Publication Date

Spring 5-9-2020


School of Communication


Digital Media and Communication Arts


gladiator, rome, film, screenplay, movie, ben-hur, spartacus


European History | Fiction | Screenwriting


This thesis project will endeavor to examine how prominent historical films set in the Roman Empire deal with slavery and gladiators, said research to inform a corresponding creative project. In studying and analyzing Ben-Hur (1959), Spartacus (1960) and Gladiator (2000), the three most prominent films that deal with the topics of slavery and gladiators in ancient Rome, I hope to uncover how films treat the topic, how the films are influenced by more modern values, and how accurate the films are. I will also identify commonalities between all three films, and supplement my discoveries with observations from two less successful but more modern films, Pompeii (2014) and Ben-Hur (2016). Based on my findings, I will write a portion of my own film script influenced by the common events and themes regarding slavery and gladiators, as observed in the films stated above. In addressing similar thematic elements and dealing with a similar conflict, the creative portion of the research seeks to fit into the same genre of epic, historical film.