Beyond the Arena: A Literary and Epigraphic Study of 1st Century Conceptions of Gladiators (thesis)
In this thesis, I will be investigating how gladiators became popular and how fans interacted with these entertainer fighters using an increasingly written, not oral, tradition. Gladiators became a common expression of ‘Roman’ culture that manifested itself in a variety of different ways. However, the transmission of the names of these gladiators made this Roman cultural manifestation distinct from others. Romans from all echelons of society participated in different contexts for the same purpose of acting as the ‘fan’. At every turn, whether on the walls in places of heavy pedestrian traffic1 or at the centerpiece of dinner party discussions, they wanted to share their intrigue in particular fighters with one another. Outside of the arena, gladiators became subject to the discretion of fans. Certain fights were emphasized and errors made in recounting the details especially at considerable temporal and spatial distance from the original performance. [From Preface]
Thesis; [FULL-TEXT FREELY AVAILABLE FOLLOWING A 1-YEAR EMBARGO]Perry B. Hammond is a member of the Class of 2018 of Washington and Lee University.