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Children's LiteratureThis title is part of the "Daily Life" series, which explores many facets of day-to-day life throughout history. This particular text thoroughly examines the rise and fall of spectator sports in ancient Rome. The fighters and their origins are described. The designs and functions of the stone stadiums or "amphitheaters" are explained. Chariot races, staged battles, and games come to life through the use of drawings and photos. The very popular public gladiatorial fights were taken over by the Roman government. But then they became too expensive, ended-up being viewed as murder, and were eventually shut down. Chariot races did continue for some time; only to follow the same fate as the more inhumane gladiatorial fights. The map in the last chapter helps the reader to visualize ancient Rome. Highlighted words and a glossary aid in understanding the text. At the back of the book, there are web sites and books listed, if the reader wishes to learn more about ancient Rome. An excellent resource for any library—highly recommended. 2005, KidHaven Press/Thomson Gale, Ages 9 to 12.
—Lisa B. C. O'Connell