Most films set in ancient Rome are careful to include scenes, however brief or cursory, set within the Senate House. Directors frequently use the space as a laden symbol, conveying to the audience messages about the nature of the power of Rome and its Senate. The interior is often represented incorrectly, as film-makers sacrifice historical authenticity for settings which establish underlying discourses about the ruling elite of Rome, whether about their decadence, or impotence, or traditional authority and ideals. As such, depictions of the Senate House are revealing of modern popular perceptions of ancient Rome. This talk will explore the ancient evidence for the form and design of the Senate Houses of Rome and investigate the way that the space has been depicted in cinematic reconstructions of antiquity.
* Due to unforeseen circumstances, Dr Stevenson's talk, Distortions of Ancient History in Contemporary Debates, has been rescheduled for the 10th of August.
Non-members are welcome. A donation of $10 per person includes entry in the lucky door prize and afternoon tea. Afternoon tea will be held in E318, Forgan Smith Building.