Spectacles of Death in Ancient Rome

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Psychology Press, 1998 - History - 288 pages
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The elaborate and inventive slaughter of humans and animals in the arena fed an insatiable desire for violent spectacle among the Roman people. Donald G. Kyle combines the words of ancient authors with current scholarly research and cross-cultural perspectives, as he explores
* the origins and historical development of the games
* who the victims were and why they were chosen
* how the Romans disposed of the thousands of resulting corpses
* the complex religious and ritual aspects of institutionalised violence
* the particularly savage treatment given to defiant Christians.
This lively and original work provides compelling, sometimes controversial, perspectives on the bloody entertainments of ancient Rome, which continue to fascinate us to this day.
 

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Contents

Introduction violent spectacles and Roman civilization
1
Ancient and modern attitudes
2
Interpretations of Roman violence and spectacles
7
the problem of disposal
10
The phenomenon the development and diversity of Roman spectacles of death
34
Festivals punishments celebrations and games
35
rites and spectacles
43
power proscriptions and multidimensional spectacles
49
Arenas and eating corpses and carcasses as food?
184
Hunting games and game
187
spectators and scrambles
190
America
194
Rituals spectacles and the Tiber River
213
punishment and purgation
214
Executions and riots in the Forum
217
Political violence and disposal by water
220

summa supplicia and fatal charades
53
The victims differentiation status and supply
76
infamy virtue and ambivalence
79
The doomed and the damned
91
demand and supply
95
Rituals and resources
100
Death disposal and damnation of humans some methods and messages
128
Death as a spectacle in some other premodern societies
133
Disposal from Roman arenas some rituals and options
155
burial pits exposure crucifixion fire
159
Commodus the gladiator
224
Christians persecutions and disposal
242
passions procedures spectacles and disposal
243
Lyons and disposal by water
248
Relics and resurrection
253
Conclusion hunts and homicides as spectacles of death
265
References
272
Index
282
Copyright

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About the author (1998)

Donald G. Kyle is Professor and Chair of History at the University of Texas at Arlington. An award-winning teacher, he has been honoured by the University as a Distinguished Teaching Fellow. He has published "Athletics in Ancient Athens" (Revised Edition, 1993) and "Spectacles of Death in Ancient Rome" (1998) and co-edited "Essays on Sport History and Sport Mythology" (1990). He has appeared in History Channel shows on gladiators (1996) and crime in Rome (2005) and PBS and History Channel shows on the Ancient Olympics (2004).

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