Monica Cyrino

Professor of Classics


Photo: Monica Cyrino
Phone:  505 277-4771
Curriculum vitae
Office:  229
Hours:  Please email for appointment

Research Area/s:

Classics,  Greek,  Latin


Personal Statement:

Prof. Cyrino's current research focuses on classical reception in popular culture, especially film and television. Her book Big Screen Rome (2005) surveys several films on the image of ancient Rome. She has published numerous articles on films such as Gladiator, Troy, Alexander, 300, and Black Orpheus. She is the editor of two volumes on the HBO series, Rome, Season One: History Makes Television (2008), and Rome, Season Two: Trial and Triumph (2015). She is the co-editor (with Antony Augoustakis) of STARZ Spartacus: Reimagining an Icon on Screen (2017). She is also the editor of Screening Love and Sex in the Ancient World (2013), and co-editor (with Meredith E. Safran) of Classical Myth on Screen (2015). Prof. Cyrino has served as a consultant on numerous film and television productions.

Prof. Cyrino's literary research centers on eros in ancient Greece, including a book In Pandora's Jar: Lovesickness in Early Greek Poetry (1995), and numerous articles on Greek lyric, tragedy, and myth. Her book Aphrodite (2010) traces the meaning of the Greek goddess of love.

Prof. Cyrino teaches Classics courses to several hundreds of students, as well as Greek and Latin seminars. She is the author of a widely used textbook, A Journey Through Greek Mythology (2008). Prof. Cyrino was awarded the American Philological Association's Excellence in Teaching Classics award (1999).


  • 1992, Ph.D., in Classical Philology, Yale University. New Haven, Connecticut
  • 1988, M.Phil., in Classical Philology, Yale University. New Haven, Connecticut
  • 1986, M.A., in Classical Philology, Yale University. New Haven, Connecticut
  • 1984, B.A., in Classical Languages, University of California. Berkeley, California

Research Interests:

  • Ancient Greek Poetry
  • Classical Reception Studies
  • Classics & Cinema / Popular Culture

Selected Publications:


Articles & Book Chapters:

  • 2022. “A Roman Epic in Modern Japan: Screening Rome as Empire Nostalgia in Takeuchi Hideki’s Thermae Romae (2012).” In Ancient Epic in Film and Television, eds. Amanda Potter and Hunter Gardner. Edinburgh, 82-97.
  • 2021. “Cinema: Herodotus.” In The Herodotus Encyclopedia, ed. Christopher Baron. Blackwell, 319-321.
  • 2020. “How the Rock Became Rockules: Dwayne Johnson’s Star Text in Hercules (2014).” In The Modern Hercules: Images of the Hero from the Nineteenth to the Early Twenty-First Century, eds. Alastair J. L. Blanshard and Emma Stafford. Brill, 650-666.
  • 2019. “Aphrodite.” In The Encyclopedia of Ancient Greek Comedy, ed. Alan Sommerstein. Blackwell, 61-62.
  • 2018. “Russell Crowe and Maximal Projections in Noah (2014).” In Epic Heroes on Screen, eds. Antony Augoustakis and Stacie Raucci. Edinburgh, 93-110.
  • 2018. “The City of Ancient Rome on Screen.” In the Blackwell Companion to the City of Rome, eds. Claire Holleran and Amanda Claridge. Blackwell, 699-713.
  • 2017. “Premium Cable Television.” In the Blackwell Companion to Ancient Greece and Rome on Screen, ed. Arthur J. Pomeroy. Oxford: Blackwell, 293-305.
  • 2017. “Screening the Battle of Actium: Naval Victory, Erotic Tragedy, and the Birth of an Empire.” In The Ancient Mediterranean in Modern Visual and Performing Arts: Sailing in Troubled Waters, ed. Rosario Rovira Guradiola. London: Bloomsbury, 231-250.
  • 2017. “Upward Mobility in the House of Batiatus.” In STARZ Spartacus: Reimagining an Icon on Screen, eds. Antony Augoustakis and Monica S. Cyrino. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 87-96.
  • 2015. “Magic, Music, Race: Screening ‘Black Enchantment’ after Black Orpheus (1959).” In Classical Myth on Screen, eds. Monica S. Cyrino and Meredith E. Safran. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 121-132.
  • 2015. “The Trials and Triumphs of Rome, Season Two.” In Rome, Season Two: Trial and Triumph, ed. Monica S. Cyrino. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 1-10.
  • 2015. “Of Love and Bondage in Euripides' Hippolytus.” In Sex in Antiquity: Exploring Gender and Sexuality in the Ancient World, eds. Mark Masterson, Nancy Rabinowitz, and James Robson. London: Routledge, 231-244.
  • 2014. “Ancient Sexuality on Screen.” In The Blackwell Companion to Greek and Roman Sexualities, ed. Thomas K. Hubbard. Oxford: Blackwell, 613-628.
  • 2013. “Bows and Eros: Hunt as Seduction in the Homeric Hymn to Aphrodite.” In Arethusa 46.3: 375-93.
  • 2012. “I Was Colin Farrell's Latin Teacher.” In Classical Journal 107.3: 354-64.
  • 2011. “This is Sparta!: The Reinvention of Epic in Zack Snyder's 300 (2007).” In The Epic Film in World Culture, ed. Robert Burgoyne. AFI Film Readers series, London: Routledge, 19-38.
  • 2010. “Fortune Favors the Blond: Colin Farrell in Alexander.” In Responses to Alexander eds. Fiona Greenland and Paul Cartledge. Wisconsin: 168-82.
  • 2010. “Classical Tradition: Film and Television.” In The Encyclopedia of Ancient Greece and Rome ed. Michael Gagarin. Oxford, 214-20.
  • 2008. “To Love and Toulouse: The Orpheus and Eurydice Theme in Marcel Camus’ Black Orpheus (1959) and Baz Luhrmann’s Moulin Rouge (2001).” In Classical & Modern Literature 28.1: 129-48
  • 2008. “Atia and the Erotics of Authority.” In Rome, Season One: History Makes Television ed. Monica S. Cyrino. Oxford: Blackwell, 130-40.
  • 2007. “Film Review: Frank Miller's 300.” In Amphora 6.1: 1, 4-5.
  • 2007. “Helen of Troy.” In Troy: From Homer's Iliad to Hollywood Epic ed. Martin M. Winkler. Oxford: Blackwell, 131-47.
  • 2005. “She'll Always Have Paris: Helen in Wolfgang Petersen's Troy.” In Amphora 4.1: 10-11, 18.
  • 2004. “Gladiator and Contemporary American Society.” In Gladiator: Film and History ed. Martin M. Winkler. Oxford: Blackwell, 124-49.
  • 2004. “The Identity of the Goddess in Alcman’s First Partheneion.” In Classical Journal 100.1: 25-38.

Awards and Grants:

  • American Philological Association’s Excellence in Teaching Classics Award (1998-99)
  • UNM Alumni Association Faculty Teaching Award (2002)
  • UNM Presidential Teaching Fellowship Award (2000-2002)
  • UNM College of Arts & Sciences Gunter Starkey Teaching Award (1998-1999)
  • UNM Outstanding Teacher of the Year Award (1994-1995)

Representative Courses:

  • CLST 314 & 315 – Big Screen Rome and HBO Rome
  • CLST 334 – Homer & Hollywood
  • GREK 501 – Ancient Greek Seminar
  • LATN 503 – Latin Seminar