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    Gladiators: History's Most Deadly Sport (Paperback) By (author) Fik Meijer

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  • Full bibliographic data for Gladiators

    History's Most Deadly Sport
    Authors and contributors
    By (author) Fik Meijer
    Physical properties
    Format: Paperback
    Number of pages: 256
    Width: 128 mm
    Height: 198 mm
    Thickness: 21 mm
    Weight: 266 g
    ISBN 13: 9780285637047
    ISBN 10: 0285637045

    Nielsen BookScan Product Class 3: T5.1
    BIC E4L: HIS
    BIC subject category V2: HBJD, HBLA
    BIC geographical qualifier V2: 1QDAR
    BISAC V2.8: SPO019000, HIS002020
    BIC subject category V2: WST, 1QDAR
    DC22: 796.80937
    Illustrations note
    photos, line drawings, reproduced artworks
    Souvenir Press Ltd
    Imprint name
    Souvenir Press Ltd
    Publication date
    07 October 2004
    Publication City/Country
    Review text
    Across six centuries the gladiator games enthralled the Romans. Thousands of spectators would put aside their humble lives, packing into the massive amphitheatres to watch a day's brutal, thrilling spectacle. Central to Professor Meijer's frank history is his imagined description of a day at the games, his research drawn from contemporary accounts including the criticisms of Seneca and Cicero, archaeological researches, and posters and graffiti found at Pompeii. In the morning wild animals captured from Africa and Asia were pitted against each other, egotistical evidence of Roman Emperors' 'mastery of nature'. Around lunchtime the executions would take place, Christians and slaves thrown to the lions and leopards, or crucified. Then in the afternoon the day's major attraction, the gladiator duels, would stoke the bloodthirsty crowd into a final frenzy. Specially trained in highly ordered schools, the gladiators were local criminals or prisoners of war, or sometimes just senators who fancied some excitement in their lives. Theirs was a rigidly structured existence, as Meijer describes, each gladiator having been finely fed and honed, and kitted out with very particular weaponry. The defeated relied on the mercy of the baying crowd for their survival, while the victors revelled in their glory even though an early death almost certainly awaited them too. Meijer also discusses how the gladiator spectacle came about and how it declined with the growing dominance of Christianity. Finally he analyses the hit films Spartacus and Gladiator for their inaccuracies, and speculates as to the role the games played in Roman society. It's a gruesome and thought-provoking insight into a gory yet elaborate world. (Kirkus UK)