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Gladiators: 100 BC-AD 200 (Warrior) Paperback – October 25, 2001


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Gladiators: 100 BC-AD 200 (Warrior) + The Gladiators: History's Most Deadly Sport + Gladiator: The Roman Fighter's [Unofficial] Manual
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Product Details

  • Series: Warrior (Book 39)
  • Paperback: 64 pages
  • Publisher: Osprey Publishing (October 25, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1841762997
  • ISBN-13: 978-1841762999
  • Product Dimensions: 0.2 x 7 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #738,316 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

Insights into the real lives of history's fighting men, packed with full colour illustrations, highly detailed cutaways, exploded artwork of weaponry and armour, and action-packed battle scenes.

About the Author

Stephen Wisdom's interest in history was first awakened through his involvement with medieval drama, an interest that continues to influence his writing and illustrating career. An experienced re-enactor, he believes that a historical drama can educate just as well as a textbook, and he has undertaken a variety of historical roles. Based in a quiet village in England, he currently devotes himself to writing, sculpture, and making armour.

Customer Reviews

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See all 8 customer reviews
Anyway I believe this is a great short book as are all of the Osprey publication.
Douglas E. Libert
I normally have a good imagination but when it comes to real life things its hard to make a good picture of it in your head.
Matthew Palmateer
As always, Angus McBride's artwork is unequaled and fleshes the book out very well.
K. Murphy

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

22 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Martin R Kealey on November 17, 2001
Format: Paperback
Gladiators 100BC-200AD is an excellent addition to the prolific Osprey series of military books. A nice summary of the superb (but a tad costlier) Gladiators and Ceasars, Gladiators 100Bc-200AD combines much of the latest information on these showmen of the arena with magnificent illustrations by the legendary Angus McBride. The descriptions of training and living conditions of the gladiators is nice and concise, with some good asides based on grafritti findings and written records. The descriptions of the various fighters are good, with the illustrations doing much to imprint the differences in the reader's mind. Probably the only real failing of the volume is the lack of photographs of either actual gladiatorial armour, especially the helmets, or the excellent reproductions done under Dr Marcus Junklemann's supervision. An image of the myrmillon helmet described with the "scale-like" pattern on the bowl would have been really appreciated. All-in-all, an excellent addition to my growing gladiator library. Now, if only someone would translate Junklemann's Das Spiel mit dem Todt into English and make it available to purchase.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By K. Murphy on April 1, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This Osprey warrior title takes a look at the gladiators of the Roman Empire from the 1st Century BC (when Julius Caesar staged his great arena fights) to the 2nd Century AD (which saw the antics of Commodus, such as fighting gladiators armed with leaden weapons). Since Osprey Publishing focuses on military matters, it is slightly surprising that they would look at the gladiators. These were not military men, of course, though a few had military backgrounds.

Basically speaking, this book examines the whole career of a hypothetical gladiator named Danaos (taken from a 2nd Century gravestone in Eastern Europe) from his 'recruitment' to his retirement-assuming he lasts that long. Author Stephen Wisdom does reveal some surprising information, notably that more than a few gladiators willingly chose the career, and that for all except for true slaves and condemned criminals, it was a paid career, and a well-paid one at that. Overall, Wisdom makes arena fighting look more like a dangerous sport than a Hollywood slaughter-fest, but at the same time does not let us forget the ferocity and human tragedy of it.

The main reason for my giving this title 4 stars instead of 5 is that, in my opinion, it could have touched on the different styles of gladiator much better. All the well-known kinds, retiarii (the young warriors with a net and trident) and the various sword-wielding kinds like Thracians, Samnites, and Myrmillos are examined, as well as a couple more obscure kinds like the spear-armed hoplomachus (roughly how the gladiators in the Roman arena in the movie Gladiator are armed). On the other hand, the author makes little reference to the essendiarii, the charioteers, many of whom were women.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Douglas E. Libert on June 17, 2009
Format: Paperback
As always with these pamphlet style books the artwork is excellent and in some of those drawings I could easily imagine the feeling of dread the Gladiator must have faced.Much like an Aztec about to be sacrificed to the Sun(and also occuring a hemishere away at the almost exact time period).
Before I read this book I could picture a bunch of uncivilized savage animals(far worse off than the animals in the arena)spectating at the gory show in sadistic pleasure. The author however, offers a brief but effective explanation of the Roman concept of sacrifice,that is the ultimate price of everything, and the more precious the object the higher the price. The Roman Peace or Pax Romana cost the empire blood and treasures unimaginable and the Gladiatorial contests were initially a celebration of life accented by brutal death? So as not to forget noone gets a free ride in the next life,a savage reminder that the best thing here in the present are not free either.
This is not to say and the author also brings this out,that eventually the games were probably seen as and became in fact a "carnal spectacle"and no longer a celebration of life. This is not to say that the games were ever in fact anything but murder,as were the Aztec sacrifices of the same period.There are also included,pictures and explanations of a type of a "water organ" that must have played some "sinister"? notes either during intermission or during the spectacle itself. At any rate for sure it wasn't playing,"Take Me Out To The Ballgame". It made me wonder also what type of music was playing during the Aztecian spectacles.
Anyway I believe this is a great short book as are all of the Osprey publication. And usually they give you a little "extra" to philophize about.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Lionel S. Taylor on May 22, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Every Osprey book that I have come across has been very good at giving a clear concise explanation of its topic and Gladiators was no exception. What is so good about these books is that all of the information is backed up by the archaeological evidence which the book includes with a bibliography of where the information came from. The middle of the books are filled with historically accurate illustration of the subjects being discussed. While these books may seem expensive for a thin paperback they are well worth the price.
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