HONR 229O

In this seminar, we will study the I, Claudius BBC series, and compare this 1976 ”small screen” cinematic treatment to Robert Graves’ novels on which it was based–I, Claudius and Claudius the God–as well as to the ancient primary sources on which Graves mainly relied: Tacitus’ Annals, Suetonius’ Lives of the Twelve Caesars, and the histories of Cassius Dio. In considering how Graves’ representation of Claudius compares to that of ancient authors, and how the BBC adaptation of Graves compares to that of both Graves and our ancient primary sources, we will focus on Claudius’ ancient and modern medical image as a physically and mentally challenged individual, on his role as a member of the Julio-Claudian dynasty, and on the impact of his story on two twentieth century audiences, that of Graves in the 1930’s and that of the BBC-TV series in the 1970’s. This course will include three short papers and a final group project.