The Roman Games by Alison FutrellThis sourcebook presents a wealth of material relating to every aspect of Roman spectacles, especially gladiatorial combat and chariot racing. Draws on the words of eye-witnesses and participants, as well as depictions of the games in mosaics and other works of art. Offers snapshots of a day at the games and the life of a gladiator . Includes numerous illustrations. Covers chariot-races, water pageants, naval battles and wild animal fights, as well as gladiatorial combat. Combines political, social, religious and archaeological perspectives. Facilitates an in-depth understanding of this important feature of ancient life.
Call Number: 937 FUT
Blood in the Arena by Alison FutrellFrom the center of Imperial Rome to the farthest reaches of ancient Britain, Gaul, and Spain, amphitheaters marked the landscape of the Western Roman Empire. Built to bring Roman institutions and the spectacle of Roman power to conquered peoples, many still remain as witnesses to the extent and control of the empire. In this book, Alison Futrell explores the arena as a key social and political institution for binding Rome and its provinces. She begins with the origins of the gladiatorial contest and shows how it came to play an important role in restructuring Roman authority in the later Republic. She then traces the spread of amphitheaters across the Western Empire as a means of transmitting and maintaining Roman culture and control in the provinces. Futrell also examines the larger implications of the arena as a venue for the ritualized mass slaughter of human beings, showing how the gladiatorial contest took on both religious and political overtones. This wide-ranging study, which draws insights from archaeology and anthropology, as well as Classics, broadens our understanding of the gladiatorial contest and its place within the highly politicized cult practice of the Roman Empire.
Call Number: 937 FUT
Gladiators by M. C. BishopThe gladiator is one of the most enduring figures of Ancient Rome. Heroic, though of lowly status, they fought vicious duels in large arenas filled with baying crowds. The survivor could be either executed (the famous 'thumbs down' signal) or spared at the whim of the crowd or the Emperor. Few lasted more than a dozen fights, yet they were a valuable asset to their owners.But how did they fight and how did their weapons and techniques develop? Who were they? This book gives an entertaining overview of the history of the gladiator, debunking some myths along the way. We learn about the different forms of combat, and the pairings which were designed to carefully balance the strengths and weaknesses of one against the other. The retiarii (with nets) were lightly armed but mobile, the secutores and murmillones were protected but weighed down by their armor. Gladiators also participated in simulated naval battles on large artificial lakes or even in the arena of the Colosseum.Although their lives were brutal and short, gladiators often were admired for their bravery, endurance, and willingness to die. They were the celebrities of their day. This book reveals what we know and how we know it: ancient remains, contemporary literature, graffiti, modern attempts to reconstruct ancient fighting techniques and the astonishing discovery at Pompeii where a complete gladiator barracks was found alongside multiple skeletons, telling their story.
Call Number: 937 BIS
The Day Commodus Killed a Rhino by Jerry TonerIn ancient times, the Roman games--that heady cocktail of mass slaughter, gladiatorial combat, and chariot racing--made strong political, social, and cultural statements. The Roman emperor Commodus wanted to kill a rhinoceros with a bow and arrow, and he wanted to do it in the Colosseum. Commodus's passion for hunting animals was so fervent that he dreamt of shooting a tiger, an elephant, and a hippopotamus; his prowess was such that people claimed he never missed when hurling his javelin or firing arrows from his bow. For fourteen days near the end of AD 192, the emperor mounted one of the most lavish and spectacular gladiatorial games Rome had ever seen. Commodus himself was the star attraction, and people rushed from all over Italy to witness the spectacle. But this slaughter was simply the warm-up act to the main event: the emperor was also planning to fight as a gladiator. Why did Roman rulers spend vast resources on such over-the-top displays--and why did some emperors appear in them as combatants? Why did the Roman rabble enjoy watching the slaughter of animals and the sight of men fighting to the death? And how best can we in the modern world understand what was truly at stake in the circus and the arena? In The Day Commodus Killed a Rhino, Jerry Toner set out to answer these questions by vividly describing what it would have been like to attend Commodus' fantastic shows and watch one of his many appearances as both hunter and fighter. Highlighting the massive logistical effort needed to supply the games with animals, performers, and criminals for execution, the book reveals how blood and gore were actually incidental to what really mattered. Gladiatorial games played a key role in establishing a forum for political debate between the rulers and the ruled. Roman crowds were not passive: they were made up of sophisticated consumers with their own political aims, which they used the games to secure. In addition, the games also served as a pure expression of what it meant to be a true Roman. Drawing on notions of personal honor, manly vigor, and sophisticated craftsmanship, the games were a story that the Romans loved to tell themselves about themselves.