In the Year AD 80 the Colosseum opened with quite the longest and most nauseating organized mass orgy in history. It was a mammoth celebration on the grandest scale, a fitting inauguration for an arena built to epitomize all the majesty and power of the Roman Empire, a building which also held the seeds of that Empire's decay and destruction.
As well as his vivid account of the erection of the Colosseum, Mr Pearson discusses the origins of death spectacles and their evolution into highly organized games intended to enhance imperial prestige and provide the populace with an effective substitute for politics and war. 'Butchered to make a Roman holiday', the victims of this lust for slaughter were slaves and criminals, the human surplus of their day, coached for an almost certain death. One chapter highlights the perverted death-wish of many early would-be martyrs and decisively establishes that there is no evidence for the death of a single Christian martyr in the Colosseum.
The book concludes with a brief survey of the building's subsequent history; looted and despoiled yet still the embodiment of Rome's spirit and greatness, it became a sublime romantic ruin, now exposed by slum-clearance as a gigantic traffic island. Mr Pearson is acutely aware of the violence that was endemic in Roman society, and in his shrewd analysis he draws disturbing parallels with the twentieth-century situation.
"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.
John Pearson was born in 1930, and educated at King's College School, Wimbledon and Peterhouse, Cambridge, where he read history.
He has worked on various newspapers, including the Economist, The Times, and The Sunday Times where for a time he wrote the Atticus column.
After the success of his Life of Ian Fleming, he decamped with wife and family to Rome, where he lived for some years. Mr Pearson returned to England to research and write the life and times of the Kray brothers in The Profession of Violence and has since written many more successful works of both fiction and non-fiction. Biographies remain his specialty with accomplished studies of the Sitwells, Winston Churchill and the Royal Family following his earlier successes.Review:
“A fascinating study of how "sports" were manipulated to effect mass lobotomy on a magnificent scale” ―Kirkus
"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.
Book Description McGraw-Hill. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. 0070490317 Ask about discounted shipping available when multiple items are purchased at the same time. FAST, RELIABLE, GUARANTEED and happily SHIPPED WITHIN 1 BUSINESS DAY!. Bookseller Inventory # BX16L-2816
Book Description McGraw-Hill, 1973. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Never used!. Bookseller Inventory # P110070490317