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Designs on the Past

How Hollywood Created the Ancient World

Lloyd Llewellyn-Jones

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The epic glitter and glamour of Hollywood’s Golden Age

In the period 1916-1966, during its so-called Golden Age, Hollywood developed a passion for the ancient world and produced many epic movie blockbusters. The studios used every device they could find to wow audiences with the spectacle of antiquity.

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Movie Trailer; Series Editors’ Preface; Opening Credits

1. Marketing

2. Set Design

3. Costume Design

4. Movie Stars

End Credits; Bibliography; Index

About the Author

Lloyd Llewellyn-Jones is Professor of Ancient History at Cardiff University and a specialist in the histories and cultures of ancient Iran and Greece. He also works on dress and gender in antiquity and on the ancient world in popular culture, especially Hollywood cinema. He is the author of "Aphrodite’s Tortoise: the veiled woman of Ancient Greece" and "King and Court in Ancient Persia 559-331 BCE" and of "Ctesias’ History of Persia". He is editor of "Women’s Dress in the Ancient Greek World", "Greek Notions of the Past in the Archaic and Classical Eras", "Creating a Hellenistic World" and "The Hellenistic Court" as well as numerous articles on Greek and Persian culture. Forthcoming work includes "The Culture of Animals in Antiquity" and "Through Esther's Eyes: An Iconographic Exegesis of the Book of Esther". He is the series editor of Edinburgh Studies in Ancient Persia and co-series editor of Screening Antiquity.


Lloyd is a seriously committed scholar and fan of the Costume Epics, and here brings these films alive with detail and brio.

- Oliver Stone

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