Soziale Mitgliedschaften von professionellen Arenakämpfern der römischen Antike (Arbeitstitel)

Gladiator games are a subject area that has long occupied ancient historical research - but the question of the games' function was of particular interest: Why did ancient society stage such fights? From this perspective, professional arena fighters were often seen only as symbols of male virtus or as a means to consolidate imperial power. In contrast, this dissertation will deal with (male) gladiators and venators as members of ancient society. Their funerary monuments will be used as main source for this dissertation, whereby the selection is neither geographically nor temporally limited, but ranges from the East to the West and from the Roman Republic to the Imperial period. These sources will be used to determine the various social memberships of professional arena fighters. In this context, "memberships" are understood in a sociological sense, namely, on the one hand, as affiliations to social entities, such as familiae or collegia, and, on the other hand, as affiliations to categorical classes, for example, gender, ethnicity, or personal legal status. The difference between these two types of social membership is that memberships in social entities are always related to contact and thus association with other persons, whereas categorical classes are based on observation of people and subsequent classification.