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Gladiator: The Complete Guide To Ancient Rome's Bloody Fighters Paperback – October 4, 2011

5 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


“A powerful survey . . . offering the newest research on gladiators to revise the standard perception of their combat, equipment, and lives and social status.” ―Bookwatch

“The richest knowledge of the history of this most interesting phenomenon―the history of the Roman arena where, in blood and gold, magnificent performances developed, which devoured enormous sums of money and took away the lives of thousands of human beings and animals. The book is based on a huge amount of ancient resources, as well as the newest findings and research.” ―Michael Gorelik, author of The Warriors of Eurasia

From the Back Cover

From the author of Ancient and Medieval Siege Weapons comes this eye-opening new look at the most popular spectacle of ancient Rome. Gladiatorial games first served as a solemn funeral rite to honor noble citizens. At the height of their eight-century reign of popularity, the games formed the centerpiece of a massive entertainment industry run by cunning entrepreneurs and regulated carefully by the government. Professional gladiators were highly trained, and their ranks even included women for a time. Slaves who became gladiators could earn their freedom in as few as four wins. A gladiator’s career lasted about four years—with an average lifespan of just eighteen to twenty-five years—but some champions survived up to 150 combats. In return for long-term contracts, they earned huge annual salaries. They were the boxers or football players of their day.

This richly illustrated, fascinating guide provides a complete, breathtaking tour of gladiator customs and covers every aspect of the gladiator phenomenon, from the types of equipment the different classes of gladiator used to the unique place in society occupied by these fighters prepared to die.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Lyons Press; Reprint edition (October 4, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0762773936
  • ISBN-13: 978-0762773930
  • Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 0.7 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,777,619 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Excellent information! I was inspired to read more about different armies and fighter classes of the past after reading Steven Pressfield's 'Gates of Fire' as well as his shorter work 'The Virtues of War.' There is so much more to the history of gladiators than most people will ever realize. Gladiators were more than just "slaves who fought in an arena."

I'm not sure what the difference is between this book and the author's other book 'Gladiator: Rome's Bloody Spectacle'. This just happened to be the book that was easier for me to acquire a copy of. It seems as if each topic is covered in as much detail as is known, and that nothing is left out.

Some of the topics discussed in this book include:
-Beats Hunting
-Catching Animals
-Naval Battles
-Type of Gladiators (discusses 19 types of gladiators)
-Equipment-helmet, arm-guard, greaves, shields, weapons, outfit
-Amphitheater-construction, famous amphitheatres
-Organizing Events
-Gladiatorial Schools, Training
-Social Status of Gladiators

There are also multiple tables of information, including tables that display more characteristics of some of the equipment, animals that were supplied from various parts of the world, and types of gladiators and opponents.

You will also get:
-more than 120 illustrations, diagrams, and photographs
-a glossary of more than 130 words
-more than 300 chapter notes
(As well as a bibliography and index, of course)
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Format: Paperback
I'm interested in the Roman way of life and this book is great for research on the gladiators. Full of illustrations and pictures of artifacts, the author pieces together the history of the bloody gladiator games. They were not all the lean musclebound men like you see on modern shows, but many had some girth to better survive wounds that would be fatal to a slender person. A great book for entertainment and research.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Probably the best book on gladiators out there.
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