Master Series Lecture: Roman Spectacular Blood Sports

Art - Lecture/Discussion

Thursday, March 17, 2016
6:00 PM-7:00 PM

Both magnificent and menacing, the Worcester gladiatorial helmet invites us to enter the world of the Roman arena with its spectacular combats of men against men and against beasts. What inspired the Romans to develop such events and to build monumental facilities to house them? Who were the fighters and how did they see themselves? What meanings did civilized Romans see in the displays of blood, skill, and courage? How did females and Christians respond to the performances?
This lecture will address such questions by integrating recent archaeological discoveries as well as new interpretations of the preparation, lives, and deaths of gladiators.
Speaker: Dr. Donald G Kyle, Professor of History, University of Texas, Arlington. With a PhD in ancient history from McMaster University, Canada, Dr. Donald Kyle is a Professor and former Chairman in the Department of History at the University of Texas at Arlington. His teaching honors include the Chancellor's Council Award for Excellence in Teaching, and membership in the UTA Academy of Distinguished Teachers. He was also twice an invited teaching professor at the International Olympic Academy in Greece.
Dr. Kyle has published books such as Athletics in Ancient Athens, and Spectacles of Death in Ancient Rome. His award-winning Sport and Spectacle in the Ancient World of 2007 appeared in a second edition in 2015. He has also co-edited volumes including Sport History and Sport Mythology and a Companion to Ancient Sport and Spectacle, and he has written numerous articles and book chapters on topics from Greek athletic prizes to Roman beast spectacles. A recognized expert on ancient sport and spectacles, he has delivered numerous invited lectures on the topic, as well as interviews in media such as The New York Times, Washington Post, and BBC Radio. Additionally, he has consulted on and appeared in History Channel shows on Roman gladiators and on the Ancient Olympics.

Image: Helmet for a Gladiator, Roman, about 1st century C.E., bronze, 33 x 36.8 x 57.2 cm (13 x 14 1/2 x 22 1/2 in.); 5 lb 4 o(weight). The John Woodman Higgins Collection, 2014.115

Cost: Free with Museum admission.

Suggested Audiences:Elders, Adult, College, High School, Middle School

Last Modified: March 16, 2016 at 9:19 AM


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