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Gladiator: The Roman Fighter's (Unofficial) Manual

Publisher: Thames & Hudson (28 February 2011)

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Have you ever wondered what would it be like to fight for your life in front of a baying, bloodthirsty crowd? Roman gladiators fought and died simply as entertainment for the spectators. What sort of people did this? How were they chosen, where did they live, and how did they train?

There have been many books that describe who gladiators were and what they did. This book takes you the spectator's bench and puts you on the sands of the arena to see the life and death of a Roman gladiator at first hand. It acknowleges the glamour of the gladiator mystique, but does not flinch from the brutal and sometimes sordid reality beneath.

As with its best-selling predecessor 'Legionary', this book includes the everyday details that others pass over. What gladiators ate, where they slept and the best types of helmet are all discussed, along with a guide to the top arenas of the empire and how to elope with a rich girlfriend.

An average gladiator died within three years. This book explains the best ways of beating the odds, with combat techniques from people who have actually tried them. There are lavish colour pictures of gladiatorial combat in modern re-enactments and ancient statues, mosaics and sculptures which testify to the grip of gladiators on the public's imagination - in ancient Rome and today.

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