Topics course. Same as ARS 280 Since the beginning of cinema, the decadence of the ancient Romans has been a subject of fascination. Starting with HBO's Rome (2005-2007) and Ridley Scott?s Gladiator (2000), we'll explore the multiple sources of the visual tropes used to construct this universe and seek to analyze it in aesthetic, historical, and ideological terms. Their twentieth-century counterparts from films of the silent era to Hollywood epics like Spartacus (1960) and Cleopatra (1963) as well as cult classics like Caligula (1979) will be scrutinized in order to gain an understanding of how the Romans functioned cinematically as cultural signs in varying historical contexts. Enrollment limited to 20.