The Sorrows of the Ancient Romans: The Gladiator and the Monster

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Princeton University Press, 1996 - History - 210 pages
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This inquiry into the collective psychology of the ancient Romans speaks not about military conquest, sober law, and practical politics, but about extremes of despair, desire, and envy. Carlin Barton makes us uncomfortably familiar with a society struggling at or beyond the limits of human endurance. To probe the tensions of the Roman world in the period from the first century b.c.e. through the first two centuries c.e., Barton picks two images: the gladiator and the "monster."This inquiry into the collective psychology of the ancient Romans speaks not about military conquest, sober law, and practical politics, but about extremes of despair, desire, and envy. Carlin Barton makes us uncomfortably familiar with a society struggling at or beyond the limits of human endurance. To probe the tensions of the Roman world in the period from the first century b.c.e. through the first two centuries c.e., Barton picks two images: the gladiator and the "monster."
  

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Contents

Despair The Scandal of the Arena
11
Desire Wine Without Water
47
Fascination A Vain Barren Exquisite Wasting
85
Envy Part One Embracing the Monster
107
Envy Part Two Striking the Monster
145
Conclusions The Widening Gyre
176
MODERN WORKS CITED
191
INDEX
203
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About the author (1996)

Carlin A. Barton is Professor of History at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and author of "The Sorrows of the Ancient Romans "(1993).

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