Blood in the Arena

Blood in the Arena : The Spectacle of Roman Power

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From the center of Imperial Rome to the farthest reaches of ancient Britain, Gaul, and Spain, amphitheaters 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 amphitheaters 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 ritualized 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 politicized cult practice of the Roman more

Product details

  • Paperback | 352 pages
  • 152.4 x 220.98 x 22.86mm | 566.99g
  • University of Texas Press
  • Austin, TX, United States
  • English
  • Revised ed.
  • 27 photos, 9 line drawings, 6 maps, 7 tables
  • 029272523X
  • 9780292725232
  • 786,405

Review quote

"... bring[s] fresh perspectives to the study of the Roman amphitheater, 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 Worldshow more

Table of contents

* Abbreviations * Acknowledgments * Introduction * I. Beginnings * Campanian Gladiators * Etruscan Gladiators * Origines Gladiatorum * Early Spectacle in Rome * The Late Republic: Spectacle and Political Manipulation * The Imperial Games * II. A Scatter of Circles * The Iberian Peninsula * Britannia * The Northeastern Frontier * The Galliae * III. Order and Struggle: Cult in the Amphitheater * Imperial Cult * Celtic Cult * Nemesis * IV. The System of Construction * The Early Builders * Builders during the Empire * Management * Labor * Military Amphitheaters * Technology * Tickets and Seating * V. The Magic Ring: Human Sacrifice in the Arena * Patterns of Human Sacrifice * Human Sacrifice in Rome * The Ideology of Human Sacrifice * Conclusion * Appendix I. Amphitheaters and Central Place Theory * Appendix II. Pliny in Bithynia * Notes * Bibliography * Indexshow more