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Rome and Epic Cinema - Essay Example

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Summary
While Hollywood films try to provide an accurate depiction of ancient Rome, their depictions only get half the story. The fact that only the story of the upper classes of these societies is displayed shows the bias that Hollywood filmmakers have against the common people of these civilizations…
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Rome and Epic Cinema

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The depiction of ancient Rome in Hollywood films has often remained loyal to the description of these two civilizations provided by the scholars of the middle Ages. These two civilizations are often considered the golden age of European civilization and because of this, in many Hollywood films, only the positive aspects of them are displayed. In addition, when one considers the fact that the Roman Empire was based not only in the cities but also in the rural areas, since without the latter the empire would not have lasted for long. It seems that most film directors often avoid showing these areas, ignoring the fact that they were an integral part of the life of those times. In fact, Rome is often depicted the same way in almost all the films concerning it and this tends to be based on research concerning the life of the upper classes of Roman society. The Hollywood films tend to be united in depicting this civilization as having been extremely martial and it is only on rare occasions where one will not have a war or some sort of conflict resulting in bloodshed being depicted on the films (Wyke, 1997).
Despite the fact that many Hollywood films try to show ancient Rome as having been the golden age of European civilization, in line with the beliefs of medieval scholars, one of the most accurate displays of these civilizations tends to be the institution of slavery. Slavery was an integral part of the lives of Ancient Rome and it is a fact that at least more than half of the populations of these civilizations was made up of slaves. ...
There were unskilled slaves many of who had been condemned to slavery as punishment, or had been captured in war, and these were given very hard tasks to perform such as working on farms, in the mines or at mills and their living conditions tended to be very brutal and this made their life expectancy very low. It can therefore be said that slavery in ancient Rome was a part of its everyday life and that this institution is one of the core pillars, which kept this state running (Malamud, 2008). Many Hollywood films have remained loyal to the depictions of slavery in these ancient civilizations and in some cases, directors often go the extra mile to show just how much the slaves of these civilizations were treated. A most vivid description of this in current times has been in the television series Spartacus: Blood and Sand. In the Hollywood films, this civilization is often depicted as having been extremely martial not only at a national level but also at a domestic level. In ancient Rome, for example, one of the most praiseworthy forms of martial endeavors by the Rome that has often been depicted in films was that made by Julius Caesar during the wars that he made against the Gauls in his attempt to conquer them and bring them into the Roman Empire. In Rome, the martial feats of its citizens are often displayed through gladiatorial encounters and this is most accurately displayed in the film Gladiator. As depicted in the series Spartacus, slaves were acquired through the warfare made by its army, which always brought back captives in their hundreds and thousands from each war that they went to fight in. Many of these wars were wars of expansion in which the defeated enemies ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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