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He vows to endure to be burned, to be bound, to be beaten, and to be killed by the sword. - Gladiator's oath according to Petronius. Pure unadulterated murder - Seneca's opinion of gladiatorial games. Gladiatorial combat is one of the most defining images of ancient Rome. It encapsulated the brutality of Rome, the importance of public life, and the organisation and stratification in Roman society. One day at Rome's Colosseum, 3000 men fought; on another 9000 animals were killed. But the games weren't just for Rome: it's estimated that across the Republic, 8000 people died a year in gladiatorial games and that there were 400 gladiatorial arenas throughout the Roman Empire. Gladiator looks at life and service in the Roman arenas from the origins of the games in the 3rd century BC through to the demise of the games and the Empire in the fifth century AD. It explores the lives of the prisoners of war, criminals and also volunteers who became gladiators, their training and the more than 20 types of gladiator they could be, fighting with different weapons against each other or animals. From Spartacus's Slave Revolt to the real Emperor Commodius who liked to play at being a gladiator, from female gladiators to the emancipation of successful gladiators, from their armour to their tactics to their lifespan, Gladiator is a masterful examination of this fascinating world. Including more than 200 photographs, illustrations, paintings, and maps, Gladiator is an exciting and insightful exploration of the political theatre of the Roman arenas 2000 years ago, where the lowliest in society might just become heroes.
- Hubbard, B.
- Gladiator. Fighting for Life, Glory and Freedom
- English text, more than 200 photographs, artworks and maps, large format. 224 pages.
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