Follow TV Tropes


Sandal Punk

Go To
Sandal punk is a subgenre of the Punk Punk science fiction category. It focuses on the classical period or the ancient world before the Middle Ages, usually Ancient Rome, or Ancient Greece, or both, sometimes with hints of The Trojan War; or alternatively, on a Fantasy Counterpart Culture or Planet of Hats modeled on those settings. A closely related trope, known as Bible punk, combines Stone Punk and Sandal punk within an Egyptian or Middle Eastern setting.

See also Sword and Sandal.


    open/close all folders 


  • Wonder Woman's island home of Themyscira has traditionally fallen under this trope; a utopian society of ancient Greek immortals who mix ancient religion with advanced discoveries. As originally concieved, Wonder Woman was created by the gods, trained in super-advanced martial arts and telepathy, and weilded a mixture of magical tools (like the her bracelet and lassoo) and technological ones (like her invisible plane and the purple healing ray.) As time has gone on, the "ancient Greek" stuff has gotten more and more emphasized and the other stuff has increasingly fallen by the wayside.

  • The Bronze Age world of Sláine combines Sandal Punk with Stone Punk.

  • Asterix: Modern appliances are often recreated with Bamboo Technology. For instance, chariots are treated exactly like cars, including tow trucks or mail vans versions of them. Or internal communications in an enterprise is recreated with slaves, waiting in desks to hear messages, then rush to repeat them.

  • 300 with its Persian ninjas, giant warriors and grenade throwing wizards.
  • Lou Ferrigno's Hercules battles giant extraterrestial robots.
  • Harryhausen's Jason and the Argonauts and Clash of the Titans are set in a version of Greece where fantasy monsters are real. A few are even mechanical (a colossus in the former, an owl in the latter).
  • Disney's Hercules is a loose re-telling of the ancient myths about Hercules with several anachronistic elements.
  • The Atlanteans from Atlantis: The Lost Empire are depicted as possessing technology and science far more advanced than anything recorded in history including laser-spewing hovercrafts, floating monuments, crystals that grant healing and advanced longevity, hyper-awareness of languages created millenia after their own, and massive machines. All this while still possessing tribalistic characteristics such as a hunter/gatherer style of living.
  • The Bible punk movies King David, Noah and The Scorpion King transplant classic sandal punk themes to the Bronze Age Middle East.

  • Conan the Barbarian fought in the Aesir-Vanir war, has trouble with evil wizards from an Egyptian inspired civilisation, and sometimes has dealings with "Shemitic" merchants from the Sodom-inspired city of Shadizar.
  • Those historical novels by Mary Renault which are set in ancient Greece.
  • The Machined Hearts series by Matt Dawson which is set in a world based on European antiquity. A fusion of Sword and Sandal, Magitek, with a dash of Ridiculously Human Robots.
  • The Percy Jackson books often feature advanced divine technology; celestial bronze automatons, weapons and shields that can fold up or have other advanced features, or modern technology like laptops that are magically enhanced and applied to the problems of ancient Greek myth.

     Live-Action TV  

     Tabletop Games  
  • Pyramid magazine outlined two separate Sandalpunk GURPS settings: "Bronzepunk" (Greece) and "Ironpunk" (Rome).
  • OGL Ancients is based around the civilization before the Roman Empire (with special focus on Greece and Egypt) and features the Artificer Class.

     Video Games  


     Western Animation  
  • Hercules is a midquel series to the Disney movie mentioned above, and is also set in a Disneyfied version of Ancient Greece. It has time to explore the world around Hercules further than what the movie could ever do, and features a Gadgeteer Genius father-son duo as part of its cast.
  • The Roman Holidays: a Flintstone style sitcom of the genre.
  • The Story Keepers: an action-packed series about the persecuted early Christians.