This sourcebook presents a wealth of material relating to every aspect of Roman spectacles, especially gladiatorial combat and chariot racing. <br><li>Draws on the words of eye-witnesses and participants, as well as depictions of the games in mosaics and other works of art. <br><li>Offers snapshots of “a day at the games” and “the life of a gladiator”. <br><li>Includes numerous illustrations. <br><li>Covers chariot-races, water pageants, naval battles and wild animal fights, as well as gladiatorial combat. <br><li>Combines political, social, religious and archaeological perspectives. <br><li>Facilitates an in-depth understanding of this important feature of ancient life. </li>
?A lively and wide-ranging collection of sources on Roman public spectacle. Alison Futrell has made an excellent selection and she introduces and links the extracts with very lucid and helpful commentary. This book will be enormously beneficial for students and helpful to scholars too.?
Jonathan Edmondson, York University, Toronto
?This excellent book promises to be an invaluable resource for anyone interested in the violent entertainments of the Roman arena. Futrell?s collection of sources enables readers to see the broader context of the games, offering a first rate collection of material for life outside the amphitheater, as well as for events that took place within it.?
David Potter, University of Michigan
"Futrell's main purpose is to provide interesting, unusual material, and this she does ... Her brief explanatory notes are insightful, learned and intended to provoke further research. Those interested in ancient Rome will welcome this fine sourcebook ... Highly recommended."
"This very useful book provides a wide-ranging collection of sources of different types on this ever-popular branch of Roman civilisation, offering valuable insights into aspects of Roman public entertainment. . . a worthwhile purchase for the school library."
Journal of Classics Teaching
1. The Politics of the Arena.
Origin and Growth of Games.
Games and the Roman State.
Origins of Gladiatorial Combat.
Origins of Wild Animal Shows.
Roman Spectacle Overseas.
Spectacle and Roman Politics.
Politics and Shows.
Shows as Political Assemblies.
The Emperor and the Arena.
The Emperor as Spectator.
Imperial Spectacle as Political Forum.
Gladiators Outside Rome.
2. The Venue.
No Theaters Please.
Temporary structures in Rome.
Disaster and control.
Mixed edifices in the Western Empire.
Features of the Circus Maximus.
Circus as Cosmos.
Stratification and Seating.
3. A Day at the Games.
Preparation and pompa.
Good spectacles vs. Bad Spectacles.
The Other Show: Audiences at the Games.
Power of Life and Death.
Food, Spectacular Food.
Inaugural Games at the Flavian Amphitheater.
Tainted by the Crowd.
4. The Life of the Gladiator.
Where did gladiators come from?.
Prisoners of War.
Slave gladiators and the Spartacan War.
Gladiators and status.
Choosing gladiatorial status.
Life in the ludi.
Death or Survival.
Death and Choice.
Female performers: gladiatrices and ludia.
Crimes of status: elites in the arena.
5. Christians and the Arena.
Rome and the Christians: the official relationship.
The Neronian Persecution.
Christian denunciation of the Arena.
The arena and Christian identity.
Christian Rome and the arena.
6. Chariot Races and Water Shows.
Emperors as Fans.
Fan Clubs and Unrest.
The Nika Revolt.
Timeline of Roman History.
Glossary of Terms and Names.
Suggestions for Further Reading.