Are you fascinated by gladiator, that killer-for-hire who entertained thousands back in ancient Rome’s heyday?
With his Irish brogue and mordant sense of humor, Fagan separates the historical facts from the fanciful fictions that surround the gladiator.
A few tidbits from the lecture:
Not all gladiators were slaves. Some patricians and even emperors took turns in the arena.
The thumbs-up, thumbs-down routine was a Hollywood invention. Sources tell us that the audience made some sign with their thumbs, but we don’t know what it was. Oh, and the final live-or-die decision was made by the sponsor who bankrolled the games.
Think the crowd was mostly idle riffraff? Think again. By law most of the seats were reserved for patricians, equestrians and the “clean free-born,” that is those citizens rich enough to have clean clothes.
If this talk leaves you wanting even more, you’ll want to check out Fagan’s other iTunes U lecture Roman Arenas and Crowd Dynamics (iTunes).
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