The New York Times
The Gladiators: History's Most Deadly Sportby Fik Meijer
For almost eight hundred years men and women from all levels of Roman society were entertained by battles for life and death in the arena.
The New York Times
“Forget Russell Crowe in a skirt and sandals, this is the real deal if you want to know about blood and guts in the arena. The author has pieced together thousands of documents, eyewitness testimonies, and engravings to tell in vivid detail the story of the gladiators of ancient Rome.” The Daily Mail [UK]
“Fik Meijer, a professor of ancient history in Amsterdam, gives fascinating insight into Ancient Rome's gladiators. ... An in-depth book....” The Big Issue
“[Meijer] has written a history that is at once interesting, informative, and fast-paced. Thumbs up or thumbs down? No contest.” Leeds Guide
- Souvenir Press
- Publication date:
- Product dimensions:
- 5.00(w) x 7.80(h) x 0.80(d)
Meet the Author
FIK MEIJER is a Professor of Ancient History at the University of Amsterdam and is the author of Emperors Don't Die in Bed. His next book will be a study of Rome's charioteers.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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I am a high school sophomore who did a research project about Colosseum or Gladiators. I read this book for my research project. The book is detailed. It almost included all the information I want to know about the Colosseum and gladiator games. The list of content is transparent, and the introduction of gladiators’ whole life and the Colosseum is in the developed order. What’s more, the author quotes a mass of ancient writers’ words in the book, which persuades readers to believe in what he states. The style of writing is rigorous, logical and clear. So even the book involves lots of content, I can read it without confusion. There are lots of pictures about animals, weapons and gladiators, which makes me pay more attention to the book. After I read the whole book, the miserable destinies of lives deeply impressed me. gladiators, countless individuals who devoted themselves to building the great construction and poor wild animals lost their lives for satisfying the desire of violence and cruelty. This is a really good book. Hope every reader can enjoy reading it!
I am a high school sophomore who had to do a research project. I enjoyed this book because it gave me an insight with elaborate details about the gladiators and the Coliseum. This book provides a lot of facts about the gladiator games and the background of the famous entertainment of Rome. I also like how in the beginning of the book there is a timeline of different events that involve the gladiators in Rome's history. The author organizes the book in a helpful way to understand and to make this book much more enjoyable to read. The author also incorporates a storyline, which gives a sense of imagination to the book along with the facts. This book also has a few pages dedicated to the Coliseum about it's incredible built, which helps answer some questions on my research paper. The few pictures in the book is helpful to me to visualize different aspects of the gladiators history and the different parts of the Coliseum. The different pictures of the weapons used and helmets worn by the gladiators grasped my attention even more because I became more interested in the book. I also like how the book was not a bore to read with paragraphs of non-useful facts; it gave intriguing details of different emperors, materials used in the arena of the Coliseum, and background stories.This book provides vivid detail and visual images to help better the understanding of the history of the Coliseum and the gladiators.
This is one of the best books I have read in my life!
Fik Meijer's book is a wonderful and straightforward account of gladiators and their blood sport. The author moves smoothly through the chapters, covering the origins of the games, the backgrounds of the fighters, the Colosseum and other amphitheaters, the types of gladiators, and even illustrates a typical day at the arena. Meijer also takes time at the end to compare fact with the fiction portrayed in the movies 'Gladiator' and 'Spartacus.' This book held my attention--I was able to read it in one sitting, and I was immensely satisfied. It made a great secondary source for a term paper I wrote this semester as well. Highly recommended for anyone curious about Roman gladiators, public games, or social history.