5 Disturbingly Common Historical Inaccuracies In Movies About The Ancient World

4. All Of Ancient Greece Looked Like Classical Athens

In every film the convention is as follows, if it is based in Ancient Greece then everything must look like Classical Athens. Troy, Clash of the Titans, 300 and even Disney's Hercules(should be Herakles as that is a Greek story) all adopt this annoyingly inaccurate approach. Hercules travels through various parts of Ancient Greece in the film, and yet these all look like Athens during the peak of that culture's reign over Greece. Greece was not a nation, it was a collection of states like the U.S in the 18th Century AD, and these states were independent and engaged in constant warfare against one another. Take Thebes (the central location of the film) for example, which never looked like Classical Athens: it was a rival state to Athens, so why exactly would they adopt the look of their enemy? 300 presents Sparta in a similar manner, Sparta too was an enemy of Athens, and actually defeated Athens in the Peloponnesian war, 431 to 404 BC, and yet they apparently modelled all of their decorating on the works of their great enemy? The worst example of this in recent years is the cinematic war crime known as Clash of the Titans: the setting for the palace of Argos was lifted directly from the Classical Athenian Acropolis. The above production picture will help us examine this: the palace is the Parthenon, literally - the exterior establishing shot of the palace is a reconstructed Parthenon. There is so much wrong with that, it makes me upset and speaks for itself. The interior has a series of black figure amphorae along its reflecting pool, and red figure style paintings along the walls, both of which are exclusively Athenian, and wall painting design of this set could only be created on pottery. The Caryatids of the Athenian Erectheum can be seen too: they are the four female figure acting as support for the roof of the palace. In reality, there are six of the figures, which are in Athens and one in the British Museum, and while the Romans copied them often, the Greeks did not.

In this post: 
Posted On: 

Roman Historian, computer nerd, Freelance Journalist, Podcaster, Star Wars Fanboy, and a Sci-fi/Horror ├╝ber fan with a soft spot for awesomely terrible films. Host of the weekly Wrestleview International Desk radio show on WViDesk.com. Feel free to follow me on Twitter @DarraghWV.