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The Gladiators

History's Most Deadly Sport

Fik Meijer

St. Martin's Griffin

Superfit, muscled, and macho, gladiators were hero-worshipped for their skills and courage as they fought to the death, yet despised for their humble status. For over six cruel centuries, tens of thousands died in the blood soaked arenas of Rome and its colonies, watched by enthralled crowds screaming for violence. Professor Fik Meijer has ingeniously pieced together their true stories from contemporary evidence, describing the gladiators' origins, daily life, training, and the odds of their survival pitted against their legions of fans' lust for blood and spectacle.
Superfit, muscled, and macho, gladiators were hero-worshipped for their skills and courage as they fought to the death, yet despised for their humble status. For over six cruel centuries, tens of thousands died in the blood soaked arenas of Rome and its colonies, watched by enthralled crowds screaming for violence. Professor Fik Meijer has ingeniously pieced together their true stories from contemporary evidence, describing the gladiators' origins, daily life, training, and the odds of their survival pitted against their legions of fans' lust for blood and spectacle.

REVIEWS

Praise for The Gladiators

"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
"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

Reviews from Goodreads

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

  • Fik Meijer

  • 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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    The Gladiators

    History's Most Deadly Sport

    Fik Meijer

    • Trade Paperback

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    FROM THE PUBLISHER

    St. Martin's Griffin

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