Jon Solomon

 Jon Solomon

Contact Information

4056 FLB
707 S Mathews Ave
M/C 174
Urbana, IL 61801
Professor
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Additional Campus Affiliations

Biography

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. 

Selected Publications

Books

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 edited by Roberta Marvin, edited by Christina Bashford. Read All About It! Ancient Greek Music Hits American Newspapers, 1875-1938 Edited by Roberta Marvin, Edited by Christina Bashford, Woodbridge Boydell Press 2016, p. 202-222.
Solomon, Jon Homer's Iliad in Popular Culture: The Roads to Troy Return to Troy: New Essays on the Hollywood Epic edited by Martin Winkler. Homer's Iliad in Popular Culture: The Roads to Troy Edited by Martin Winkler, Leiden Brill 2015, p. 224-254.
Ben-Hur and Gladiator: Manifest Destiny and the Contradictions of American Empire Ancient Worlds in Film and Television: Gender and Politics Ben-Hur and Gladiator: Manifest Destiny and the Contradictions of American Empire Leiden 2013.
The Robe Bible and Cinema: 50 Key Films The Robe 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 Messala: Roman Villain via Boss Tweed and Billy the Kid Inter-Disciplinary Press 2012.
Psyche, Caliirhoe, and Operatic Heroines Derived From Ancient Novels Fictional Traces: Receptions of the Ancient Novel Psyche, Caliirhoe, and Operatic Heroines Derived From Ancient Novels Groningen Barkhuis Pub 2011.
The Delphic Hymn, Antigone, and a Brief Revival of Ancient Greek Music, La musica nell’Impero Romano The Delphic Hymn, Antigone, and a Brief Revival of Ancient Greek Music, Pavia Pavia University Press 2010.
Timaeus in Tinseltown: Atlantis in Film, One Book, The Whole Universe Timaeus in Tinseltown: Atlantis in Film, Las Vegas Parmenides 2010.
The Popular Reception of Alexander Responses to Oliver Stone’s Alexander The Popular Reception of Alexander Madison University of Wisconsin Press 2010.

Journal Articles

Solomon, Jon Oedipus...The Structure of Funny Illinois Classical Studies 40 2 2015, p. 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.

Edited Books

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