Chasseurs et Gladiateurs

L'épopée des héros de l'arène

Kévin Alexandre Karek

Date Published :
November 2019
Publisher :
Format Available    QuantityPrice
Binding. : Hardback
ISBN : 9782840485063
Pages : 112
Dimensions : 11.69 X 8.26 inches
Stock Status : In stock



Panem et circenses, “bread and circuses”—Juvenal’s expression denouncing the Roman plebs, whose sole ambition was the free distribution of flour and satiating the appetite for public entertainment, characterizes fairly accurately Roman society at the time of the first emperors. However, one should not be mistaken, the image of the Circus Maximus hosting gladiator fights is nothing more than pure fabrication. Here, other than chariot races and athletic competitions, one would above all notice men armed with helmets and swords (bestiarii) and hunters with spears (venatores) combatting ferocious beasts as part of the venationes.

Under the Republic, the forum served as the arena. Well before the invention of the amphitheater in Pompeii, this public square—reorganized for the event—would serve as a backdrop for the first gladiatorial clashes. Subsequently, like the Coliseum in Rome, the amphitheater would become the fundamental symbol of urban planning. From a "proto" ethnic gladiator (4th century BC) to an imperial gladiator created under Augustus, elaborate hunts (mid-3rd century BC), to various public spectacles in the amphitheater, emperor gladiators to Christian writers denouncing the sacrilege of the arena, this book will present the history of nearly 800 years of spectacles. Based on rich, in-depth archaeological documentation (sigillate pottery, terracotta lamps, mosaics, frescoes, graffiti, glassware, statuary, lapidary elements, etc.) and on solid literary sources, this study confronts the most recent historical research on the subject in order to propose an original reinterpretation of this prodigious phenomenon of society.

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