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Colosseum

ISBN-10: 0674018958
ISBN-13: 9780674018952
Edition: 2005
List price: $19.95
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Description: Byron and Hitler were equally entranced by Rome's most famous monument, the Colosseum. Mid-Victorians admired the hundreds of varieties of flowers in its crannies and occasionally shuddered at its reputation for contagion, danger, and sexual  More...

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Book details

List price: $19.95
Copyright year: 2005
Publisher: Harvard University Press
Publication date: 11/14/2005
Binding: Hardcover
Pages: 224
Size: 4.75" wide x 7.50" long x 1.00" tall
Weight: 0.660

Byron and Hitler were equally entranced by Rome's most famous monument, the Colosseum. Mid-Victorians admired the hundreds of varieties of flowers in its crannies and occasionally shuddered at its reputation for contagion, danger, and sexual temptation. Today it is the highlight of a tour of Italy for more than three million visitors a year, a concert arena for the likes of Paul McCartney, and a national symbol of opposition to the death penalty. Its ancient history is chockfull of romantic but erroneous myths. There is no evidence that any gladiator ever said "Hail Caesar, those about to die..." and we know of not one single Christian martyr who met his finish here. Yet the reality is much stranger than the legend as the authors, two prominent classical historians, explain in this absorbing account. We learn the details of how the arena was built and at what cost; we are introduced to the emperors who sometimes fought in gladiatorial games staged at the Colosseum; and we take measure of the audience who reveled in, or opposed, these games. The authors also trace the strange afterlife of the monument--as fortress, shrine of martyrs, church, and glue factory. Why are we so fascinated with this arena of death?

Keith Hopkins is a professor of ancient history at King's College, Cambridge, & a fellow of the British Academy. He lives in Cambridge, England.

Mary Beard is a Professor of Classics at Cambridge and is a Fellow of Newnham College. She is general editor of the Wonders of the World series and author of The Parthenon.

Prefacep. vii
The Colosseum Now...p. 1
...and Thenp. 21
The Killing Fieldsp. 42
The People of the Colosseump. 75
Bricks and Mortarp. 122
Life after Deathp. 149
Making a visit?p. 182
Further readingp. 189
List of illustrationsp. 204
List of figuresp. 207
Acknowledgementsp. 208
Indexp. 210
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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