The legend of Sardanapalus: From ancient Assyria to European stages and screens

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Abstract

“Adieu, Assyria! / I loved thee well”. These were the last words of king Sardanapalus, the last king of Assyria, according to Lord Byron. Throughout the centuries, Europe was confronted with the tragic story of Mesopotamia’s last monarch, a king more effeminate than a woman, a lascivious and idle man, a governor who loathed all expressions of militarism and war. But this story was no more than it proposed to be: a story, not history. Sardanapalus was not even real! The Greeks conceived him; artists, play writers, and cineastes preserved him.
Through the imaginative minds of early Modern and Modern historians, artists and dramaturgs, Sardanapalus’ legend endured well into the 20th-century in several different media. Even after the first excavations in Assyria, and the exhumation of its historical archives, where no king by the name of Sardanapalus was recorded, fantasy continued to surpass history.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationIntelligence, Creativity and Fantasy
Subtitle of host publicationProceedings of the 5th International Multidisciplinary Congress
EditorsMário S. Ming Kong, Maria do Rosário Monteiro, Maria João Pereira Neto
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherCRC Press
Pages328-334
Number of pages7
ISBN (Print)9780429297755
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2019
Event5th International Multidisciplinary Congress PHI 2019: “Intelligence, Creativity and Fantasy". - Sorbonne Nouvelle, Paris, France
Duration: 7 Oct 20199 Oct 2019
Conference number: 5
http://phi.fa.ulisboa.pt/phi2019/index.php/en/

Publication series

NamePHI
PublisherCRC Press

Conference

Conference5th International Multidisciplinary Congress PHI 2019: “Intelligence, Creativity and Fantasy".
Abbreviated titleIntelligence, Creativity and Fantasy
CountryFrance
CityParis
Period7/10/199/10/19
Internet address

Keywords

  • ancient Assyria
  • Reception of Antiquity
  • Italian Cinema
  • Mesopotamia
  • Greek Mythology
  • Opera

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