Mr Daniele Bolelli
BA UCLA 1997, MA UCLA 2001, MA California State University Long Beach 2005
Working title: Ancient Rome in Modern Cinema
My research focuses on the different representations of Rome in modern popular media—particularly in movies and TV series. The main purpose of this research is to investigate the reasons for the widespread appeal of ancient Roman history in the minds of millions of moviegoers around the world. The introduction to this study will argue that—rightly or wrongly—ancient Rome holds an almost mythical status among many people in the Western world who view Roman history as one of the most defining moments in the heritage of Western civilization. Consequently, this study will argue that part of the popularity of movies about ancient Rome rests on the city’s archetypal role in the public’s perceptions.
After this necessary introduction to the topic, the research will go on to simultaneously address two issues. The first is how much filmmakers decide to follow the reality of ancient Roman history or depart from it in their fictional representations, and the possible motives for these choices. The second will analyze some of the deeper reasons for the specific themes that are most often used to represent Roman history.
Start date: 2009
First supervisor: Dr Kate Gilliver
Second supervisor: Ian Buchanan
“On the Warrior’s Path” 2008 
Taught in History and American Indian Studies at UCLA, CSULB, and Santa Monica College