Item Details

The Day Commodus Killed a Rhino: Understanding the Roman Games

Jerry Toner
Format
Book
Published
Baltimore, Maryland : Johns Hopkins University Press, 2014.
Language
English
Series
Witness to Ancient History
ISBN
9781421415857, 1421415852, 9781421415864, 1421415860, 9781421415871
Related Resources
Cover image
Summary
"The Roman emperor Commodus wanted to kill a rhinoceros with a bow and arrow, and he wanted to do it in the Colosseum. Commodus's passion for hunting animals was so fervent that he dreamt of shooting a tiger, an elephant, and a hippopotamus; his prowess was such that people claimed he never missed when hurling his javelin or firing arrows from his bow. For fourteen days near the end of AD 192, the emperor mounted one of the most lavish and spectacular gladiatorial games Rome had ever seen. Commodus himself was the star attraction, and people rushed from all over Italy to witness the spectacle. But this slaughter was simply the warm-up act to the main event: the emperor was also planning to fight as a gladiator. Why did Roman rulers spend vast resources on such over-the-top displays--and why did some emperors appear in them as combatants? Why did the Roman rabble enjoy watching the slaughter of animals and the sight of men fighting to the death? And how best can we in the modern world understand what was truly at stake in the circus and the arena? In The Day Commodus Killed a Rhino, Jerry Toner set out to answer these questions by vividly describing what it would have been like to attend Commodus' fantastic shows and watch one of his many appearances as both hunter and fighter. Highlighting the massive logistical effort needed to supply the games with animals, performers, and criminals for execution, the book reveals how blood and gore were actually incidental to what really mattered. Gladiatorial games played a key role in establishing a forum for political debate between the rulers and the ruled. Roman crowds were not passive: they were made up of sophisticated consumers with their own political aims, which they used the games to secure. In addition, the games also served as a pure expression of what it meant to be a true Roman. Drawing on notions of personal honor, manly vigor, and sophisticated craftsmanship, the games were a story that the Romans loved to tell themselves about themselves"--
Contents
  • Prologue: The Rhino Dies
  • Commodus's Great Games
  • When in Commodiana
  • An Emperor Loves His People
  • Feeding the Monster
  • Win the Crowd
  • Strength and Honor : How to be a Roman
  • Fighting Back.
Description
136 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm.
Notes
Includes bibliographical references and index.
Technical Details
  • Access in Virgo Classic

  • LEADER 04326cam a2200649 i 4500
    001 u6445751
    003 SIRSI
    005 20150102105021.0
    008 140801t20142014mdua b 001 0deng
    010
      
      
    a| 2014012493
    020
      
      
    a| 9781421415857 q| hardback
    020
      
      
    a| 1421415852 q| hardback
    020
      
      
    a| 9781421415864 q| paperback
    020
      
      
    a| 1421415860 q| paperback
    020
      
      
    z| 9781421415871 q| electronic bk.
    035
      
      
    a| (Sirsi) o879584208
    035
      
      
    a| (OCoLC)879584208
    042
      
      
    a| pcc
    043
      
      
    a| e------ a| aw----- a| ff-----
    040
      
      
    a| DLC b| eng e| rda c| DLC d| YDX d| YDXCP d| BTCTA d| BDX d| OCLCQ d| CDX
    050
    0
    0
    a| GV31 b| .T77 2014
    082
    0
    0
    a| 796.0937 2| 23
    084
      
      
    a| HIS002000 a| HIS002020 2| bisacsh
    100
    1
      
    a| Toner, J. P., e| author.
    245
    1
    4
    a| The day Commodus killed a rhino : b| understanding the Roman games / c| Jerry Toner.
    264
      
    1
    a| Baltimore, Maryland : b| Johns Hopkins University Press, c| 2014.
    264
      
    4
    c| ©2014
    300
      
      
    a| 136 pages : b| illustrations ; c| 24 cm.
    336
      
      
    a| text b| txt 2| rdacontent
    337
      
      
    a| unmediated b| n 2| rdamedia
    338
      
      
    a| volume b| nc 2| rdacarrier
    490
    0
      
    a| Witness to ancient history
    504
      
      
    a| Includes bibliographical references and index.
    505
    0
      
    a| Prologue: The Rhino Dies -- Commodus's Great Games -- When in Commodiana -- An Emperor Loves His People -- Feeding the Monster -- Win the Crowd -- Strength and Honor : How to be a Roman -- Fighting Back.
    520
    2
      
    a| "The Roman emperor Commodus wanted to kill a rhinoceros with a bow and arrow, and he wanted to do it in the Colosseum. Commodus's passion for hunting animals was so fervent that he dreamt of shooting a tiger, an elephant, and a hippopotamus; his prowess was such that people claimed he never missed when hurling his javelin or firing arrows from his bow. For fourteen days near the end of AD 192, the emperor mounted one of the most lavish and spectacular gladiatorial games Rome had ever seen. Commodus himself was the star attraction, and people rushed from all over Italy to witness the spectacle. But this slaughter was simply the warm-up act to the main event: the emperor was also planning to fight as a gladiator. Why did Roman rulers spend vast resources on such over-the-top displays--and why did some emperors appear in them as combatants? Why did the Roman rabble enjoy watching the slaughter of animals and the sight of men fighting to the death? And how best can we in the modern world understand what was truly at stake in the circus and the arena? In The Day Commodus Killed a Rhino, Jerry Toner set out to answer these questions by vividly describing what it would have been like to attend Commodus' fantastic shows and watch one of his many appearances as both hunter and fighter. Highlighting the massive logistical effort needed to supply the games with animals, performers, and criminals for execution, the book reveals how blood and gore were actually incidental to what really mattered. Gladiatorial games played a key role in establishing a forum for political debate between the rulers and the ruled. Roman crowds were not passive: they were made up of sophisticated consumers with their own political aims, which they used the games to secure. In addition, the games also served as a pure expression of what it meant to be a true Roman. Drawing on notions of personal honor, manly vigor, and sophisticated craftsmanship, the games were a story that the Romans loved to tell themselves about themselves"-- c| Provided by publisher.
    600
    0
    0
    a| Commodus, c| Emperor of Rome, d| 161-192.
    650
      
    0
    a| Games z| Rome x| History.
    650
      
    0
    a| Games x| Social aspects z| Rome x| History.
    650
      
    0
    a| Games x| Political aspects z| Rome x| History.
    650
      
    0
    a| Violence x| Social aspects z| Rome x| History.
    650
      
    0
    a| Emperors z| Rome x| History.
    650
      
    0
    a| Gladiators z| Rome x| History.
    650
      
    0
    a| National characteristics, Roman.
    651
      
    0
    a| Rome x| Social life and customs.
    651
      
    0
    a| Rome x| Politics and government.
    856
    4
    2
    3| Cover image u| 9781421415857.jpg
    596
      
      
    a| 2
    999
      
      
    a| GV31 .T77 2014 w| LC i| X031707552 l| STACKS m| ALDERMAN t| BOOK

Availability

Google Preview

Library Location Map Availability Call Number
Alderman Stacks Map Available