Monica Cyrino

Professor of Classics

Photo: Monica Cyrino

Phone: 505 277-4771
Fax: (505) 277-3599
Office: Room: 347B

Personal Statement:

Prof. Cyrino's current research focuses on Classics and 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 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).

Educational History:

  • 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

  • "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 (Routledge 2015) 231-244.
  • "Ancient Sexuality on Screen" In The Blackwell Companion to Greek and Roman Sexualities, ed. Thomas K. Hubbard. (Blackwell 2014) 613-628.
  • "Bows and Eros: Hunt as Seduction in the Homeric Hymn to Aphrodite"
    In Arethusa 46.3 (2013): 375-93.
  • "I Was Colin Farrell's Latin Teacher"
    In Classical Journal 107.3 (2012)
  • "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 (Routledge 2011)
  • "Fortune Favors the Blond: Colin Farrell in Alexander"
    In Responses to Alexander eds. Fiona Greenland and Paul Cartledge. (Wisconsin 2010)
  • "Classical Tradition: Film and Television"
    In The Encyclopedia of Ancient Greece and Rome ed. Michael Gagarin. (Oxford 2010)
  • "To Love and Toulouse: The Orpheus and Eurydice Theme in Marcel Camus' Black Orpheus (1959) and Baz Luhrmann's Moulin Rouge (2001)"
    In Classical and Modern Literature 28.1 (Winter 2009)
  • "Atia and the Erotics of Authority"
    In Rome, Season One: History Makes Television ed. Monica S. Cyrino (Blackwell 2008)
  • "Film Review: Frank Miller's 300"
    In Amphora 6.1. (2007)
  • "Helen of Troy"
    In Troy: From Homer's Iliad to Hollywood Epic ed. Martin M. Winkler (Blackwell 2007)
  • "She'll Always Have Paris: Helen in Wolfgang Petersen's Troy"
    In Amphora 4.1. (2005)
  • "Gladiator and Contemporary American Society"
    In Gladiator: Film and History ed. Martin M. Winkler. (Blackwell 2004)
  • "The Identity of the Goddess in Alcman's First Partheneion"
    In Classical Journal 100.1. (2004)


  • STARZ Spartacus: Reimagining an Icon on Screen. Co-edited with Antony Augoustakis. (Edinburgh 2016)
  • "HBO and Premium Cable Television"
    In the Blackwell Companion to Ancient Greece and Rome on Screen, ed. Arthur J. Pomeroy (Blackwell 2016)
  • "Herodotus in Cinema"
    In The Herodotus Encyclopedia, ed. Christopher Baron (Blackwell 2016)
  • "Aphrodite"
    In The Encyclopedia of Ancient Greek Comedy, ed. Alan Sommerstein (Blackwell 2016)
  • "The City of Ancient Rome on Screen"
    In the Blackwell Companion to the City of Rome, eds. Claire Holleran and Amanda Claridge (Blackwell 2015)

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)
  • Best Teacher at UNM - UNM Daily Lobo "Lo Mejor" Student Poll
    (2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005, 2003, 2002, 2001, 1998, 1996)
  • Best Class at UNM: Greek Mythology - UNM Daily Lobo "Lo Mejor" Student Poll
    (2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005, 2004, 2002, 2001, 1998, 1996)

Teaching Interests:

  • Greek Mythology ,Big Screen Rome and HBO Rome(to many hundreds of students!)
  • Academic consultant on the History Channel’s History vs. Hollywood and Where Did It Begin?

Representative Courses:

  • CLST 107 - Greek Mythology
  • CLST 315 - The Classical Tradition
  • GREK 301-302 - Advanced Ancient Greek
  • LATN 303-304 - Advanced Classical Latin