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A particular kind of Period Piece set in ancient biblical or mythological times, running the gamut from Heroic Fantasy to Historical Fiction. Movies set in The Roman Republic or The Roman Empire, or even in Ancient Grome, are usually included. Alternatively, it may be used to describe Fantasy Counterpart Culture equivalents in a secondary world. The subgenre of low-budget Sword And Sandal Italian films of the '50s and '60s is the Peplum.

A classic Cyclic Trope, as Hollywood has regular periods of fascination with the era, and the trope was named by an early period of such films being popular, being a staple of The Golden Age of Hollywood.

Contrast Sword & Sorcery, on which the name is based (or vice versa). Strictly speaking, the two genres are distinguished by Sword & Sorcery having explicitly fantastic settings, while Sword And Sandal at least pretends to depict real-world historical settings. There is often some overlap though, especially when mythology gets involved.

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Expect the landscape to resemble sand dunes and/or rural Spain throughout, making those sandals look more attractive.

The equivalent would be Wuxia for China, and Jidaigeki for Japan, in somes cases, though these Period Pieces may also include elements of The Middle Ages, or even later ages, that are absent in Sword And Sandal ones.

Compare Epic Movie.


Examples:

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     Classical Mythology 

Comic Books

Films

Literature

Live-Action TV

Tabletop Games

  • Dungeons & Dragons' Fifth Edition book Mythic Odysseys of Theros provides rules and setting notes for playing in a Classical Myth-inspired world.

Video Games

Web Comics

Western Animation

     Biblical Epics 

Films

Live-Action TV

Theater

Western Animation

  • VeggieTales (but only in the episodes that reenact Biblical events, and huge liberties are taken, such as, you know, making David a talking asparagus and things like that)

Other

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     Ancient West Asia / Egypt / Middle East (non-Biblical) 

Films

Video Games

     Ancient Greece 

Comic Books

Films

Literature

  • Gates of Fire
  • Over the Wine-Dark Sea
  • Hashire! Melos (Run, Melos!) - A short story by author Osamu Dazaki, based on an ancient Greek legend recorded by Hyginus. It's become a staple of Japanese media and adapted to anime, dorama, etc.

Video Games

     Ancient Rome 

Comic Books

Films

Live-Action TV

Literature

Theater

Video Games


Alternative Title(s): Sword And Sandals

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