by Emily Albu
"In films as disparate as Roman Scandals (1933) and The Sign of the Cross (1932), Rome typically stands as a mirror to American foibles, fears, and aspirations. We are so used to the analogy that we do not blink when Roman history shifts cataclysmically to accommodate our metaphor. So for instance, Gladiator has noble democrats in the senate and army ally with an imperial daughter to restore the republic - defying history to fulfill democratic wishes dearly held by viewers. This paper explores the ways that Gladiator satisfied these and other longings of the US electorate, during the 2000 presidential campaign, for a decent leader uncorrupted by politics, a Cincinnatus ambitious only for his home, wife, and son. "
Emily Albu's paper in its entirety will be presented at the 2004 Joint Annual Meeting of the Archaeological Institute of America and the American Philological Association to be held Friday, January 2, 2004 - Monday, January 5, 2004 at the San Francisco Hilton.