Classical Antiquity: Golden Ages, Silver Screens, Bronze Armor, Iron Men

Golden Ages: Styles and Personalities, Genres and Histories
The 2014 Film & History Conference

From Hesiod to Ovid, the concept of the “golden age” is familiar to scholars of classical antiquity, whence it became a common trope in Western culture. While always ideal, different authors ascribe various criteria to the “golden age”: human closeness to divinity; absence of corrupting technologies; flourishing of culture; apogee of peace, but also power. This “golden” quality is often identified in retrospect, entailing not only celebration but also deterioration, secondarity, belatedness, nostalgia—or even hope of its eventual return or recovery.

The cultural authority still granted to classical antiquity has also rendered it “golden” for artistic, political, and financial reasons. Newly ascendant ideologies have used classical antiquity as a forum for reinforcing or challenging the status quo in various historical periods (e.g. Kubrick’s Spartacus as a medium for a “golden age” of progressive politics in the mid-twentieth century). New technologies have been employed to make that ancient “golden age” of narrative inventiveness ever more vivid for new audiences (e.g. Wrath of the Titans; Pompeii; the BBC’s Atlantis).

This area invites 20-minute papers dealing with all aspects of the relationship between the concept of a “golden age” and classical antiquity. Topics for papers submitted to this area may include (but are not limited to):

Proposals for complete panels (three related presentations) are also welcome, so long as they include an abstract and contact information (including e-mail address) for each presenter. For updates and registration information about the upcoming meeting, see the Film & History website (

Please e-mail your 200-word proposal by 1 June 2014, to the area chair:

Meredith Safran
Trinity College


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