The great spectacles of ancient Rome have become proverbial for their cruelty, bloodlust & glory. In the Arena, the games were savage & brutal. Gladiators fought each other to the death, wild animals were put to fight each other & criminals were executed by barbaric means. Military victories were marked when generals paraded through the city, the defeated were sacrificed to the gods & food & wine was offered free of charge on a lavish scale. Meanwhile the citizens received free bread to prevent hunger & the riots it could provoke. This book looks at these savage spectacles & traces the development from entertainment to hysterical obsession until their eventual decline & disappearance, & explains how they still have influence on contemporary life. Ill.
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