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Don't have an account? American Historical Association members Sign in via society site. Sign in via your Institution Sign in. Purchase Subscription prices and ordering Short-term Access To purchase short term access, please sign in to your Oxford Academic account above. Like the whole of society, these societies were based on the status of each member "a hi- erarchy of skill, virtue and hope" [p.
Spectacles Of Death in Ancient Rome | Donald G. Kyle
The professional, married, and socially established gladiators were pitted against the noxii, the passive, condemned tor- ture victims, in the midday games pp. The gladiators would make a par- adoxical elite pp. Kyle takes advantage of this to destroy, following the example of others, certain myths still held in high esteem, such as the idea that beasts would have eaten the torture victims, or that legions of Christians were thrown to lions "Compared to pagan victims, relatively few Christians actually died in arenas" [pp.
The elaboration of the bloody spectacles and the increased refinement of their cruelty as the very image of imperial Rome in the "Holly- woodian" vision are aptly linked to political terror, the growing social rift, reli- gious persecutions, and the threats on the frontiers of the Empire pp. Imperial society closes off and separates, in an increasingly impermeable and in- stitutionalized manner, the privileged orders honestiores and all the others hu- miliores , weakened and without protection outside the patronage of the greats.
It reflects the authoritarian drift of a regime that is turning to domination. This is why the stereotype of the "bad emperor" such as Commodius pp. He causes the privileged classes to suffer the same fate as the victims and plays at being a glad- iator himself. Nonetheless, two conclusions call for some serious reservations concerning the status of the noxii and the burial of the bodies.
Kyle researches the ways in which the bodies were disposed. Burial in mass graves is attested on the Esquiline hill pp. Hinard and J. Dumont dir. This unique lex libitina, probably dating from the era of Augustus, according to the forthcoming edition, is none- theless of little use for judging what became of the corpses of the arenas. This is because it deals only with legal executions in domestic situations the master who punishes his slave.
Kyle challenges the mode of operation of the mass graves and concludes that the Tiber was "a logistically sensible and emotionally satisfying answer to the problem of disposal of corpses from arenas at Rome" p. This assertion is disputable. Despite Cicero, whom Kyle follows too literally p. The casting of bodies into the Tiber is a profoundly religious act. All the given examples pp.
The tradition is per- petuated until the fourth century when Constantine I1 is thrown into the river by Constans Epit. De Caes. The anonymous author of the History of Au- gustus knows the reason for this: "those who do not deserve the esteem of the Senate, of the people, and of the soldiers are not worthy of a tomb" SHA Elag. The Roman tradition of differential treatment of corpses depends on a rup- ture of the order guaranteed by the gods.
Insults to the body are not inflicted on just any condemned prisoner. Yet Kyle has demonstrated precisely that the undifferentiated crowd of arena victims no longer had a place in society; hence, their fate.
Spectacles of Death in Ancient Rome
The victims are not dependent on a miracle that it would be proper to bestow on them. The ritualization of death in the circus makes explicit the legiti- macy of the punishment violence is legal rather than the desire to protect oneself from defilement. Established seller since Seller Inventory IQ Delivered from our UK warehouse in 4 to 14 business days. Seller Inventory APC Items related to Spectacles of Death in Ancient Rome.
Spectacles of Death in Ancient Rome. Publisher: Routledge , This specific ISBN edition is currently not available.
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View all copies of this ISBN edition:. Synopsis About this title The elaborate and inventive slaughter of humans and animals in the arena fed an insatiable desire for violent spectacle among the Roman people. About the Author : Donald G. Review : 'Manages the rare feat of combining a detailed and up-to-date knowledge of scholarship on the subject with an accessible, highly readable, even gripping narrative. Buy New Learn more about this copy. Other Popular Editions of the Same Title. Search for all books with this author and title.
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