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CLASSICS 164: Roman Gladiators (ARCHLGY 165)

In modern America, gladiators are powerful representatives of ancient Rome (Spartacus, Gladiator). In the Roman world, gladiators were mostly slaves and reviled, barred from certain positions in society and doomed to short and dangerous lives. A first goal of this course is to analyze Roman society not from the top down, from the perspective of politicians, generals and the literary elite, but from the bottom up, from the perspective of gladiators and the ordinary people in the stands. A second goal is to learn how work with very different kinds of evidence: bone injuries, ancient weapons, gladiator burials, laws, graffiti written by gladiators or their fans, visual images of gladiatorial combats, and the intricate architecture and social control of the amphitheater. A final goal is to think critically about modern ideas of Roman ¿bloodthirst.¿ Are these ideas justified, given the ancient evidence?
Terms: Spr | Units: 3-5 | UG Reqs: WAY-SI | Grading: Letter (ABCD/NP)
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