The myths of Rome and Greece on the big screen

Fifty years ago, the story of Clash of the Titans - now a 3D movie starring Avatar's Sam Worthington - would have been familiar to many school pupils.

Classics - the study of the languages, society and history of ancient Greece and Rome - was part of the grammar school curriculum.

Now only a minority of children study this in any depth - but the resurgence of the "sword and sandals" epic on screen has seen a corresponding rise in the number of applicants to study the subject at university.

"It all started with Gladiator 10 years ago," says Dr Carl Buckland, part of the Classical Studies department at Nottingham University.

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