Series editors: Filippo Carlà-Uhink and Martin Lindner

Bloomsbury Academic

This series seeks to broaden the scholarly community’s understanding of the reception of classical antiquity in the visual and performing arts. A particular focus will be drawn on the 20th and 21st centuries and on media that have been traditionally neglected because considered “commercial” and/or “popular”, such as comics, advertising, digital media, design, fashion, and theme parks. It challenges traditional, and still very widespread, assumptions that distinguish “high” from “popular” culture, but also demonstrates the indisputable importance that classical antiquity enjoys in the modern and postmodern world, and all across the planet, carefully looking at forms of Classical Receptions outside the “traditional” regions object of such studies. Through a consistent shift from the traditional, academic approach, the series is the product of a continuous dialogue between scholars on the one side, and “producers” of classical reception – painters, sculptors, photographs, architects, designers, etc. –on the other, who write about their mechanisms of appropriation of the Ancient world . Each book highlights the popularity of antiquity today and reveals the forms and mechanisms of its reception. The series thus explains the choice of subjects and motives, the elaboration and re-mediatization processes taking place in the creative act, as well as the complexity of the “reception chains”, which make it today impossible, for instance, to visualize the ancient world without the filter of historical movies.

If you are interested in submitting a proposal or if you have a ready manuscript you would like to submit, please feel free to email our series editors: Filippo Carlà-Uhink (University of Potsdam): ; Martin Lindner (University of Göttingen):

Link to the series site, (pre-order and purchase)

Coming soon….

The Fear and the Fury. Book cover
  • Title and Editors

    Ancient Violence in the Modern Imagination. The Fear and the Fury

    Edited by: Irene Berti, Maria G. Castello, Carla Scialabra


    Bloomsbury Academic – IMAGINES

    ISBN: 9781350075405

    Publication date: 06.08.2020

    Link to publisher

  • About

    The collected essays in this volume focus on the presentation, representation and interpretation of all forms of ancient violence – from war to persecution, rape and murder – in the modern visual and performing arts, with special attention to videogames and dance as well as the more usual media of film, literature and theatre. Violence, fury and the dread that they provoke are factors that appear frequently in the ancient sources. The dark side of antiquity, so distant from the ideal of purity and harmony that the classical heritage until recently usually called forth, has repeatedly struck the imagination of artists, writers and scholars across ages and cultures.

    A global assembly of contributors, from Europe to Brazil and from the US to New Zealand, consider historical and mythical violence in Stanley Kubrick’s Spartacus and the 2010 TV series of the same name, in Frank Miller’s 300, in the work of Pier Paolo Pasolini and Lars von Trier, and in Soviet ballet and the choreography of Martha Graham and Jérôme Bel. Representations of Roman warfare appear in videogames from Age of Empires to Total War, as well as recent comics. Finally, interviews with two artists and a producer offer insight into the way practitioners understand the complex reception of these themes.

  • Table of contents

    Introduction (eds)

    SECTION A: Painting

    1. Ancient War and Modern Art: Some Remarks from History Painting in the XIXth and XXth Centuries (Antonio Duplá, Universidad del País Vasco, Spain)
    2. Harlot to Heroine: Thais of Athens in Visual Media (Alex McAuley, Cardiff University, UK)

    SECTION B: Cinema and Theater

    3. Screening the Face of Roman Battle: Violence from the Eye of the Soldier in Film (Oskar Aguado Cantabrana, Universidad del País Vasco, Spain)
    4. Performing Violence and War Trauma: Shades of Ajax on the Silver Screen (Anastasia Bakogianni, Massey University of New Zealand)
    5. External and Internal Violence within the Myth of Iphigenia: Staging Myth Today (Malgorzata Budzowska, University of Lodz, Poland)
    6. Desmedéia, by Denise Stoklos – How to Reconstruct Fury (Maria Cecilia de Miranda Nogueira Coelho, UFMG, Minas Gerais, Brazil)

    SECTION C: Dance

    7. Choreography of Death and Glory. Spartacus in the Soviet and post-communist Ballet (Zoa Alonso Fernández, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, Spain)
    8. Acts of Violence: Staging Death in Modern Dance and in Contemporary Choreography (Nicole Hatzinger, University of Salzburg, Austria)
    9. Dark Territories of Soul: Martha Graham’s Clytemnestra (Ainize González García, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Spain)

    SECTION D: Videogames and Comics

    10. Si vis ludum para bellum: Violence and War as Predominant Language of Antiquity in Video Games (David Serano Lozano, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Spain)
    11. Playing Attila and Waging Total War: A Video Game’s Take on the Migration Period (Fabian Schulz, University of Tübingen, Germany)
    12. Sexy gory Rome: Violent Sexuality in Comic Book Representations of Ancient Rome (Luis Unceta Gómez, Universidad Autonoma de Madrid, Spain)
    13. Archimedes and the Human Folly in Hitoshi Iwaaki’s Eureka (Giuseppe Galeani, Università degli Studi di Macerata, Italy)

    SECTION E: Making Reception

    14. Fear and Fury in Euripides’ Orestes (Mary Kay Gamel, University of California Santa Cruz, USA)
    15. Re-enacting Roman Soldiers (Danielle Fiore, Torino, Italy)
    16. Drawing Reception (Fabio Ruotolo, International School of Comics, Torino, Italy)

Published volumes

Orientalism and the reception of Powerful women cover
  • Title and Editors

    Orientalism and the Reception of Powerful Women from the Ancient World

    Editors: Filippo Carlà-Uhink and Anja Wieber


    Bloomsbury Academic – IMAGINES

    ISBN: 9781350050105

    Date of publication: February 2020

    Link to publisher

  • About

    Why is Cleopatra, a descendent of Alexander the Great, a Ptolemy from a Greek-Macedonian family, in popular imagination an Oriental woman? True, she assumed some aspects of pharaonic imagery in order to rule Egypt, but her Orientalism mostly derives from ancient (Roman) and modern stereotypes: both the Orient and the idea of a woman in power are signs, in Western tradition, of ‘otherness’ – and in this sense they can easily overlap and interchange.

    This volume investigates how ancient women, and particular powerful women, such as queens and empresses, have been re-imagined in Western (and non-Western) arts, highlights how this re-imagination and re-visualization is, more often than not, the product of Orientalist stereotypes – even when dealing with women who had nothing to do with Eastern regions, and compares these images with examples of Eastern gaze on the same women. Through the chapters in this volume, readers will discover the similarities and differences in the ways in which women in power were and still are described and decried by their opponents.

  • Table of contents

    Introduction: The Reception of Ancient Women between Gender and Orientalist Stereotypes Filippo Carlà-Uhink, Potsdam University, Germany & Anja Wieber, independent scholar

    1. Semiramide riconosciuta: The Reception of an Ancient Oriental Queen in the OperaKerstin Droß-Krüpe, Universität Kassel
    2. Behind the Veil: The Ambivalent Reception of Queen Shirin in modern Iran Irene Madreiter, Universität Innsbruck
    3. Carian Queens from Orient to Greece and Back: The Reception of Artemisia I and Artemisia II Irene Berti, independent scholar
    4. The Barbarian Bride: Portraits of Roxane in the 20th and 21st Century Ann-Cathrin Harders, Universität Bielefeld
    5. Drypetis in Fact and (Fan) Fiction Sabine Müller, Universität Marburg
    6. Lady Catherine Stepney and Cleopatra Mary Hamer, Kipling Society
    7. Exotic, Erotic, Heroic? Women of Carthage in Western Imagination Marta García Morcillo, University of Roehampton
    8. Colon(ial)izing Fulvia: (Re)Presenting the Military Woman in History, Fiction, and Art Peter Keegan, Macquarie University
    9. The Oriental Empresses of Rome: Severan Women in Literature and the Arts Martijn Icks, University of Amsterdam
    10. Zenobia of Palmyra: The Ianus-Headed Desert Queen and Different Strings of Reception Anja Wieber, independent scholar
    11. Empresses from Late Antiquity Maria G. Castello, Università degli Studi di Torino
    12. Theodora AP / Theodora AS: Metamorphoses of an Empress Filippo Carlà-Uhink, University of Exeter
    13. Behind the Veil? Orientalist Stereotypes and Ancient Women – A Conclusion Beate Wagner-Hasel, Universität Hannover


Video Games - cover image[7128]
  • Title and Editors

    Classical Antiquity in Video Games. Playing with the Ancient World

    Editor: Christian Rollinger


    Bloomsbury Academic – IMAGINES

    ISBN: 9781350066632

    Publication Date: January 2020

    Link to publisher

  • About

    From gaming consoles to smartphones, video games are everywhere today, including those set in historical times and particularly in the ancient world. This volume explores the varied depictions of the ancient world in video games and demonstrates the potential challenges of games for scholars as well as the applications of game engines for educational and academic purposes. With successful series such as “Assassin’s Creed” or “Civilization” selling millions of copies, video games rival even television and cinema in their role in shaping younger audiences’ perceptions of the past. Yet classical scholarship, though embracing other popular media as areas of research, has so far largely ignored video games as a vehicle of classical reception.

    This collection of essays fills this gap with a dedicated study of receptions, remediations and representations of Classical Antiquity across all electronic gaming platforms and genres. It presents cutting-edge research in classics and classical receptions, game studies and archaeogaming, adopting different perspectives and combining papers from scholars, gamers, game developers and historical consultants. In doing so, it delivers the first state-of-the-art account of both the wide array of ‘ancient’ video games, as well as the challenges and rewards of this new and exciting field.

  • Table of contents

    List of illustrations
    Glossary of video game terms
    Notes on Contributors


    Playing with the Ancient World: An Introduction to Classical Antiquity in Video Games
    1. Christian Rollinger: An Archaeology of Ancient Historical Video Games


    2. David Serrano Lozano: Ludus (not) Over: Video Games and Popular Perceptions of Ancient Past Re-Shaping

    3. Andrew Gardner and Tristan French: Playing in a ‘Real’ Past: Classical Action Games and Authenticity

    4. Sian Beavers: The Representation of Women in Ryse: Son of Rome


    5. Dominic Machado: Battle Narratives from Ancient Historiography to Total War: Rome II

    6. Jeremiah McCall: Digital Legionaries: Video Game Simulations of the Face of Battle in the Roman Republic


    7. Roger Travis: The Open-World RPG as Formulaic Epic

    8. Ross Clare: Postcolonial Play in Ancient World Computer Role-playing Games

    9. Nico Nolden: Playing with an Ancient Veil: Commemorative Culture and the Staging of Ancient History within the Playful Experience of the MMORPG The Secret World


    10. Neville Morley: Choose your own Counterfactual: The Melian Dialogue as Text-Based Adventure

    11. Maciej Paprocki: Mortal Immortals: Deicide of Greek Gods in Apotheon and its Role in the Greek Mythic Storyworld

    12. Alexander Flegler: The Complexities and Nuances of Portraying History in Age of Empires

    13. Erika Holter, Una Ulrike Schäfer, Sebastian Schwesinger: Simulating the Ancient World: Pitfalls and Opportunities of Using Game Engines for Archaeological Research


    14. Adam Chapman: Quo Vadis Classical Receptions and Historical Game Studies? Moving Two Fields Forward Together


  • Reviews

    • “A fine example of what an impressive range of scholars can achieve when they look beyond the player’s point of view to consider the broader issues of how, in video games, history is invoked and constructed, game and software architectures are deployed, and player attention is pursued.” –  Thomas M. Malaby, Professor of Anthropology, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, USA.
    • “A valuable addition to the sub-discipline of Reception Studies, and invaluable to anyone interested in learning more about classics, ancient history, and classical archaeology in computer games.” –  Classics for All.

    • “Christian Rollingers Sammelband bietet damit sowohl für Neueinsteiger/innen als auch für erfahrene Leser/innen interessante Zugänge zu (antiker) Geschichte in digitalen Spielen.” Review by Ulli Engst in H-Soz-Kult (26.6.20). Link to the review


Classical Greece in Theme Parks
  • Title and Author

    Representations of Classical Greece in Theme Parks

    Author: Filippo Carlà-Uhink


    Bloomsbury Academic – IMAGINES

    ISBN: 9781474297844

    Publication date: April 2020

    Link to publisher

  • About

    Theme park studies is a growing field in social and cultural studies. Nonetheless, until now little attention has been dedicated to the choice of the themes represented in the parks and the strategies of their representation. This is particularly interesting when the theme is a historical one, for example ancient Greece. Which elements of classical Greece find their way into a theme park and how are they chosen and represented? What is the “entertainment” element in ancient Greek history, culture and myth, which allows its presence in commercial structures aiming towards people’s entertainment? How does the representation of Greece change against different cultural backgrounds, e.g. in different European countries, in the USA, in China?

    This book frames a discussion of these representations within the current debates about immersive spaces, uses of history and postmodern aesthetics, and analyses how ancient Greece has been represented and made “enjoyable” in seven different theme parks across the world, providing an original and ground-breaking contribution to theme park studies and classical reception.

  • Table of contents

    A. Ancient Greece in Classical Reception
    B. Ancient Greece in the Postmodern World – Aspects and Relevance
    C. Classical Receptions and Postmodern Aesthetics: Affective Turn and Pastness
    D. Historical Theme Parks and Their Uses of the Past
    E. Overview of the Selected Theme Parks

    A. History and Structure of the Park
    B. Greece in the Astérix World (Comics, Films, Videogames)
    C. Grèce

    A. History and Structure of the Park
    B. Greece, Germany, and Europe in Europa-Park
    C. Griechenland

    A. History and Structure of the Park
    B. The Role of Greece in the Park’s Ideology
    C. Grécia
    D. Las Islas

    A. History and Structure of the Park
    B. Greece in the Postmodern German Myth
    C. Strand der Götter

    A. History and Structure of the Park
    B. Ancient Greece and Modern America
    C. Ancient Greece in Wisconsin

    A. History and Structure of the Park
    B. Ancient Greece in Chinese Culture
    C. The Aegean Sea in Beijing

    7. E-DA, TAIWAN
    A. History and Structure of the Park
    B. Greek Mythology in the Far East
    C. Acropolis
    D. Santorini
    E. The Trojan Castle


    Further Reading

A Homeric Catalogue of shapes
  • Title and Author

    A Homeric Catalogue of Shapes. The Iliad and Odyssey Seen Differently

    Author: Charlayn von Solms


    Bloomsbury Academic – IMAGINES

    London-Oxford-New York-New Delhi-Sidney 2019 (Hardback)

    ISBN: 9781350039582

    Link to publisher

  • About

    In the popular imagination, Homer as author of the Iliad and the Odyssey, epitomises poetic genius. So, when scholars proposed that the Homeric epics were not the unique creation of an individual author, but instead reflected a traditional compositional system developed by generations of singer-poets, swathes of assumptions about the poems and their ‘author’ were swept aside and called into question. Much had to be re-evaluated through a new lens.

    The creative process described by scholars for the Homeric epics shares many key attributes with the modern visual art-forms of collage and its less familiar variant: sculptural assemblage. A Homeric Catalogue of Shapes describes a series of twelve sculptures that together function as an abstract portrait of Homer: not a depiction of him as an individual, but as a compositional system. The technique by which the artworks were produced reflects the poetic method that scholars termed oral-formulaic. In both of these creative processes the artwork is constructed from pre-existing elements: such as phrases, characters, and plot-lines in the epics; and objects, fragmented items, and borrowed forms in the sculptures. The artist/author presents a largely unknown characterisation of Homeric poetics in a manner that emphasizes the extent and complexity of this Homer’s artistry.

  • Table of contents

    List of Illustrations

    Chapter 1: Seeing Differently
    Chapter 2. A Homeric Object
    Chapter 3: Sculptural Assemblage and the Composite Object Portrait
    Chapter 4: Homeric Iconographies
    Chapter 5: A Catalogue of Shapes 2010-13: Descriptive Catalogue of Artworks
    Chapter 6: A Composite Object Portrait of an Oral-Formulaic Homer


Classical Antiquity in Heavy Metal Music
  • Title and Editors

    Classical Antiquity in Heavy Metal Music

    Edited by: K. F. B. Fletcher and Osman Umurhan


    Bloomsbury Academic – IMAGINES

    London-Oxford-New York-New Delhi-Sidney 2019 (Hardback)

    ISBN: 9781350075351

    Link to publisher

  • About

    This book demonstrates the rich and varied ways in which heavy metal music draws on the ancient Greek and Roman world. Bands including Italy’s Stormlord and Heimdall, Greece’s Kawir, Switzerland’s Eluveitie and Celtic Frost, Norway’s Theatre of Tragedy, Sweden’s Therion, Germany’s Blind Guardian, Canada’s Ex Deo and the UK’s Iron Maiden and Bal-Sagoth are shown to draw inspiration from classical literature and mythology such as Homer’s Iliad, Virgil’s Aeneid and Caesar’s Gallic Wars and from historical peoples such as the Scythians, ancient Egypt and Roman emperors. 

    These interactions are often concerned with the nature of paganism, the occult and barbarism, nationalism, the conflict between East and West, as well as developing powerful evocations of brutality and femininity. The contributors frequently weave in comparisons with the reception of antiquity in painting and literature to show how the genre of heavy metal brings its own perspectives to classical reception but also shows strands of continuity of practice. They show how this musical genre – often dismissed as lowbrow – engages in sophisticated dialogue with ancient texts, myths, and historical figures, revealing aspects of Classics’ continued appeal while also arguing that the engagement with myth and history is a defining characteristic of heavy metal music, especially in countries that were once part of the Roman Empire.

  • Table of contents

    List of Illustrations

    Introduction: Where Metal and Classics Meet
    1. Vergil’s Aeneid and Nationalism in Italian Metal 
    2. Eternal Defiance: Celtic Identity and the Classical Past in Heavy Metal 
    3. Screaming Ancient Greek Hymns: The Case of Kawir and the Greek Black Metal Scene 
    4. Cassandra’s Plight: Gender, Genre, and Historical Concepts of Femininity in Goth and Power Metal 
    5. Heavy Metal Dido: Heimdall’s “Ballad of the Queen” 
    6. A Metal monstrum: Ex Deo’s Caligula 
    7. Occult and Pulp Visions of Greece and Rome in Heavy Metal 
    8. “When the Land was Milk and Honey and Magic was Strong and True”: Edward Said, Ancient Egypt, and Heavy Metal 
    9. Coda: Some Trends in Metal’s Use of Classical Antiquity 


  • Reviews

    • “The editors have put together an engaging volume with many thoughtful contributions. Contributors are a good mix of early career and senior scholars, and there is an almost equal gender distribution. As a teaching-oriented bonus, Fletcher and Umurhan make suggestions for a heavy metal playlist for undergraduate courses in Classical Epic and Greek and Roman History. I trust that the scholarly community cannot help but to hear the plea for more research in this direction; we shall see who heeds the call. For now, this book remains a great first point of entry for interested parties.”. Review by Christian Thrue Djurslev in Bryn Mawr Classical Review (26.6.20). Link to the review


Art Nouveau and the Classical Tradition. Cover Book
  • Title and Author

    Art Nouveau and the Classical Tradition

    Author: Richard Warren


    Bloomsbury Academic – IMAGINES

    London-Oxford-New York-New Delhi-Sidney 2017 (Paperback 2019)

    ISBN: 9781350117310

    Link to publisher

  • About

    Art Nouveau was a style for a new age, but it was also one that continued to look back to the past. This new study shows how in expressing many of their most essential concerns – sexuality, death and the nature of art – its artists drew heavily upon classical literature and the iconography of classical art. It challenges the conventional view that Art Nouveau’s adherents turned their backs on Classicism in their quest for new forms. Across Europe and North America, artists continued to turn back to the ancient world, and in particular to Greece, for the vitality with which they sought to infuse their creations.

    The works of many well-known artists are considered through this prism, including those of Gustav Klimt, Aubrey Beardsley and Louis Comfort Tiffany. But, breaking new ground in its comparative approach, this study also considers some of the movement’s less well-known painters, sculptors, jewellers and architects, including in central and eastern Europe, and their use of classical iconography to express new ideas of nationhood. Across the world, while Art Nouveau was a plural style drawing on multiple influences, the Classics remained a key artistic vocabulary for its artists, whether blended with Orientalist and other iconographies, or preserving the purity of classical form.

  • Table of contents

    List of Illustrations

    1. Re-birth
    2. Muse
    3. Hero
    4. Bloom
    5. Desire
    6. Nation
    7. Death

    Select Bibliography

  • Reviews

    “This book vividly brings to light Art Nouveau artists’ turning to, and transformation of, classical sources in order to express life’s vitality in modern ways while coping with the anxious anticipation of a new era.” –  Marice Rose, Associate Professor of Art History, Fairfield University, USA

    “Offers a provocative re-assessment of Art Nouveau’s engagement with classical antiquity. Warren’s ground-breaking study examines afresh a deeply misunderstood chapter in the reception of the classics in the visual arts.” –  Anastasia Bakogianni, Lecturer in Classical Studies, Massey University, New Zealand

Sailing in troubled waters. cover book
  • Title and editor

    Ancient Mediterranean Sea in Modern Visual and Performing Arts. Sailing in Troubled Waters

    Editor: Rosario Rovira Guardiola


    Blomsbury Academic – IMAGINES

    London-Oxford-New York-New Delhi-Sidney 2017 (Paperback 2019)

    ISBN: 9781350117242

    Link to publisher

  • About

    When thinking about the Mediterranean, Fernand Braudel’s haunting words resound like an echo of the sea and its millenary history. From Prehistory until today, the Mediterranean has been setting, witness and protagonist of mythical adventures, of encounters with the Other, of battles and the rise and fall of cultures and empires, of the destinies of humans. Braudel’s appeal for a long durée history of the Mediterranean challenged traditional views that often present it as a sea fragmented and divided through periods.

    This volume proposes a journey into the bright and dark sides of the ancient Mediterranean through the kaleidoscopic gaze of artists who from the Renaissance to the 21st century have been inspired by its myths and history. The view of those who imagined and recreated the past of the sea has largely contributed to the shaping of modern cultures which are inexorably rooted and embedded in Mediterranean traditions. The contributions look at modern visual reinterpretations of ancient myths, fiction and history and pay particular attention to the theme of sea travel and travellers, which since Homer’s Odyssey has become the epitome of the discovery of new worlds, of cultural exchanges and a metaphor of personal developments and metamorphoses.

  • Table of contents

    List of Contributors
    List of Illustrations

    Rosario Rovira Guardiola, The British Museum, UK

    The Mediterranean as a Geographical Space

    1. Roman Adriatic ports and the antiquarian tradition
    Federico Ugolini

    2. Chronotopes of Hellenic antiquity: The Strait of Reggio and Messina in documents from the Grand Tour era
    Marco Benoît Carbone

    3. The Eternal Words of the Latin Sea: Fedra by Mur Oti
    Francisco Salvador Ventura, Universidad de Granada, Spain

    Living and Dying in Troubled Waters

    4. Quod mare non novit, quae nescit Ariona tellus? (Ov. Fast. II,83)
    Dorit Engster, University of Göttingen, Germany

    5. Ulysses in the cinema: the example of Nostos, il ritorno (Franco Piavoli, Italy 1990)
    Óscar Lapeña Marchena, Universidad de Cádiz, Spain

    6. A sea of metal plates: images of the Mediterranean from the XVIIIth century until post-modern theatre
    Sotera Fornaro, Università di Sassari, Italy

    7. Sailors on Board, Heroes en Route. From the Aegean World to Modern Stage
    Erika Notti and Martina Treu, Università IULM – Milano, Italy

    A Personal Sea. The Artist and the Sea

    8. Ancient Seas in Modern Opera: Sea Images and Mediterranean Myths in Rihm’s Dionysos
    Jesús Carruesco, Universitat Rovira I Virgili, Tarragona, Spain and Montserrat Reig, Catalan Institute of Classical Archaeology, Tarragona, Spain

    9. A mirror to see your soul. The exile of Ovid in Eugene Delacroix’s painting
    Rosario Rovira Guardiola, The British Museum, UK

    10. Cinematic Romans and the Mediterrranean Sea
    Cecilia Ricci, Università degli Studi del Molise, Italy

    Sea Politics

    11. Changing their sky, not their soul. Lawrence Alma-Tadema’s vision of the ancient Mediterranean
    Quentin Broughall, Independent scholar

    12. The image of Phoenicians and Carthaginians in Modern Spanish History and Culture
    Antonio Duplá Ansuategui, Univ. País Vasco/Euskal Herriko Unibertsitatea, Spain

    13. Screening the Battle of Actium. Naval Victory, Erotic Tragedy, and the Birth of an Empire
    Monica Silveira Cyrino, University of New Mexico, USA

    Contemporary Uses of the Classical Mediterranean

    14. Troubled Waters: Performative imaginary in the Project PI – Pequena Infância
    Sofia de Carvalho, Elisabete Cação and Ana Seiça Carvalho, University of Coimbra – CECH, Portugal


    15. Nem Gregos nem Troianos
    José Bandeira


  • Reviews

    “I do not hesitate to recommend the book warmly to anyone interested in up-to-date knowledge about a broad range of topics related to the representation of ancient cultural tradition in contemporary visual and performing arts.” –  Bryn Mawr Classical Review

    Link to BMCR review (09.2018)

    “With its clever thematic foci and its wide geographical scope, this book makes an outstanding addition to the series Imagines – Classical Receptions in the Visual and Performing Arts. Readers of all levels will appreciate the strong thematic units and the harmonious blending of textual analysis with visual documentation and with evidence drawn from diverse performative contexts.” –  Gonda Van Steen, Cassas Chair in Greek Studies, University of Florida, USA

    “This book sets sail on a wide-ranging journey – from the ancient to the modern, and back again. Chapters navigate the sea of classical reception studies, demonstrating how ancient currents have continued to direct the course of the visual and performing arts. The result will be essential reading for anyone interested in the geopolitical and cultural bonds that connect modernity to its ancient Mediterranean heritage.” –  Michael Squire, Reader in Classical Art, King’s College London, UK

Previous Publications

Imagines Series
  • Title and Editors

    Ancient Magic and the Supernatural in the Modern Visual and Performing Arts

    Edited by Filippo Carlà and Irene Berti


    Bloomsbury Publishing

    Bloomsbury Studies in Classical Reception

    London-New York 2015 (Paperback edition 2016)

    ISBN: 9781472532213

    Link to publisher

  • About

    Ancient Magic and the Supernatural in the Modern Visual and Performing Arts examines the impact of ancient religious, mythological and magical models on modern mentalities and ideologies as expressed in the visual and performing arts. To what extent did mythological figures such as Circe and Medea influence the representation of the powerful “oriental” enchantress in modern Western art? What role did the ancient gods and heroes play in the construction of the imaginary worlds of the modern fantasy genre? What is the role of undead creatures like zombies and vampires in mythological films? Looking across the millennia, from the distrust of ancient magic and oriental cults, seen as a menace by a new-born Christian religion, to the revival and adaptation of ancient myths and religion in the arts centuries later, this book offers an original analysis of the reception of ancient magic and the supernatural, across a wide variety of different media – from comics to film, from painting to opera. The authors of the essays come from different fields and countries, and aim to deconstruct certain scholarly traditions by proposing original interdisciplinary approaches and collaborations, showing to what extent the visual and performing arts of different periods interlink and shape cultural and social identities. The volume provides the reader with a clear insight into mechanisms of re-elaboration and reception which can be steadily seen at work in artistic and commercial productions. It also supplies new approaches to the most debated questions of the relationship between magic, religion and superstition in the ancient and in the modern worlds. It shows and discusses the shifting and biased interpretations of these concepts in modern visual culture.

  • Table of Contents

    1. Magic and the Supernatural: an Introduction, I. Berti and F. Carlà (Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg, Germany, University of Exeter, UK)
    2. Gods and Demons in Texts: Figures and Symbols of the Defixion Inscriptions of the Nymphaeum of Anna Perenna at Rome, J. Blänsdorf (Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz, Germany)
    3. Imaging Magic, Imaging Thinking: The Transmission of Greek Drama from Sophocles to Crimp, L. Hardwick (The Open University, UK)
    4. Celtic Magic and Rituals in The War Lord (F. Schaffner, 1965), D. Campanile (Università degli Studi di Pisa, Italy)
    5. Witch, Sorceress, Enchantress: Magic and Women from the Ancient World to the Present Time, G. Rocca and M. Treu (IULM Milano, Italy)
    6. Circe diva. The Reception of Circe in the Baroque Opera (17th Century), M. J. Castillo Pascual (Universidad de La Rioja, Spain)
    7. Medea, a Greek Sorceress in Modern Opera and Ballet: from Barber to Reimann, M. Reig and J. Carruesco (Universitat de Barcelona, Spain, Universitat Rovira i Virgili, Spain)
    8. Colchian Pharmaka: The Colours of Medea in 19th Century Painting in France and England, A. Grand-Clément and C. Ribeyrol (Université de Toulouse II – Le Mirail, France, Université Paris IV – Sorbonne, France)
    9. Canidia and Erichtho, C. Walde (Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz, Germany)
    10. Project(ion) Wonder Woman – Metamorphoses of a Superheroine, M. Gindhart and A. Gietzen (Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz, Germany)
    11. Ancient Horrors – Cinematic Antiquity and the Undead, M. Lindner (Georg-August-Universität Göttingen, Germany)
    12. The Phoenix, the Werewolf and the Centaur. The Reception of Mythical Beasts in the Harry Potter Novels and Their Film Adaptions, D. Hofmann (Universität zu Köln, Germany)
    13. Theoi becoming Kami. Classical Mythology in the Anime World, M. G. Castello and C. Scilabra (Università degli Studi di Torino, Italy)
    14. Every Pony Has a Story: Revisions of Greco-Roman Mythology in My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, Priscilla Hobbs (Pacifica Graduate Institute, USA)
    15. The Depraved Devotion of Elagabalus. Images of the Priest-Emperor in the Visual and Performing Arts, M. Icks (Queen’s University Belfast, UK)
    16. Women and Religion in the Epic Films: The Fifties’ Advocate for Conversion and Today’s Pillar of Paganism?, A. Wieber (Westfalen-Kolleg Dortmund, Germany)
  • Reviews

    Book endorsements (Bloomsbury)

     “This extraordinary collection marks a major development in the field of reception studies, as it uncovers the persistent ambiguity of classical antiquity in the modern imagination as not only the glittering paradigm of Western rational thought but also the dark wellspring of enigmatic and dangerous forces.” –  Monica S. Cyrino, Professor of Classics, University of New Mexico, USA,

    “This rich and diverse collection is a powerful reminder that the legacy of antiquity resides not just in a set of comfortable ideals, but that it lurks in some of the darkest and most irrational parts of our imagination. When we dream of the fabulous, the wicked, the monstrous, and the heroic, we are inevitably drawn to figures and motifs drawn from the classical world. As this book shows, we cannot resist these ancient enchantments.” –  Alastair J.L. Blanshard, Paul Eliadis Professor of Classics and Ancient History, The University of Queensland, Australia.



Seduction and Power cover
  • Title and Editors

    Seduction and Power: Antiquity in the Visual and Performing Arts

    Edited by Silke Knippschild and Marta García Morcillo


    Bloomsbury Academic

    London-New Delhi-New York-Sydney 2013 (Paperback 2015)

    ISBN: 9781441177469

    Link to publisher
  • About

    This volume focuses on the reception of antiquity in the performing and visual arts from the Renaissance to the twenty-first century. It explores the tensions and relations of gender, sexuality, eroticism and power in reception. Such universal themes dictated plots and characters of myth and drama, but also served to portray historical figures, events and places from Classical history. Their changing reception and reinterpretation across time has created stereotypes, models of virtue or immoral conduct, that blend the original features from the ancient world with a diverse range of visual and performing arts of the modern era.The volume deconstructs these traditions and shows how arts of different periods interlink to form and transmit these images to modern audiences and viewers. Drawing on contributions from across Europe and the United States, a trademark of the book is the inclusive treatment of all the arts beyond the traditional limits of academic disciplines.   Buy the book HERE
  • Table of Contents

    Part 1: Ancient Western Asia 1. Woman on top? Women’s suffrage and the power of the ‘oriental woman’ – Silke Knippschild 2. Power, sin and seduction in Babylon – the case of Verdi’s Nabucco – Michael Seymour  3. Jewel-in-the-belly-button orientalism in Oliver Stone’s Alexander – Lloyd Llewellyn-Jones   Part 2: Greece 4. Helen, Penelope and Dido in Rossi’s Odissea and Eneide – Martin Winkler 5. Dark ladies, bad girls, demon queens: female power and seduction from Greek tragedy to pop culture – Martina Treu 6. Trojan lovers and warriors – Eric Shanower 7. Film genres in cinematic adaptations of Greek tragedy – Pantelis Michelakis 8. Circe in literature and art of the Renaissance – Irene Berti 9. The erotics of power in Coca’s Ifigenia – Maite Clavo 10. ‘Prince of painters’: the grimacing mask of power and seduction in Aristophanes’ The Assemblywomen – Maddalena Giovannelli and Andrea Capra 11. Myth and tragedy in opera staging in the 21st century – Montserrat Reig and Jesus Carruesco 12. Isadora Duncan, Russian ballet and the seduction of Minoan Crete – Nicoletta Momigliano 13. Nelly and the nudes on the Athenian Acropolis in the Fascist era – Constantina Katsari 14. The lure of the hermaphrodite for the English Aesthetes – Charlotte Ribeyrol   Part 3: Rome 15. The stolen seduction – Oscar Lapena 16. The great seducer – Cleopatra, queen and sex symbol – Francisco Pina Polo 17. Seduced, defeated and forever damned – Marc Antony in post-Classical imagery – Marta Garcia Morcillo 18. Caligula in pop culture – Martin Lindner 19. The reputation of Agrippina the Younger – Mary R. McHugh 20. Hadrian, Antinous and the power of seduction – Charo Rivera 21. Saint or prostitute? – the reception of empress Theodora – Filippo Carla 22. History, moral and power – the ancient world in 19th century Spanish art – Antonio Dupla
  • Reviews

    “Readers interested in the future of reception studies should bookmark the Project’s webpage and stay tuned.” –  Genevieve S. Gessert, Hood College, USA, Bryn Mawr Classical Review

    “This is an exceptionally lively and thought-provoking collection by an international team of scholars from the Imagines research project. The case studies bring evidence from an impressive range of examples into dialogue with the central themes of seduction and power, revealing in the process how power is itself a seductive force. Every reader will encounter something new. The editors’ concluding discussion explores how the individual essays combine to provide a map of the relationships between antiquity and the histories of the visual and performing arts.” –  Lorna Hardwick, The Open University, UK,

    “Seduction challenges conventional relations of power, thus undermining tradition and leading to unexpected turns and dramas. This explains the fascination with this subject throughout the centuries. Some of the ancient seduction stories and their reception studied in this volume are familiar, others are not, but all of them are interesting. By focusing on the relation between seduction and power this volume makes an original contribution not only to reception studies but also to the diachronic study of gender and emotion.” –  Angelos Chaniotis, Professor of Ancient History and Classics, Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, USA,

    “Silke Knippschild and Marta García Morcillo have brought together a remarkable company of leading scholars and inspiring new voices who explore how the persistent liaison between seduction and power is richly exposed in modern receptions of the myths, histories, and images emanating from the ancient world. In case studies extending from the Renaissance to the present day, in a variety of media from the performing and visual arts, the contributors to this volume reveal with compelling clarity and scholarly insight how the power of seduction continues to be wielded by ancient cultures, as their essays unpack the enduring fascination exerted by the charismatic men and alluring women of antiquity upon later artists and performers. This impressive collection represents an important contribution to the field of reception studies, since it offers an unfettered glimpse into our own fantasies and projections about the power and eroticism so often and so intimately linked with the ancient world.” –  Monica S. Cyrino, Professor of Classics, University of New Mexico, USA,

    “This collection of essays is the second publication to emerge from the innovative Imagines Project, a think tank of European scholars and practitioners devoted to the study of classical reception in the diverse media of the visual and performing arts. The impact and importance of the volume must instead be considered in conjunction with the entire output of the Imagines Project. . The fact that reception organically inspires innovative delivery strategies testifies to the seductive nature of the subject matter and the methodologies for its study, and to the powerful potential of the Imagines Project. Readers interested in the future of reception studies should bookmark the Project’s webpage and stay tuned.” –  Genevieve S. Gessert, Bryn Mawr Classical Review

Imagines I cover

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