The World of the Gladiator (Paperback)
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Short Description for The World of the Gladiator The figure of the gladiator is as compelling to us as it was to the Romans. Why are we drawn to this ancient blood sport? The usual explanation of the savagery lurking beneath ou rveneer of civilisation is too simplistic.
- Published: 15 October 2005
- Format: Paperback 256 pages
- ISBN 13: 9780752434421 ISBN 10: 075243442X
- Sales rank: 730,364
Full description for The World of the Gladiator
The figure of the gladiator is as compelling to us as it was to the Romans. Why are we drawn to this ancient blood sport? The usual explanation of the savagery lurking beneath ou rveneer of civilisation is too simplistic. Gladiatorial combat has always been far more than just an excuse for the enjoyment of violence. From its origins in the funerary religious practices of Republican Rome to the extreme form of entertainment we recognise today, the bloody business of the arean evolved into a microcosm of the Roman Empire, a self-contained world reflecting the culture, attitudes and history of Rome itself. The author brings the games and the gladiators into focus, placing them in their historical and cultural context. Using evidence from all over the Roman world, including fresh archaeological discoveries, the minutiae of the arena are set out and discussed. A picture of the gladiator's life is built up, from training and diet, to social status and mortality rates. The history of the amphitheatre, that iconic symbol of bloodletting, is also traced alongside the evolutions of the gladiator. Films like Gladiator and Spartacus demostrate that the idea of two men fighting each other for their lives has lost none of its power in over 2000 years. The particular persistence of this public taste for spectacle is explored, with unavoidable comparisons to the modern world.