Tuesday, July 9, 2019


n 1947 the American School of Classical Studies at Athens produced a color film called Triumph Over Time. The project was envisioned as a publicity tool to launch the first post-war capital campaign of the American School. The 40-minute film was produced by the numismatist Margaret Thompson and directed by the Swedish American archaeologist, Oscar Broneer.  Fox Movietone processed the motion picture in the United States at the request of the founding owner of Fox Studios, Spyros P. Skouras, who served as a Trustee of the American School from 1946 to 1971.

In 2006, a search through the School’s Archives produced a celluloid original and a wealth of information concerning the film's history. At the same time, the School acquired the papers of Oscar Broneer, which offered unknown information about Broneer’s role in the making of the movie and his active participation in a number of relief organizations helping Greece during WWII. Further research indicates that, although Triumph Over Time was the first of a series of archaeological films made about Greece, it has largely been forgotten. The film received a brief mention in the second volume of the History of the American School at Athens, but was missed by the two most important surveys of existing archaeological films. This is surprising when one considers that it played for over a decade in the United States, England, and Greece, and was used as a diplomatic tool by the U.S. Department before dropping out of circulation.
Read the story behind the filming of Triumph Over Time, here.
Triumph Over Time from ASCSA on Vimeo.

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