How Is the Universe of the Hunger Games Inspired by Ancient Greece and Rome?

The Hunger Games is a dystopian novel that has been adapted into a popular movie franchise. The universe of The Hunger Games series is inspired by ancient Greece and Rome. The author, Suzanne Collins, has mentioned in several interviews that she drew inspiration from these ancient cultures while creating the world of Panem.

Ancient Greece and Rome

Ancient Greece and Rome are known for their rich history, culture, and mythology. These two civilizations have influenced the world in countless ways. From literature to art to politics, their legacy can still be felt today.

The Capitol

The Capitol in The Hunger Games is reminiscent of ancient Rome. It is a city that holds all the power and wealth in Panem. The Capitol’s architecture, fashion, and culture reflect the opulence of ancient Rome.

The citizens of the Capitol are known for their extravagant costumes and makeup, which is similar to how the wealthy citizens of ancient Rome dressed up in elaborate clothing to show off their status.

The Games

The Hunger Games themselves are inspired by the gladiatorial games that took place in ancient Rome. In these games, prisoners would fight to the death for entertainment. Similarly, in The Hunger Games, children from each district are selected to fight to the death for entertainment purposes.

The Districts

The districts in The Hunger Games are similar to the city-states of ancient Greece. Each district has its own unique culture, traditions, and resources.

District 12, where Katniss Everdeen comes from, resembles ancient Sparta with its focus on survival skills and military training.

The Mockingjay Symbol

The mockingjay symbol used in The Hunger Games is inspired by an ancient Greek myth about Philomela and Procne. In this myth, Philomela was transformed into a nightingale after she was raped by her sister’s husband. The nightingale’s song became a symbol of freedom and resistance.

Similarly, the mockingjay in The Hunger Games symbolizes rebellion against the Capitol and the fight for freedom.


In conclusion, The Hunger Games universe is heavily inspired by ancient Greece and Rome. From the architecture to the fashion to the mythology, Suzanne Collins has created a world that reflects the legacy of these ancient civilizations. By incorporating these elements, Collins has created a visually engaging and thought-provoking story that has become a cultural phenomenon.