Jon Solomon

1977 …2018
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Personal profile

Personal profile

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.

Office Address

4056 FLB
707 S Mathews Ave
M/C 174
Urbana, IL 61801

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Research Output 1977 2018

Hercules and the Millennial Generation

Solomon, J., Jun 2018, Epic Heroes on Screen. Augoustakis, A. & Raucci, S. (eds.). Edinburgh University Press

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Giovanni Boccaccio: Genealogy of the Pagan Gods, Vol. 2

Solomon, J. (ed.), Jul 2017, Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. 720 p. (The I Tatti Renaissance Library)

Research output: Book/ReportBook

Ben-Hur: The original blockbuster

Solomon, J., Apr 15 2016, Edinburgh University Press. 910 p.

Research output: Book/ReportBook

Harry Potter
Brand Names
Radio Plays

Coda: A timeline of Ben-Hur companies, brands, and products

Solomon, J., Jan 1 2016, Bigger Than Ben-Hur: The Book, Its Adaptations, and Their Audiences. Syracuse University Press, p. 191-212 22 p.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Read All About it! Ancient Greek Music Hits American Newspapers, 1875-1938

Solomon, J., 2016, The Idea of Art Music in a Commercial World. Montemorra Marvin, R. & Bashford, C. (eds.). Woodbridge: Boydell Press, p. 202-222 21 p.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Activities 2012 2015

  • 7 Invited talk

Ben-Hur: Avatar of American Popular Consumer Culture

Jon Solomon (Invited speaker)
Nov 2015

Activity: Talk typesInvited talk

Boccaccio's Greek Sources in the Genealogia deorum gentilium

Jon Solomon (Invited speaker)
Feb 2014

Activity: Talk typesInvited talk

Ovid in Opera

Jon Solomon (Invited speaker)
Mar 2014

Activity: Talk typesInvited talk

Filming the Insights of the Sightless: The Reemergence of Teiresias in the 1990s

Jon Solomon (Invited speaker)
Jul 2015

Activity: Talk typesInvited talk