Medieval Studies

Medieval Studies Medieval Studies

Jon Solomon

Professor of Medieval Studies,LAS Global Studies,Classics,Cinema Studies,Center for Global Studies, and Title VI Centers Faculty Survey

User Photo

Contact Information:


My research incorporates a variety of humanistic interests ranging from classical philology to medieval, Renaissance, and Baroque adaptations of the classics to contemporary cinema. Examples of the first began with my dissertation on ancient Greek music theory, continued with papyrological and epigraphical studies of fragments and newly discovered ancient Greek music, and culminated with a book-length translation and commentary on Harmonics by Claudius Ptolemy. I have also published several articles on ancient Greek poetry, including metrical and grammatical exegeses of Hesiod and Sophocles, and an essay on the Polyphemus episode in Homer's Odyssey. Many years ago I made several excursions into ancient Greek medicine, helping to identify "The Thucydides Syndrome" in the New England Journal of Medicine and for the Centers for Disease Control, and into ancient cookery, publishing a cookbook and several articles about Roman sauces and pastry. My The Ancient World in the Cinema helped create a new subfield of classical studies and pedagogy. From there I made an excursion into a different area of popular culture and wrote a complete filmography of The Three Stooges [!]. Since 2001 I have written a number of chapters in anthologies and journals on such modern films as Gladiator, Troy, and Alexander. 

Currently I am preparing Volumes II and III of my edition and translation of Boccaccio's Genealogy of the Pagan Gods for Harvard University Press. Volume I was published in 2011. I have now completed a study of Ben-Hur as the prototype for American consumerism and synergy between popular art and business. It was published by Edinburgh University Press in May, 2016. I am revising a multi-volume book manuscript surveying the classical tradition in opera. And I am constantly collecting examples of classical allusions in contemporary cinema. 



  • Solomon, Jon. Ben-Hur: The Original Blockbuster. . Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2016.
  • Giovanni Boccaccio: The Genealogy of the Pagan Gods. . Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2011.

Book Contributions

  • Solomon, Jon. "Read All About It! Ancient Greek Music Hits American Newspapers, 1875-1938." The Idea of Art Music in a Commercial World. . Ed. Roberta M. Marvin and Christina Bashford. Woodbridge: Boydell Press, 2016. 202-222.

  • Solomon, Jon. "Homer's Iliad in Popular Culture: The Roads to Troy." Return to Troy: New Essays on the Hollywood Epic. . Ed. Martin M. Winkler. Leiden: Brill, 2015. 224-254.

  • "Ben-Hur and Gladiator: Manifest Destiny and the Contradictions of American Empire." Ancient Worlds in Film and Television: Gender and Politics. . Leiden, 2013.

  • "The Robe." Bible and Cinema: 50 Key Films. . London: Routledge, 2013.

  • "Messala: Roman Villain via Boss Tweed and Billy the Kid." The Real and the Reflected: Heroes and Villains in Existent and Imagined Worlds . . Inter-Disciplinary Press, 2012.

  • "Psyche, Caliirhoe, and Operatic Heroines Derived From Ancient Novels." Fictional Traces: Receptions of the Ancient Novel . . Groningen: Barkhuis Pub, 2011.

  • "The Delphic Hymn, Antigone, and a Brief Revival of Ancient Greek Music,." La musica nell’Impero Romano. . Pavia: Pavia University Press, 2010.

  • "Timaeus in Tinseltown: Atlantis in Film,." One Book, The Whole Universe . . Las Vegas: Parmenides, 2010.

  • "The Popular Reception of Alexander." Responses to Oliver Stone’s Alexander. . Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 2010.

Edited Books

  • Ancient Worlds in Film and Television: Gender and Politics. . 2013.

Journal Articles

  • Solomon, Jon. "Oedipus...The Structure of Funny." Illinois Classical Studies 40.2 (2015): 373-389.
  • "Boccaccio and the Ineffable, Aniconic God Demogorgon." International Journal of the Classical Tradition, 19 (2012):
  • "The Reception of Ancient Greek Music in the Late Renaissance and the Late Nineteenth Century." International Journal of the Classical Tradition 17 (2010):
  • "Fugitive Sources, Ben-Hur, and the Popular Art Property." RBM: A Journal of Rare Books, Manuscripts, and Cultural Heritage 9 (2009):

E-mail and search functions