING OF ALEXANDER by Robin Lane Fox, foreword by Oliver Stone traces the creation of one of the most controversial and spectacular movies about the ancient world
THE FALL OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE: Film & History ed. by Martin M. Winkler Essays examine the 1964 epic The Fall of the Roman Empire from historical and cinematic perspectives.
ANCIENT GREECE IN FILM & POPULAR CULTURE by Gideon Nisbet An Oxford Classicist and film fan charts the hidden history of Greece in the 20th-century imagination, from movies to science fiction and comics.
SPARTACUS: Film & History ed. by Martin M. Winkler Essays examine the film’s use of ancient sources, as well as the history of the censored, landmark film itself.
TROY: From Homer’s Iliad to Hollywood Epic ed. by Martin M. Winkler Film scholars and ancient historians look at the truth and legend behind Hollywood’s depiction of the Trojan War.
GLADIATOR: Film & History ed. by Martin M. Winkler Essays on the Oscar-winning film and the history behind the movie.
CLASSICAL MYTH & CULTURE IN THE CINEMA ed. by Martin M. Winkler Scholarly essays on the uses of ancient myth in modern movies.
300: THE ART OF THE FILM How the graphic novel 300 by Frank Miller became the blockbuster movie 300. RETRO STUD: Muscle Movie Posters From Around the World by David Chapman Sword & Sandal mania!


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