Emperors and Gladiators

Front Cover
Taylor & Francis, Mar 11, 2002 - History - 218 pages
3 Reviews
Of all aspects of Roman culture, the gladiatorial contests for which the Romans built their amphitheatres are at once the most fascinating and the most difficult for us to come to terms with. They have been seen variously as sacrifices to the gods or, at funerals, to the souls of the deceased; as a mechanism for introducing young Romans to the horrors of fighting; and as a direct substitute for warfare after the imposition of peace.
In this original and authoritative study, Thomas Wiedemann argues that gladiators were part of the mythical struggle of order and civilisation against the forces of nature, barbarism and law breaking, representing the possibility of a return to new life from the point of death; that Christian Romans rejected gladiatorial games not on humanitarian grounds, but because they were a rival representation of a possible resurrection.

What people are saying - Write a review

Review: Emperors and Gladiators

User Review  - Jessie B. - Goodreads

This book suggests that gladiatorial games played an important symbolic social role in roman society despite the both glorified and stigmatized view of gladiators themselves. It makes a good argument even if the writing is a bit dry. Read full review

Review: Emperors and Gladiators

User Review  - William Prueter - Goodreads

Go to prueter.org. Find Latin page. Click on books read. Go to Roman culture. Find the summary. Read full review

Other editions - View all

Bibliographic information