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The World of the Gladiator Paperback – September 1, 2005


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Tempus; First Edition edition (September 1, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 075243442X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0752434421
  • Product Dimensions: 6.8 x 0.4 x 9.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #587,987 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Susanna Shadrake is a writer, researcher and consultant to TV and film companies, advising on all aspects of gladiatorial life. She is co-founder and secretary of Britannia, a re-enactment society providing shows for English Heritage, the BBC, Museum of London and the National Trust. She is the author of 'Barbarian Warriors'. She lives in Basildon, Essex.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer VINE VOICE on November 13, 2008
Format: Paperback
Aimed at the general reader, this book delves into one of the most fascinating aspects of Roman life: gladiators. The Romans were mad for gladiator fights, and nearly every city the size of a speck boasted an amphitheater.

Because gladiators, especially at first, were drawn from the condemned, Romans looked down upon them as a class. "It was a social stigma to be an actor, as it was to be a gladiator; no decent person would wish to perform in public, whether in the scaena or the arena, as it would expose them to contempt and derision. Strangely, the charioteer was exempted from this social leprosy. For this reason, most performers in Rome were outsiders, foreigners, or slaves; anything but Roman citizens" (p 31). Later some debt ridden, desperate Roman men did volunteer to be gladiators, however.

The arena was drenched with blood. Gladiators did not always fight to the death--their lives were considered too valuable to be thrown away cheaply, but the arena saw plenty of death every day. Elephants were trained to crush condemned men underfoot "Christian noxii were a common sight in the area" (p 29), dragged there to be slaughtered.

The book is rich in interesting anecdotes, such as the fact that the emperor Valentinian kept his favorite man-eating bears in cages right outside his bedroom. Must have made for happy dreams.

Recommended.
The book has plenty of pictures, also, some in color.
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Nice book for general reading about the history of the gladiator. It give an all around picture of the times in Rome and how the gladiator came into being and their evolution from a funeral rite to the massive games of the Arena. The reading is not too technical and is a easy read. I am pleased to add it to my library.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The book's content is really good. I love that part of it. It is thorough and entertaining. However, for how expensive the book is, the weak glue binding is extremely disappointing. A section of 20 or so pages has already fallen out of the book and I'm not even halfway through it yet.
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