Peplum or “sword-and-sandal” films—an Italian genre of the late 1950s through the 1960s—featured ancient Greek, Roman and Biblical stories with gladiators, mythological monsters and legendary quests. The new wave of historic epics, known as neo-pepla, is distinctly different, embracing new technologies and storytelling techniques to create an immersive experience unattainable in the earlier films. This collection of new essays explores the neo-peplum phenomenon through a range of topics, including comic book adaptations like Hercules, the expansion of genre boundaries in Jupiter Ascending and John Carter, depictions of Romans and slaves in Spartacus, and The Eagle and Centurion as metaphors for America’s involvement in the Iraq War.
The New Peplum: Essays on Sword and Sandal Films and Television Programs Since the 1990s
Coon, David R., "Foreword" (2018). SIAS Faculty Publications. 1011.