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Michigan State University

Classical Studies: Documentary Films


A collection of classical studies documentaries.

If you are interested in classical studies feature films, either click on the tab at the top or click here.

Faculty Services

Video Digitization

Faculty may request hard copy videos be digitized for course distribution on ANGEL.

  1. Secure copyright permissions by submitting a request to the MSU Libraries Copyright Permissions Center.
  2. Contact Interactive Video Services with your request.  They will need to see the copyright permission before digitizing.

Course Reserves

Faculty may place videos on course reserve.  This will keep videos intended for course use in the library for student viewing.  Faculty may be able to arrange special permission to check out the reserved video for a classroom showing by contacting the DMC.

Want to Suggest Another Film?

Feel free to recommend your favorite documentary or feature film for acquisition by the library.   Send an email to Amanda Tickner at atickner@msu

Better yet the Library will be happy to accept donations and they are tax deductible too! 

Selected Documentary Films, A-E

Alexander the Great / Cromwell.  West Long Branch, NJ : Kultur, [1996?]  1 DVD videodisc (50 min.) : sound, color ; 4 3/4 in. ROVI Movie Collection : Alexander the Great was one of the most remarkable kings of the ancient world and is still recognized as a true military genius.

Alexander the Great / Selmur Productions ; executive producer, Selig J. Seligman ; producer, Albert McCleery ; director, Phil Karlson ; writers, Robert Pirosh, William Yates.  Eugene, Ore : Marathon Music & Video : Distributed by Entertainment Dist., [2004].  1 DVD videodisc (134 min.) : sound, color & black and white ; 4 3/4 in. ROVI Movie Collection : Recreation of the battle of Issus (333 B.C.) in which Alexander the Great's forces met with the Persian Army.

Alexander the Great and His SuccessorsThe Teaching Company/The Great Courses, 2010.   Streaming video via Kanopy : Alexander the Great's conquests of the Near East introduced Greek culture to the Holy Land. Professor Magness uses archaeological findings: including the personal belongings of murdered Samaritans and the remains of towers at an ancient fortification: to illustrate the profound influences of Alexander and his successors.

Alexander the Great and the Devastating Catapult, also listed as Man, Moment, Machine: Alexander the Great and the Devastating Catapult.

Alexander the Great : Footsteps in the SandLos Angeles, CA : Delta Entertainment, [2004]  1 DVD videodisc (89 min.) : sound, color ; 4 3/4 in.  ROVI Movie Collection : This videodisc chronicles the life of Alexander the Great from his youth to the battlefield.

Alexander the Great Goes East.  The Teaching Company/The Great Courses, 2011.  Streaming video via Kanopy : With the successful invasion of the western Persian Empire, Philip's son successfully carried out his father's plan. Alexander the Great would then create his own path, and you follow him along the route of the greatest sustained conquest the world had yet seen.

Alexander the Great : Modern Myth, Classic Legend / director, Liam Dale. [United States] : Total Content, 2006.  videodisc (1 hr.) : sound, color ; 4 3/4 in.  ROVI Movie Collection :

Alexander the Great : Myth and Reality / Supervision Features and TV Productions.  West Long Branch, N.J. : Kultur, 2004.  3 DVD videodiscs (180 min.) : sound, color ; 4 3/4 in. ROVI Movie Collection : Filmed over two years in Greece, Turkey, Syria, Egypt and Iran, this three-hour documentary sheds light on the exciting life and achievements of Alexander the Great. Through ancient writings, world renowned historians and archaeologists present the story of one of the most famous figures of all time.

Alexander the Great : the Man Behind the Legend / National Geographic Television & Film ; produced and written by Helen Fitzwilliam. Burbank, CA : Distributed by Warner Home Video, 2004.  1 DVD videodisc (60 min.) : sound, color ; 4 3/4 in.  ROVI Movie Collection : A journey behind the mists and myths of history to reveal the real Alexander the Great, using re-creations and academic insight.

Ancient Civilizations  / produced by Questar, Inc.  [Chicago] : Distributed by Questar, c2004.  6 DVD videodiscs (ca. 565 min.) : sd., col. ; 4 3/4 in.  CB311 .A535 2004 VideoDVD  1-6 : Vol. 1. Rome and Pompeii (120 min.) -- v. 2. Athens and ancient Greece (120 min.) -- v. 3. The Land of the Pharaohs (120 min.) -- v. 4. Fall of the Aztec and Maya empires (65 min.) -- v. 5. Gladiators: blood sport of the Colosseum (90 min.) -- v. 6. Cleopatra: the first woman of power (90 min.).  Includes 'bonus programs': Faith unconquered: the Roman persecution of early Christians (disc 1) -- Atlantis: In search of a lost conti  ntent (disc 2) -- Touring Egypt (disc 3) -- The Maya: temples, tombs & time (disc 4).

Ancient Egypt : modern medicine / hosted by Michael Guillen.  New York, NY : A&E Television Networks, 2011.  1 streaming video file (54 min.) from Health and Society in Video.  :  More than 5,000 years ago, the ancient Egyptians were practicing medicine with a mastery and sophistication on par with today s top health care providers.  Now, WHERE DID IT COME FROM? journeys into the past to explore the amazing medical achievements from the age of the pharaohs. With host Michael Guillen, step inside the temple at Kom Ombo, where wall carvings of surgical instruments dating back to 2500 BC can be clearly seen. Compare ancient antibiotics and early medical equipment with the best of today, and discover the fascinating precursors to modern medical breakthroughs, including complex surgery, prescription medicine, and fertility treatments.  From high-level dream analysis to remarkably accurate pregnancy testing, HISTORYTM presents a captivating look at how this progressive civilization helped to shape modern medicine.

Ancient Egypt Unearthed  /  [United States] : Discovery Communications Inc. ; Chatsworth, CA : Distributed by Image Entertainment, [2009]  2 DVD videodiscs (525 min.)  DT83 .A63 2009 VideoDVD  :  Take a journey down the mighty Nile, back through time, and uncover ancient Egypt's long-lost mysteries.  Contents : Egypt uncovered -- Egypt's ten greatest discoveries -- Secrets of Egypt's lost queen -- Why ancient Egypt fell -- Women Pharaohs.

Ancient Greece  / Cromwell Productions ; Eagle Rock Entertainment.  Princeton, NJ : Films for the Humanities & Sciences, c1999. 1 VHS videocassette (47 min.)  DF78 .A53 1999 Videocassette : Beginning with Homer's account of the Trojan War, this program re-creates the Greek world to provide insight into the daily lives of Greek citizens.

The Ancient Olympics  : Athletes, Games & Heroes, A Lecture / a lecture by David Gilman Romano.  Cincinnati, Ohio : Institute for Mediterranean Studies, c1996.  1 VHS videocassette (ca. 55 min.) : sd., col. ; 1/2 in. + 1 glossary sheet.  GV23 .A52 1996 Videocassette : Romano, an archaeololgist with a background as an athlete and coach of track and field, gives a history, dating back to mythological times, of the origins of modern athletic competition, including triumphs, scandals and traditions of that time.

Ancient Rome Anthology[New York] : Arts & Entertainment Network : Distributed by New Video, [2012]  6 videodiscs (11 hr., 3 min.) : sound, color ; 4 3/4 in.  ROVI Movie Collection : Episodes originally broadcast on the History Channel.

Disc 1. Spartacus ; The gothic invasion of Rome ; Hail Caesar! ; Herman the German : "We explore four significant battles in Roman history and the people and events surrounding them. Spartacus tells the famous story of the slave and gladiator with a famous gift for leadership, who led a massive slave revolt against Rome at the height of her power. In Hail Caesar!, Julius Caesar, leader of the Roman troops, goes head to head with Gnaeus Pompey, champion of the Senate, after years of pursuing one another. It's Roman vs. Roman for control of the empire, Herman the German covers perhaps the most brutal battle for Rome, in which the Romans were betrayed by the patrician leader Arminius. They were led into the middle of a dense forest and ambushed in a slaughter that lasted three whole days and killed ten percent of their fighting force. In The Gothic Invasion of Rome, it's 378 AD, and the Roman Empire is crumbling. The once mighty power is now split in two, and the barbarians are literally at the gates, set for another and perhaps final gruesome clash."

Disc 2. Cannae ; Crassus: rich man, poor man ; Boudicca: warrior queen ; Birth of the Roman empire : "The battle for power continues...Watch Carthaginian general Hannibal inflict one of the greatest defeats ever on the forces of Rome. With troops numbering far less than the Roman army's eight legions, Hannibal nonetheless manages a double envelopment of the Roman forces to kill them all. And Crassus may have been the richest man in Rome, but he was the poor relation in the First Triumvirate. His vanity cost him the lives of seven legions, his son, and his own head. And in the farthest flung province of the Roman Empire, Britain, a warrior queen named Boudicca leads one of the most violent rebellions against Roman domination in British history. And last, but certainly not least, witness the classic conflict between two dominant military systems of the Ancient World. On one side, the Macedonian phalanx, the fighting force that conquered the world under Alexander the Great, and on the other, the Roman Legion, the unit that was to hold the Pax Romana for hundreds of years."

Disc 3. Julius Caesar ; Caligula: 1400 days of terror ; Constantine : "An understanding of Ancient Rome wouldn't be complete without including Julius Caesar, Caligula and Constantine. Their names are legend, their actions infamous, and their wanton lust for power seemingly endless. With dramatic re-enactments and action-packed battle scenes, you'll see Julius Caesar and Constantine at work in an attempt to achieve and maintain greatness at any cost. And Caligula...well, they say he was insane. He killed on a whim and was one of the most feared and powerful men in the ancient world."

Disc 4. Rome: engineering an empire : "The Roman Empire was once an insignificant pastoral settlement. But over the course of a few hundred years, it rose to become the most powerful empire in world history. It has left a permanent imprint of its material and cultural achievements. At the top of the list: its engineering feats. Using advanced CGI imagery, this special explores the Roman engineering marvels that reveal the ingenuity of their builders and the vision of their leaders."

Disc 5. Roman roads: paths to empires ; The incredible monuments of Rome : "Rome was often a complex combination of the glorious and the outrageous, the dazzling and the lewd, the majestic and the shockingly brutal. Nowhere is this seen more than through its monuments. There were splendid arenas where no form of torture was deemed too cruel, places of worship where the gods were honored with shocking ritualistic sacrifices, and pleasure palaces where wanton sexual depravity was encouraged. There was also its spectacular highway system, built on the backs of conquered cultures. But could this brilliant achievement have paved the road to ruin by leading its enemies straight to its heart?"

Disc 6. Rome's hidden empire ; The catacombs of Rome ; Ancient Rome and it's mysterious cities. : "In Rome, the past meets the present on every block and under every street. Rome's underground is filled with evidence of life during the empire, and all of Rome's most infamous rulers left remnants of their reign underground. Join host Eric Geller as he discovers what life was like during Nero's tyranny and Augustus reforms in Rome's hidden empire. And go deeper into the ancient city where a labyrinth of dark tunnels and arcane ritual chambers entombed pagans. Christians and Jews for hundreds of years in The Catacombs of Rome. Finally, discover how the Romans used the wealth and knowledge of previous societies, like the Greeks and Etruscans, to create a secure structure to unite a multitude of different cultures. Ancient Rome and its Mysterious Cities uncovers the secrets and hidden treasures of Rome's mysterious ancient cities."

Ancient Rome / Eagle Rock Entertainment ; Cromwell Productions ; written by Ruth Wood ; produced by Vanessa Tovell.  Princeton, NJ : Films for the Humanities, c1999.  1 VHS videocassette (47 min.) DG77 .A53 1999 Videocassette : Scholars discuss the unification of Europe under the Romans, the military structure and tactics that allowed them to conquer much of Western Europe, and the cultural and social aspects of Rome before the empire collapsed in 476 A.D.

Ancients Behaving Badly / co-produced by Blink Films and Yap Films ; in association with History, Canwest Broadcasting, and ITV Global Entertainment.  [United States] : A & E Television Networks : Distributed by New Video, [2010]  2 videodiscs (376 min.) : sound, color ; 4 3/4 in.  ROVI Movie Collection : Disc 1. Caligula ; Attila the Hun ; Julius Caesar ; Alexander the Great -- disc 2. Nero ; Hannibal ; Genghis Khan ; Cleopatra. They employed a brutality which is staggering by today's standards. A fresh look at some of the world's most fascinating, iconic, and truly ruthless leaders, how they came to power and stayed in power, how they treated their subjects, friends and family, demonstrated battlefield leadership and achieved transformations at home.  Originally broadcast as individual episodes on the History Channel in 2009.

Athens and Ancient Greece (120 min.), see Ancient Civilizations.

Athens : the Dawn of Democracy / a production of Lion Television Production for Channel 4 ; director, Timothy Copestake ; producers, Sophia Roberts and Rowan Deacon.  [United States] : Lion Television : Distributed by PBS Home Video, c2007.  1 DVD videodisc (ca. 120 min.) : sd., col. ; 4 3/4 in.  DF277 .A844 2007 VideoDVD : Historian Bettany Hughes goes on search of the real truth about democratic Athens, 2500 years ago. It has been revered as the birthplace of philosophy, art, science and the greatest political idea of all time; democracy.

The Barbarian General / directed by Rex Plano.  New York : A&E Television Networks, 2008.  48 minutes.   Streaming video via World History in Video.  :  By the end of the fourth century, Romans and barbarians live together uneasily in the empire, a situation that often explodes into violence. When Emperor Theodosius enlists the Goths as mercenaries, he relies on his trusted general, the half Vandal, half Roman Stilicho, to ensure the Goths loyalty.

Barbarians II  / The History Channel. / New York : A&E Home Video : Distributed by New Video, 2007.  2 videodiscs (ca. 188 min.) : sd., col. ; 4 3/4 in.  D135 .B37335 2007 VideoDVD   : At its peak, the Roman Empire feared nothing in Heaven or on Earth. Perhaps they should have paid closer attention to the pagan rabble.  Coming in waves from the dark forests of Europe, the hordes drove the mighty empire to its knees. Relentless, unmerciful and united only in their hatred for Rome, each of these warrior tribes - Vandals, Saxons, Franks and Lombards - had its own violent agenda, dark rites, savage tactics, and secret weapons. The second collection from this acclaimed series from THE HISTORY CHANNEL® follows these four fearsome tribes as they cut a swath of destruction through the heart of the Roman world. Barbarians II recreates the world of these invaders through breathtaking stunts, large-scale battle reenactments, and a fast-paced, exciting narrative.  Horde covered include: (1) THE VANDALS: Ranging far from their roots in Germany, these power-hungry pagans swept through Spain, then across North Africa, and eventually to the gates of Rome itself; (2) THE SAXONS: Watch this Germanic horde ravage the British coast, destroy Roman defenses and plunder monasteries in an orgy of pagan worship, then turn to confront their barbarian brothers in a bloody battle for power and land; (3) THE FRANKS: Witness the birth of a barbarian empire as the Franks, led by Merovich - the legendary warrior said to be half-man, half-monster - descend upon Gaul, cutting a swath of devastation and conquering both the Roman and Visigoth armies: (4) THE LOMBARDS: The ferocious tribe partial to severing their foes' heads and stealing their women. Their brutal leader, Alboin, overcame Roman defenses, surrounded The Eternal City, and forced a captured foe's wife to drink from her slain father's skull.

Byzantium  : the Lost Empire / an ABTV production for The Learning Channel in association with IBIS Films and Channel Four Television ; series producer, Nicholas Barton ; written by John Romer ; co-writer, Elizabeth Romer ; series director, Derek Towers.  Port Washington, N.Y. : Koch Vision, [2007]  2 DVD videodiscs (208 min.)  DR481 .B99 2007 VideoDVD  :  For more than 1,000 years, the Byzantine Empire was the eye of the entire world. The origin of great literature, fine art, and modern government, it was also the first Christian empire. Pass through the gates of Constantinople, explore the magnificent mosque of Hagia Sophia and see the looted treasures of the empire now located in St. Marks, Venice.

Cleopatra: the First Woman of Power (90 min.), see Ancient Civilizations

Colosseum : A Gladiator's Story, see Pompeii : The Last Day.

Colosseum : Roman Death Trap / PBS.  2015.  54 minutes.  Available as streaming video via Kanopy : The Colosseum is a monument to Roman imperial power and cruelty. Its graceful lines and harmonious proportions concealed a highly efficient design and advanced construction methods that made hundreds of arches out of 100,000 tons of stone. In its elliptical arena, tens of thousands of gladiators, slaves, prisoners and wild animals met their deaths. Ancient texts report lions and elephants emerging from beneath the floor, as if by magic, to ravage gladiators and people condemned to death.  Then, just as quickly, the Colosseum could be flooded with so much water that ships could engage in sea battles. Could these legends be true? Now, with access to one of the world's most protected world heritage sites, archaeologists and engineers team up to re-create ancient Roman techniques to build a 25-foot lifting machine and trap-door system capable of releasing a wolf into the Colosseum's arena for the first time in 1,500 years.

The Dark Ages  / A&E Television Networks ; [presented by] The History Channel ; produced by KPI ; produced, written and directed by Christopher Cassel.  New York] : A&E Home Video : Distributed by New Video, c2007.  1 DVD videodisc (ca. 94 min.) : sd., col. ; 4 3/4 in. D121 .D37 2007 VideoDVD  : Between the Fall of Rome and the dawn of the Renaissance, Europe plunged into a dark night of constant war, splintered sovereignties, marauding pagans, and more. As chaos replaced culture, Europe was beset by famine, plague, persecutions, and a state of war that was so persistent it was only rarely interrupted by peace. This program covers warlords whose armies threatened to cause the demise of European society, such as Alaric, Charles the Hammer, and Clovis; and the people who valiantly tended the flames of justice, knowledge, and innovation, including Charlemagne, St. Benedict, Empress Theodora, and other brave souls who fought for peace and enlightenment.  Special features: Special feature-length documentary "The plague;" history in the making featurette: "The dark ages."

Details of Roman Life  / presented by Robert Erskine.  Princeton, N.J. : Films for the Humanities, c1991.  1 VHS videocassette (26 min.) : sd., col. ; 1/2 in. DG78 .D48 1991 Videocassette : Robert Erskine conducts viewers through rooms in the British Museum, explaining particular artifacts and discussing daily Roman life.

Egypt Unwrapped / produced by Atlantic Productions, Inc., for the National Geograhic Channel in association with Five and Fremantlemedia Enterprises. [Washington, D.C.] : National Geographic, [2014]  2 videodiscs (approximately 360 min.) : soudn, color ; 4 3/4 in. ROVI Movie Collection : From the Sphinx and the pyramids to the rules of Cleopatra and the Scorpion King, the legends and mysteries of ancient Egypt have aroused endless speculation for centuries. How were the pyramids built and why did the golden age of construction end? What agonies did the Screaming Man suffer to cause his haunting expression? Does Ramses II deserve to be remembered as Ramses the Great? National Geographic combs the ancient sands unearthing new clues in a quest to unravel Egypt's greatest mysteries.  Programs Include: The Real Ramses, The Pyramid Code, Secrets of the Sphinx, Alexander the Great's Lost Tomb, The Real Cleopatra, Secrets of the Valley of the Kings. The Scorpion King, Mystery of the Screaming Man.

Empires : t he Greeks : Crucible of Civilization /  PBS Home Video.   1 DVD videodisc  (ca. 140 min.)   DF77 .G744 1999 VideoDVD : Dramatic storytelling and state-of-the-art computer animation recreate classical Greece of the 4th and 5th centures, B.C., founder of modern science, politics, warfare, philosophy, and source of breathtaking art and architecture.  This dazzling production charts the rise, triumph, and eventual decline of the world's first democracy.  Witness it all through the eyes of Pericles, Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle.

Empires : The Roman Empire in the First Century / written by Margaret Koval ; produced and directed by Margaret Koval and Lyn Goldfarb ; produced by Goldfarb and Koval Productions in association with PBS and Devillier Donegon Enterprises.  [Alexandria, Va.] : PBS Home Video ; Hollywood, Calif. : Distributed by Paramount Home Entertainment, [2005]  1 DVD videodisc (ca. 219 min.)  DG78 .R66 2005 VideoDVD : Tells the story of the emperors, slaves, poets, and peasants who wrested order from chaos, built the most cosmopolitan society the world had ever seen, and shaped the Roman Empire in the first century.  Originally broadcast on PBS as four ca. 60 min. episodes of an Empires special in 2001.

Select Documentary Films, F-P

The Forest of Death / A&E Television Networks, LLC.  New York, N.Y. : Infobase, [2011]  45 minutes.    Streaming video via Films on Demand. : This program is an accounting of the Roman Empire's military actions across the Rhine - forays into the barbarian lands that ended with the catastrophic Battle of the Teutoburg Forest.

Frontiers of the Roman Empire = Grenzen des Römischen Reiches / Boundary Productions.  [Austria] : Boundary Productions, 2008. 1 DVD video disc (ca. 84 min.) : sd., col. ; 4 3/4 in.  DG271 .F767 2008 VideoDVD : DVD contains films about the frontiers of the Roman Empire in Europe and Jordan, including their history and function and the preservation of the historical sites. Additional content (pdf, Word, jpeg) is accessible if the DVD is used with a computer system. Word documents include a description of the Frontiers of the Roman Empire project by David J. Breeze and Sonja Jilek.

The Germanic Tribes  : the Complete Four-Part SagaWest Long Branch, NJ : Kultur, [c2003, 2002?].  2 DVD videodiscs (209 min.)  DD75 .G47 2003 VideoDVD :  Were ancient Germans simply the barbarians of the North who sacked Rome, as many believe, or was their relationship with the Romans more complex? This four-part series argues that Germanic tribes actually preserved the Roman legacy, after phases of unreported cooperation and co-existence with the empire they eventually toppled. See how the Germanic tribes lived, fought and worshipped their gods. Intricate 3D animation shows how they built their settlements, buried their kings, vanquished their enemies. Roman cities such as the ancient Cologne, home of the Romanophile Germans, and the Roman limes, the border to free Germania, are also reconstructed through computer graphics and full-cast reenactments.  Disc 1: Part 1: Barbarians against Rome and Part 2: Battle of Teutoburg Forest.   Disc 2: Part 3: Pax Romana  and Part 4: In the sign of the cross.

Gladiators: Blood Sport of the Colosseum (90 min.), see Ancient Civilizations.

Great Generals of the Ancient World / Cromwell Productions.  West Long Branch, NJ : Kultur, [2010]  3 videodiscs (approximately 150 min.) : sound, color ; 4 3/4 in.  ROVI Movie Collection : [v. 1]. History makers: Julius Caesar, the divine dictator -- [v. 2]. Hannibal and the  Punic wars -- [v. 3]. Campaigns in history: Alexander the great.    Dramatic reconstructions and commentaries by scholars and researchers show the lives of three of the greatest generals of the ancient world. Reveals their military genius, bloody battles and relentless ambition.

Greek Accomplishments / produced by Centre Communications Inc. for Ambrose Video Publishing ; producer, director, writer, Ron Meyer.  New York, NY : Ambrose Video Publishing, [2007]   Streaming video via Ambrose Film : Tells of how Greek thinkers laid the foundation for architecture, painting, sculpture, history, philosophy, medicine, literature, zoology, botany, mathematics, astronomy, theater, and finally, the western scientific methodology. Provides a history of a series of brilliant Greek thinkers from Homer in 700 B.C. to Ptolemy in 150 A.D.  Contents: Greek accomplishments -- Greek architecture -- Greek art -- Greek theatre -- Greek literature -- Greek science.

The Greek City-State and Democracy / produced by Centre Communications Inc. for Ambrose Video Publishing ; producer, director, writer, Ron Meyer.  New York, NY : Ambrose Video Publishing, [2007]   Streaming video via Ambrose Film : During the golden age of the Greek city states 2500 years ago, the ancient Greeks gave to the world something much more valuable than architectural wonders or material wealth. It was the ideas of democracy, liberty, freedom of speech and the pursuit of truth for truth's sake. Tells the story of how a group of people invented self-rule based on citizenship, at a time when they were surrounded by tyrants and despots. Explains that the invention of these concepts of self rule and citizenship is the most improbable event in all of ancient history.

Greek drama : from ritual to theater    Princeton, N.J. : Films for the Humanities & Sciences, c2001.  1 streaming video (57 min.) from Theatre Video Online. : "Why do plays well over two millennia old still speak to audiences today? This program traces Greek theater from ancient harvest rites to the golden age of Aeschylus, Sophocles, Euripides, and Aristophanes. Key scenes from Antigone, Oedipus Tyrannus, Medea, and Lysistrata show how these works remain relevant by exploring the timeless themes of honor, class, gender, sexuality, and politics. Essential concepts such as catharsis, hamartia, and the use of masks and a chorus are discussed. Scholarly commentary by Helene Foley of Barnard College, Jeffrey Henderson of Boston University, Princeton University's Robert Fagles, and Peter Meineck of NYU's Aquila Theatre Company emphasizes the vitality of classical drama and the essential role it played in the everyday lives of the ancient Greeks"

The Greeks : Crucible of Civilization /  PBS Home Video.   1 DVD videodisc  (ca. 140 min.)   DF77 .G744 1999 VideoDVD : Dramatic storytelling and state-of-the-art computer animation recreate classical Greece of the 4th and 5th centures, B.C., founder of modern science, politics, warfare, philosophy, and source of breathtaking art and architecture.  This dazzling production charts the rise, triumph, and eventual decline of the world's first democracy.  Witness it all through the eyes of Pericles, Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle. Also listed under Empires.

Helen of Troy  / a Lion Television Production ; producer, Jessica Taylor ; director, Bill Locke.  [Alexandria, Va.] : PBS Home Video, 2005.  1 DVD videodisc (120 min.) : sd., col. and b&w ; 4 3/4 in.  BL820.H45 H45 2005 VideoDVD : Acclaimed presenter of historic documentaries, Bettany Hughes, embarks on a journey across the eastern Mediterranean to discover the truth about Helen of Troy, the woman blamed for causing the Trojan War.  Following weapons experts, the two-hour film shows how the conflict in Helen's name would have been fought, unraveling the reality from the myths and putting flesh on "the face that launched a thousand ships".

I, Caesar  : the Rise and Fall of the Roman Empire / Seventh Art Productions ; writer & director: Phil Grabsky.  West Long Branch, NJ : Distributed by Kultur, [2008]  2 DVD videodiscs (294 min.)  DG270 .I334 2008 VideoDVD  1-2.   The public and private lives of six key men who ruled the Roman Empire: Julius Caesar; Augustus; Nero; Hadrian; Constantine; and Justinian. Includes unequaled location footage; unseen images; and careful re-enactments bringing the series to life.

In Search of the Trojan War  / written and presented by Michael Wood ; directed by Bill Lyons ; series producer, Bill Lyons ; BBC Manchester.  Burbank, CA : BBC Video : Distributed by Warner Home Video, c2004.  2 DVDs (ca. 345 min.) : sd., col. ; 4 3/4 in.  DF221.T8 W66 2004 VideoDVD  1-2  : For centuries, students have thrilled to Homer's intriguing epic poem of the fabled Trojan War.  Yet how much truth lies in the lines of the Iliad?  Charismatic historical Michael Wood goes on a real-life detective chase to bring to life the legendary heroes and romance of the 10-year Bronze Age struggle.  The award-winning documentary was filmed in Greece, Turkey, Berlin, and Dublin.

Julius CaesarPhil Sheppard Video Production, 2014. 1 streaming video via Kanopy : Julius Caesar had possibly more impact on his time than any other Roman. Politically, Caesar took control of Rome's destiny, guiding it to become an empire that would rule the ancient world for another 500 years. As a military leader, he is generally described as one of the greatest commanders in history. This video looks at Roman society, politics, and the civil wars during the First Century BCE. Caesar's family background, early life, marriages, ambition, military and political careers are studied. His rise to power begins when he joins Pompey and Crassus in the First Triumvirate. Caesar achieved great success during the Gallic Wars, but his relationship with Pompey and the Senate deteriorated, leading to civil war. When Caesar had defeated all his enemies, he was declared dictator for life. As dictator, he introduced many new policies and reforms, but was extremely unpopular with key members of the Senate. A conspiracy to assassinate Caesar developed and, on March 15 44BCE, he was stabbed to death.

The Land of the Pharaohs (120 min.), see Ancient Civilizations.

Last Stand of the 300  : the Legendary Battle at Thermopylae / produced by Limulus Productions, Inc. for the History Channel ; producers, Matt Koed, David W. Padrusch ; writers, Matt Koed, Sara Padrusch, and David W. Padrusch ; director/editor, David W. Padrusch.  [United States] : A&E Home Video, 2007.  1 DVD videodisc (91 min.) : sd., col. ; 4 3/4 in.  DF225.5 .L377 2007 VideoDVD : It is almost impossible to understand how 300 Spartans managed to hold off the million-man Persian army, but with transporting dramatizations and incisive graphics that put you in the heat of battle, learn the strategies and more in this historic battle.

Lost  Legions of Rome  / produced by Martin Mortimore.  London : Passion Distribution, 2013.  1 streaming video file (22 min.)   Available to the MSU Community via Alexander Street Press.  In the year 9AD three legions of highly-trained and well-armed Roman troops were slaughtered in the Teutoburg Forest, North East Germany. Treachery from within and the unfamiliar and severe weather led to the Roman's defeat.

Man, Moment, Machine : Alexander the Great and the Devastating Catapult / the History Channel.   [New York] : A&E Television Networks ;  Distributed by New Video, [2006]  1 videodisc (45 min.) : sound, color ; 4 3/4 in.  ROVI Movie Collection  (Also available as streaming video from Alexander Street Press) : Filled with expert analysis and vivid re-enactment, this episode of the television series tells how Alexander the Great used the then cutting edge of warfare technology of the catapult to his advantage in demolishing a doggedly resistant enemy and their otherwise impregnable island city of Tyre that stood in his way to become master of Asia Minor and beyond.

Pompeii  : Daily Life of the Ancient Romans / conceived by Arrigo Equini ; historical consultant Alfonso DeFranciscis ; director of photography Mario Gianni ; editor Josip Duiella ; production coordinator Marcello Luipi ; music Mario Molino ; directed by Luigi Constantini.  Princeton, N.J. : Films for the Humanities, c1989.  1 VHS videocassette (45 min.) : sd., col. ; 1/2 in.  DG70.P7 P75 1989 Videocassette :

Pompeii  : The Last Day / a BBC/Discovery Channel/NDR co-production in association with France 2 ; executive producer, Michael Mosley ; director, Peter Nicholson ; producer, Alisa Orr.  [England] : BBC Video, c2005.  1 DVD videodisc (50 min.) : sd., col. ; 4 3/4 in.  PN1995.9.H5 P666 2005 VideoDVD : Recreates the greatest natural disaster of the ancient world--the eruption of Mount Vesuvius, almost 2000 years ago in AD79.  Extra features: "Colosseum: a gladiator's story" (50 min.) ; interviews with filmmakers ; fact files.

Selected Documentary Films, Q-Z

Quest for the Phoenicians [United States] : National Geographic, c2006.  1 DVD videodisc (55 min.) : sd., col. ; 4 3/4 in.  DS81 .Q847 2006 VideoDVD : "Their sea-faring skills and vast trading network were the envy of the ancient world. But even today, the fabled Phoenicians remain a people shrouded in legend. Now, unravel a 3,000-year-old mystery as you join National Geographic on the Quest for the Phoenicians".  Join two scientists and an explorer as they travel to Lebanon to find out more about the ancient Phoenicians. The scientists are using genetics to determine the link between the current Lebanese population and the early Phoenicians - from bone excavations made. Meanwhile, the explorer tries to retrace the shipping and sailing routes of the Phoenicians who were aggressive explorers and discovered and conquered other Mediterranean lands.

Roman Catacomb Mystery / PBS. 2014.  54 minutes.  Available as streaming video via Kanopy  :

Roman City by David McCauley /  directed by Larry Klein, fl. 2001; produced by Larry Klein, fl. 2001 (Public Broadcasting Service (PBS), 1994). Streaming video from PBS Video Collection.  55:44 mins : The glories of Ancient Rome are explored in ROMAN CITY, based on David Macaulay's acclaimed book. This animated and live-action video recounts life in Verbonia, a fictional city in Gaul. A well-planned town with all modern conveniences, it is threatened by conflict between conquerors and conquered. Macaulay also visits Pompeii, Herculaneum, Ostia, Nimes, Orange, and Rome, to view actual Roman architecture and engineering greatness.

The Roman Empire in the First Century  / written by Margaret Koval ; produced and directed by Margaret Koval and Lyn Goldfarb ; produced by Goldfarb and Koval Productions in association with PBS and Devillier Donegon Enterprises.  [Alexandria, Va.] : PBS Home Video ; Hollywood, Calif. : Distributed by Paramount Home Entertainment, [2005]  1 DVD videodisc (ca. 219 min.)  DG78 .R66 2005 VideoDVD  (Also available as part of the ROVI Movie Collection): Tells the story of the emperors, slaves, poets, and peasants who wrested order from chaos, built the most cosmopolitan society the world had ever seen, and shaped the Roman Empire in the first century.  Originally broadcast on PBS as four ca. 60 min. episodes of an Empires special in 2001. Also listed under Empires.

Rome and Pompeii (120 min.), see Ancient Civilizations.

Rome Part One: From Village to Late Republic, 753 BC to 121BC   2010.  51 minutes. (Streaming video from Kanopy) : Rome began as a small settlement on the banks of the Tiber River. From the time of Romulus, it grew into a strong kingdom and, eventually, into a powerful republic conquering the Italian peninsula. Later, Rome laid claim to most of the lands surrounding the Mediterranean. It was constantly in a state of war and developed a powerful army, but its very existence was threatened during the Punic Wars against Carthage. The Romans were great architects and builders, constructing magnificent temples to their Gods. Romans found many ways to amuse themselves, with gladiatorial combats and chariot races the most popular events. However, despite great conquests and achievements, there was a need for social reform, initiated by the Gracchus brothers. However, these reforms precipitated social unrest and the great civil conflicts that would embroil Rome. Filmed on location in Rome and France.

Rome Part Two: Late Republic To The Fall Of The Roman Empire, 121 BC to 476 AD 2010. 60 minutes. (Streaming video from Kanopy) : From 121BC onwards, powerful leaders dominated the political fortunes of Rome. Marius - the military reformer, Sulla - the dictator, Cicero - the lawyer, orator and consul, and Julius Caesar who appointed himself dictator in 45BC. When the Roman fleet destroyed the Egyptians at the Battle of Actium, Augustus became the first Roman Emperor. The rule of the Julio-Claudia emperors, notably Caligula and Nero, were a disgrace. During the period of the Five Good Emperors - Nerva, Trajan, Hadrian, Antoninius Pius and Marcus Aurelius - the Roman Empire was supreme. Eventually, Vandals, Goths, Bergundians and Alani invaded, and the Empire finally fell in 476AD. Shot on location in Italy and France.

Rome  : Power & Glory / Discovery Communications, Inc. ; produced by Ed Fields and Joel Westbrook ; directed by Graham Townsley.  [S.l.] : TLC Video ; Chicago, IL : Questar, 1998.  2 DVD videodiscs (300 min.)  DG209 .R553 1998 VideoDVD : Presents the complete history of Rome , from its primitive beginnings to the height of its glory and its eventual decline. Combines location footage of ancient monuments, detailed re-enactments, period art and writing, and insights from scholars and public figures.

Rome Reexamined  : the Rise and Fall of the Roman Empire / produced by Centre Communications Inc. for Ambrose Video Publishing.  New York, NY : Ambrose Video Pub., c2008.  1 DVD videodisc (ca. 30 min.)  DG77 .R66 2008 VideoDVD  : Contents - The rise and fall of the Roman Empire -- Augustus and the making of the Empire -- Julio-Claudian Dynasty -- The golden age of Imperial Rome -- Christianity in the Roman Empire -- Constantine and the institutionalization of Christianity.

Rome : Rise and Fall of an Empire / produced by Gardner Films Inc. for History ; producer, Robert Gardner ; head writer, Carrie Gardner ; executive producer for History, Dietrich Segarra.  [New York] : A&E Television Networks : Distributed in the U.S. by New Video, c2008.  4 DVD videodiscs (ca. 10 hr., 11 min.) : sd., col. ; 4 3/4 in.  DG270 .R66 2008 VideoDVD  discs 1-4 (Also available as part of the ROVI Movie Collection ) : Filled with dramatic re-enactments and action-packed battle scenes, watch the dramatic story of one of history's greatest empires, from its first major battle to its remarkable military feats and through its eventual fall.  Contents : Disc 1. The first Barbarian War ; Spartacus ; Julius Caesar ; The forest of death -- Disc 2. The Invasion of Britain ; Dacian Wars ; Rebellion and betrayal -- Disc 3. Wrath of the gods ; The soldiers' emperor ; Constantine the Great -- Disc 4. The barbarian general ; The puppet master ; The last emperor.

Secrets of the Parthenon / PBS.  2008.  54 minutes.  Available as streaming video via Kanopy : For 25 centuries the Parthenon has been shot at, set on fire, rocked by earthquakes, looted for its sculptures, almost destroyed by explosion, and disfigured by well-meaning renovations. It has gone from temple, to church, to mosque, to munitions dump.  What could be next? How about a scientific search for the secrets of its incomparable beauty and astonishingly rapid construction? With unprecedented access, NOVA unravels the architectural and engineering mysteries of this celebrated ancient temple.

The Spartans  a Lion Television Production for Channel 4 ; series producer, Tim Kirby ; directed by Melanie Archer.  [Alexandria, Va.] : PBS Home Video, 2004, c2003.  1 DVD videodisc (ca. 180 min.) : sd., col. ; 4 3/4 in.  DF261.S8 S637 2004 VideoDVD : Chronicles the rise and fall of the civilization of ancient Sparta, considering socio-economic, political and military aspects and influence on later Western culture. Key battles (Thermopylae, Sphakteria, Syracuse) and individuals (Leonidas, Lysander, Lycurgus, Agesilaos) are examined. Includes location footage and battle re-enactments.  Was Sparta a unique achievement or a prototype of future totalitarianism? Weigh the facts in this documentary about the enigmatic ancient civilization. Historian Bettany Hughes explains Sparta's culture, history, and downfall despite battle-hardened warriors, martially trained children, and powerful, liberated women. Sparta was victorious as an imperial power but succumbed to its own rigidity and internal collapse.

The Splendor of Imperial Rome / produced by Centre Communications for Ambrose Video Publishing ; written and produced by Ronald C. Meyer.  New York, NY : Ambrose Video Publishing, [2008]  Streaming video file (30 min.) via Ambrose Video : Chronicles the years of the Imperial period, from Augustus to Constantine, when Rome itself became the most magnificent city in the ancient world. Films historical sites and architectural wonders of Imperial Rome.  Chapter 1: The Splendor of Imperial Rome -- Chapter 2: The Forums -- Chapter 3: The Coliseum -- Chapter 4: Circus Maximus and the Palatine -- Chapter 5: The Pantheon -- Chaper 6: Baths -- Chapter 7. Roman Walls -- Chapter 8: Roman mosaics and sculptures -- Chapter 9: Rome's lasting accomplishments.

Thucydides, The Peloponnesian War, and, Plato, Alcibiades I  / produced by BBC Television and The Greek Collection.  Princeton, NJ : Films for the Humanities & Sciences, 1991.  1 VHS videocassette (72 min.) : sd., col. ; 1/2 in. DF229.T55 B37 1993 Videocassette : Set against the backdrop of the impending 1991 Persian Gulf War, Thucydides' history of the events leading up to the 27-year Peloponnesian War between Athens and Sparta is re-enacted. The film demonstrates, by using simple staging and plain costumes, that the politics of men and nations on the verge of war have changed little since ancient times.

A Treasure of Gold.   In the 1970s, near the Greek village of Aidonia, a mule fell into a hole.  Upon rescuing the animal, villagers discovered a rare golden treasure buried amidst a group of skeletons.  They tried to keep it a secret.  This is the story of the plunder of Mycenaean tombs and the recovery of precious cultural heritage. Video News from TAC, The Archaeology Channel, May 2013.

When Rome Ruled / produced by Atlantic Productions for National Geographic Channels in association with FremantleMedia Enterprises.  [United States] : National Geographic : Vivendi Entertainment, 2011.  3 videodiscs (270 min.) : sound, color ; 4 3/4 in. + 1 folded map (2 pages ; 56 x 89 cm)   ROVI Movie Collection : Groundbreaking eight-part series reveals ancient Rome's hidden treasures and untold stories as never before. From iconic figures including Caligula, Caesar, and Constantine to epic events such as the eruption of Vesuvius, the invasion of Britain, and fall of Rome, this collection reveals a startling, up-to-date vision of the ancient empire and challenges our perception of what we know about the Romans and their lives.  Disc 1: Secrets of the gladiators -- The real Caligula -- Disc 2: Doomsday Pompeii -- Killing Caesar -- Disc 3: Birth of Rome -- Ancient superpower

Who Were the Greeks? Episode 2 / BBC Worldwide Ltd.  BBC Worldwide Ltd, [2013]  59 minutes.  Streaming video from Films on Demand : In this second film, Dr. Michael Scott explores the legacies of the Ancient Greeks. He travels to Athens, Olympia, Macedon, Turkey, and Sicily and examines ancient ruins and artifacts. He discovers why the Greeks were so successful, why their culture and way of life spread across continents, and why they still have a powerful hold over our imaginations today.

Women in classical Greek drama    Princeton, N.J. : Films for the Humanities and Sciences, c2003.  1 streaming video (37 min.) via Theatre in Video. :  The presentation of powerful women in Medea, Antigone, and Lysistrata is contrasted with the circumscribed role of women in Athenian society by 6 university professors. Film clips from notable productions support this in-depth discussion.

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