The Spectacle of Death: Gladiatorial Combat in Ancient Rome with Ellen Millender, Professor of Classics

Thursday, January 14, 2021 at 4:00 PMPacific Standard Time

“To be burned, to be chained, to be killed by the sword” – this is the gladiator’s oath in ancient Rome. Who ended up in the arena? Who watched them and why? What role(s) did this violent spectacle play in Roman society? In order to get a better sense of these early “celebrities” and their “fans,” we will examine the literary and archaeological evidence on gladiatorial combat in Republican and Imperial Rome. Inscriptional evidence from Pompeii and other sites helps to reveal the nature of the relationship between the gladiators and their audience and the kind of performance that the audience expected from the slaves and war-prisoners who entertained them in the arena. We will also look at textual evidence to get a better sense of how the Romans thought about such spectacles that became the most popular form of popular entertainment in ancient Rome. 

Seniors are welcome to attend this 40-minute virtual session. The reading materials for this class will be emailed to you in advance.

Please complete the form below to register. You will receive a confirmation email after you submit your registration, which will include a link to the pertinent Zoom connection information. Please note that all times are listed in Pacific Time.

If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to the Office of Admission at 503/777- 7511. We look forward to connecting with you!

Registration is no longer available because the registration deadline has passed.

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