AP/HIST 3135 3.00
Spectacle And Society In Ancient Rome
The course traces the development of gladiatorial presentations, chariot-races, and other public spectacles in Rome, Italy, and the provinces of the Roman Empire from c. 200 B.C. to A.D. 400. It concentrates on their changing nature, scale, and socio-cultural function. Themes explored include: the social, political, cultural, religious, and penal importance of public spectacles in Roman society; their economic organization; the diffusion of Roman public spectacles in Italy and the wider Mediterranean world as part of the spread of Roman imperial control and the cultural change that engendered; the geographical origins, social status, and everyday life of gladiators, charioteers, and other public performers; cultural attitudes towards gladiatorial presentations and other public spectacles at Rome. The course involves study of a wide range of primary source material –literary sources, inscriptions, visual and archaeological evidence– and a selection of the modern scholarly literature on public spectacle in the Roman world.