The World of the Gladiator
From the origins of gladiatorial games in Rome’s early history, to its gruesome flowering, the author meticulously details the progress of the deadly sport. With chapters on Caesar’s games, the making of a gladiator, organising the spectacle, pleasing the crowd, gladiatorial categories, attitudes to gladiators and the games, and reconstructing the spectacle, this book comprehensively covers all the crucial aspects.
The book is well illustrated and thoroughly researched. Very up-to-date information is included, although the recent work of Karl Grossschmidt on the gladiator graveyard in Ephesus is quoted but not properly referenced. The index proved a little limited when trying to find information for pugio (dagger), where the reader was referred onward to other keywords, but not to specific mentions of the weapon. However, this does not overly detract from the book.
The book’s particular strength comes with the author’s involvement in gladiatorial re-enactment, so that she can draw on well-founded insights. This work ably seeks to put gladiators into context, whether in Roman times or more recently. A very useful research tool.