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Gladiatorial spectacles were central to Roman society, fulfilling important roles beyond mere entertainment. Epplett describes their origins, the gladiators’ training and the arenas’ infrastructure, but also asks why these cruel events were so popular and why magistrates and emperors were keen to put on such expensive shows. He pays special attention to staged beast hunts (often neglected in discussions of the Roman arena) and the procurement of the countless wild animals that they required. Previously published as Gladiators and Beast Hunts.