So there’s a BMCR review of the book “‘Then It Was Destroyed by the Volcano’: The Ancient World in Film and on Television.”  This bit is priceless:

The first chapter starts with an interview with the actress Joan Collins in Playboy, in which she readily compares the AIDS crisis in the 1980s with the decline of Rome: ‘It’s like the Roman Empire. Wasn’t everybody running around just covered in syphilis?  And then it was destroyed by the volcano.’ (p.7)  Apart from proving that one can indeed read Playboy for the interviews, Pomeroy shows how ancient Rome still functions as a vessel for modern preoccupations and imaginations.