The Game of Death in Ancient Rome: Arena Sport and Political Suicide

The Game of Death in Ancient Rome: Arena Sport and Political Suicide

by Paul Plass
     
 

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Our taste for blood sport stops short at the bruising clash of football players or the gloved blows of boxers, and the suicide of a politician is no more than a personal tragedy. What, then, are we to make of the ancient Romans, for whom the meaning of sport and politics often depended on death? In this provocative, deeply thoughtful book, Paul Plass shows how the… See more details below

Overview

Our taste for blood sport stops short at the bruising clash of football players or the gloved blows of boxers, and the suicide of a politician is no more than a personal tragedy. What, then, are we to make of the ancient Romans, for whom the meaning of sport and politics often depended on death? In this provocative, deeply thoughtful book, Paul Plass shows how the deadly violence of arena sport and political suicide served a social purpose in ancient Rome. His work offers a reminder of the complex uses to which institutionalized violence can be put.

Editorial Reviews

Booknews
Plass (classics, U. of Wisconsin-Madison) shows how the deadly violence of arena sport and political suicide served a social purpose in ancient Rome, drawing on ideas from contemporary sociology and anthropology. He discusses gladitorial combat, and spells out the rules implicit in Roman political suicide using game theory as a model. Includes a section of detailed notes describing legal antimony, orgiastic violence, clemency, loss aversion, and degrees of penalty, based on the writings of Tacitus and Seneca. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780299145743
Publisher:
University of Wisconsin Press
Publication date:
11/17/1998
Series:
Studies in Classics
Pages:
296
Sales rank:
1,036,642
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.70(d)

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