has an excellent chapter on Entertainers in the Roman World, that does a very good job in a short space of explaining the issues. Alison Futrells The Roman Games: A Sourcebook is a collection of primary sources related to Roman sports, including gladiatorial combat). If a lanista lost half his gladiators at every fight, its very hard to see how he could possibly have gotten a return on his investment. In forfeiting their lives in the arena, the gladiator was thought to honor the audience, and glory was what it could offer in return. After Domitian, sponsorship of the munera was jealously retained by the emperor, who alone could present such spectacles (if individuals or local magistrates wanted to offer games outside Rome, they required official sanction). Spin doctors and media agents perfect the art of rhetoric which Antony has learned by intuition. Seneca, who once arrived at the amphitheater in the middle of the day, between the wild beast shows that occurred in the morning and the gladiatorial shows presented in the afternoon, protested this lunch-time slaughter of common criminals. Shakespeare had written about a double tragedy before. The historians Cassius Dio and Herodian both were contemporaries of Commodus, Dio actually witnessing the antics of Commodus in the arena.
Julius Caesar (play) - Wikipedia Gladiator: THE real story - Exovedate Gladiator An Historian Goes to the Movies
The venatores were specialists of wild animal hunts ( venationes ). Perhaps we are asking the the Weapons of World War 1 wrong question. Threaded through Julius Caesar is the topic of publicly enacted ritual and the extra-verbal meanings it can carry: in Caesars carefully staged public appearance, in Brutuss rather crazed idea that the conspirators bathe in the blood of Caesar to convey the idea of religious sacrifice. In this display, the games reaffirmed the moral and political order of things, and the death of criminals and wild animals, the real and symbolic re-establishment of a society under threat. The Renaissance essayist Montaigne comments in The Tale of Spurina on that furious passion of ambition by which he was so forcibly carried away. "The men have no defensive armour. None wore any chest armor other than the retarius large manica.
There is no corroborating evidence for Caesars will as announced by Antony. Its analysis of frail humanity, which aspires to political ideals and regularly falls to the contrivances of crowd manipulation and realpolitik, makes it perennially relevant across the globe.