Blood in the Arena: The Spectacle of Roman Power

Blood in the Arena: The Spectacle of Roman Power


By (author) Alison Futrell

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  • Publisher: University of Texas Press
  • Format: Paperback | 352 pages
  • Dimensions: 152mm x 221mm x 23mm | 567g
  • Publication date: 1 April 2001
  • Publication City/Country: Austin, TX
  • ISBN 10: 029272523X
  • ISBN 13: 9780292725232
  • Edition: New edition
  • Edition statement: New edition
  • Illustrations note: 27 photographs, 9 line drawings, 6 maps, 7 tables
  • Sales rank: 943,525

Product description

From the centre of Imperial Rome to the farthest reaches of ancient Britain, Gaul, and Spain, amphitheatres marked the landscape of the Western Roman Empire. Built to bring Roman institutions and the spectacle of Roman power to conquered peoples, many still remain as witnesses to the extent and control of the empire. In this book, Alison Futrell explores the arena as a key social and political institution for binding Rome and its provinces. She begins with the origins of the gladiatorial contest and shows how it came to play an important role in restructuring Roman authority in the later Republic. She then traces the spread of amphitheatres across the Western Empire as a means of transmitting and maintaining Roman culture and control in the provinces. Futrell also examines the larger implications of the arena as a venue for the ritualised mass slaughter of human beings, showing how the gladiatorial contest took on both religious and political overtones. This wide-ranging study, which draws insights from archaeology and anthropology as well as Classics, broadens our understanding of the gladiatorial contest and its place within the highly politicised cult practice of the Roman Empire. Alison Futrell is Associate Professor of Roman History at the University of Arizona.

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Review quote

"... bring[s] fresh perspectives to the study of the Roman amphitheatre, situating the Roman arena within a larger cross-cultural framework of human sacrifice and providing important insights into the psychological dimensions of these public spectacles for the Roman viewer." -Classical World