John Wiley & Sons Reception of Mesopotamia on Film Cover Explore an insightful account of the reception of Mesopotamia in modern cinema In Reception of Meso.. Product #: 978-1-119-77864-6 Regular price: $52.24 $52.24 Auf Lager

Reception of Mesopotamia on Film

de Fatima Rosa, Maria


1. Auflage Oktober 2021
240 Seiten, Softcover
Wiley & Sons Ltd

ISBN: 978-1-119-77864-6
John Wiley & Sons

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Explore an insightful account of the reception of Mesopotamia in modern cinema

In Reception of Mesopotamia on Film, Dr. Maria de Fátima Rosa explores how the Ancient Mesopotamian civilization was portrayed by the movie industry, especially in America and Italy, and how it was used to convey analogies between ancient and contemporary cultural and moral contexts. Spanning a period that stretches from the beginning of the 20th century to the present day, the book explores how the Assyrian and Babylonian elites, particularly kings, queens, and priestesses, were perceived and represented on screen by filmmakers.

A focus on the role played by Ancient Near Eastern women and on the polytheistic religion practiced in the land between the rivers will be provided. This book also offers an insightful interpretation of the bias message that most of these films portray and how the Mesopotamian past and Antiquity brought to light and stimulated the debate on emerging 20th century political and social issues.

The book also offers:
* A thorough introduction to the Old Testament paradigm and the romanticism of classical authors
* A comprehensive exploration of the literary reception of the Mesopotamian legacy and its staging
* Practical discussions of the rediscovery, appropriation, and visual reproduction of Assyria and Babylonia
* In-depth examinations of cinematic genres and cinematographic contexts

Perfect for students of the history of antiquity and cinematographic history, Reception of Mesopotamia on Film is also an invaluable resource for anyone with an interest in reception studies.

List of Abbreviations ix

Acknowledgments x

Introduction: Reception of Mesopotamia and the Cinema Lens 1

0.1 Reception Studies and Cinema 1

0.2 Why Cinema? What Cinema? 5

0.3 Orientalism and the Legacy of Ancient Mesopotamia 9

Part I The Pre-Cinematographic Image: A Complex Plot 15

1 The Old Testament Paradigm and the Romanticism of the Classics 17

1.1 The Genesis of Confusion 17

1.1.1 From Babylon to Babel 17

1.1.2 In the Beginning, Nimrod 20

1.1.3 Daniel and the Ruin of the Neo-Babylonian Empire 22

1.2 Greek Ethnocentricity and the Emergence of Legendary Figures 26

1.2.1 A discourse About the Other 26

1.2.2 The Subversion of Roles: The Dilution of the Male/Female Binomial 28

2 Mesopotamia in Literature and on Stage 33

2.1 The Resurrection of Classical Legendary Figures 33

2.2 Tragic Mesopotamian Heroes and Their Dramatization 34

2.2.1 Semiramis from Manfredi to Rossini 34

2.2.2 Sardanapalus, Myrrah and Their Fateful Destiny 40

2.2.3 The Various Nabuccos 43

3 The Appropriation and Visual Reproduction of Assyria and Babylon 47

3.1 Mesopotamia Pre-Discovered: Testimonies from an Unknown World 47

3.2 The Archaeological Exploration 52

3.3 Mesopotamia Post-discovered: The Introduction of Assyrianizing Elements 60

Part II The Portrayal of Mesopotamia in Cinema 65

4 Genres and Cinematographic Contexts 67

4.1 Why Antiquity? 67

4.2 Early French Cinema and Its Motivations 71

4.3 American Cinema, the Epic Genre, and the Judeo-Christian Legacy 74

4.4 Italian Cinema and the Greco-Roman Heritage 80

4.4.1 The First Golden Age 80

4.4.2 Peplum and the Genesis of the West 84

5 Mesopotamia as the Seed of Evil 89

5.1 Resurrecting Ancient Near Eastern Demons 89

5.2 Present Speeches From an Ancient Demoniacal Past 97

5.2.1 Religious Narratives: The Apocalypse and the Whore of Babylon 97

5.2.2 Political Narratives: Communism, Capitalism, Nazism, and Terrorism 105

6 Imagining the Land Between the Rivers: Urbanism and Culture 116

6.1 The City as a Privileged Setting 116

6.1.1 The Hyperbolizing of Urban Architecture 116

6.1.2 The Polarization of the City: Palace and Temple 124

6.2 The Ziggurat Tower: Babel Intertwining Past and Present 130

6.3 Exoticism and Modernism: Colliding Worlds in Mesopotamia 139

6.3.1 Hybridism and Advance Machinery in the Era of Industrial Revival 139

6.3.2 Universalizing Mesopotamia in Post-Fascist Italy 143

7 Exploring Mesopotamia's Society and Politics 148

7.1 A Portrait of the King and Queen and Their Population 148

7.1.1 Eastern Stereotypes and Socio-political Contexts 148

7.1.2 The Mesopotamian Fascist vs. the Mesopotamian Apostle of Tolerance 152

7.2 Religion and Politics 157

7.2.1 Gods at War: Idolatry, Holocaust and the Judeo-Christian Faith 157

7.2.2 It's Every Man for Himself 168

8 The Ancient Near Eastern Woman Under the Lens 173

8.1 Judith against Assyria 173

8.1.1 Female Emancipation vs. Biblical Conservatism 173

8.1.2 The Debate Regarding the "New Woman" 176

8.2 The Two Semiramis 180

8.3 Mesopotamian Bacchanals and Odd Rituals 187

9 Farewell Babylon, Farewell Nineveh 195

Bibliography 200

Index 224
Maria de Fátima Rosa is Assistant Professor of Ancient Near Eastern History at the School of Arts and Humanities of the University of Lisbon and a researcher at the Center for History of the University of Lisbon since 2021. She holds a PhD in the History of Ancient Mesopotamia, and her interests include the reception of Mesopotamian antiquity by modern and contemporary cultures.