Italian civilization in its encyclopedic sweep, from ancient Rome to the contemporary scene, will be studied through the historian’s eye and the film maker’s lens. How does history “change” depending on time, place, and medium of our retrospective? How do movies, with their stories of military conquests, cultural heroes, romantic intrigue and scandal, differ from accounts in the annals of history? Do directors from the other cultures see it differently from natives? Are there stereotypes? Readings (Machiavelli’s Prince, modern historical texts) will be paired with a range of film types (the spectacle with a cast of thousands, costume drama, Neorealist slice-of-life, political exposè, documentary recreation) focused on successive periods: the Roman Empire, Middle Ages, Renaissance, Unification, Turn of the Century, Fascist era, World War II, post-war years, and Italy today. Students will view one film per week; supplementary clips will be shown by the professor in class for comparison.