Emperors and Gladiators by Thomas WiedemannEmperors and Gladiators by Thomas Wiedemann

Emperors and Gladiators

byThomas WiedemannEditorThomas Wiedemann

Paperback | May 7, 1995

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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.
Title:Emperors and GladiatorsFormat:PaperbackDimensions:232 pages, 8.5 × 5.43 × 0.6 inPublished:May 7, 1995Publisher:Taylor and Francis

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0415121647

ISBN - 13:9780415121644

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What exactly was the motivation for gladiatorial games? Why were they so central to empirical Roman culture? Emperors and Gladiators explores all the different theories to put these legendary battles in perspective. The games have been viewed as sacrifices to the gods, as a method to desensitize citizens and as a substitute for warfare during the peaceful years of the Empire. Thomas Wiedemann looks at all this in context, showing the event as a symbolic political and social statement that at once rallied the people while defining the power of the emperors.