We’re focusing on newer books, movies, and television shows for 2018, but that doesn’t mean we’re entirely ignoring old favorites! After all, what’s that saying–what’s old may just become new again (or something like that)?
Last week was the Ides of March, and what better way to mark the occasion than reading and watching some old favorites about ancient Rome?
Obviously, the Ides of March didn’t work out too well for Julius Caesar. So, he probably wouldn’t want this day celebrated. But William Shakespeare rather famously had some thoughts on Caesar and his death, which you can read, watch, or listen to:
Or if you prefer a more long-term but less Shakespearean investment in the life, times, and adventures of Julius Caesar, Mark Antony, and Octavian, you can watch both seasons of HBO’s heavily fictionalized but fun Rome:
Or you can instead jump ahead a couple of generations and enjoy the dysfunction, backstabbing, and insanity of the early Roman emperors with Masterpiece Theater’s delightful but disturbing I, Claudius. (Confession: For all the chatter about modern-day prestige television shows, many of which I do enjoy, I don’t think any of them hold a candle to I, Claudius, budget 1970s production values and all.)
Or if you prefer a nonfiction approach, consider SPQR, historian Mary Beard’s guide to the Roman Empire:
Or, if you prefer a tenuously tangential connection, consider The Naked Gun. Sure, this absurdly silly comedy classic is set in 1980s L.A., but if Detective Frank Drebin had been more familiar with his Roman history (or his Shakespeare), he might have avoided a rather unfortunate incident at a Shakespeare in the Park production of Julius Caesar. (Just saying. . . .)
What’s your favorite book/movie/show about ancient Rome? Who’s your favorite ancient Roman? What are some of your old favorites? Tell us in the comments!
And please follow this link to our online library catalog for more information on any of these items or to place a hold!