Penn State Penn State: College of the Liberal Arts
Department of Classics and Ancient Mediterranean Studies

CAMS 130: The Ancient World in Film

CAMS 130: The Ancient World in Film


Wheeler, Stephen


Mon, Wed


6:00 - 7:15 P.M.


Mateer 117


Spring 2022

CAMS 130 examines the ancient Mediterranean world as it is represented in the cinema. Students will view, interpret, and critically evaluate twelve popular and/or critically acclaimed films that illustrate the narratives and themes that have engaged the interest of filmmakers and audiences since the birth of motion pictures. The curriculum will naturally gravitate toward “epic” films that are rooted in the stories of the Bible, classical mythology, and the histories of the ancient Greeks and Romans; but some attention will be paid also to other kinds of film, such as adaptations of classical drama and literary works, or parodies of “epic” films. To pursue the critical analysis of each film, students are required to read the ancient source materials on which it is based and to apply methods of interpretation that they will have learned from assigned readings about film studies. By researching a film’s ancient historical and cultural backgrounds, students will advance their global learning. By applying the analytic frameworks of film studies to the interpretation of films, they will have the opportunity to engage in integrative thinking and to hone the skills of effective communication. CAMS 130 fulfills the Bachelor of Arts requirements in the field of Humanities (BA) and the General Education requirements in the Humanities (GH).