Rosshofgasse (Schnitz), Seminarraum S 01
Fachbereich Alte Geschichte, Sabine Huebner
Social Relations in the Funerary Monuments of Latin Gladiators
The presentation aims to present the first research results of my doctoral thesis. It discusses the various social relationships of gladiators in the western part of the Roman Empire based on their funerary monuments. The presentation is divided into two parts: Firstly, there will be an introduction to the gladiatorial funerary monuments in the western part of the Roman Empire. In particular, the geographical distribution, dating, range of types, and common linguistic and pictorial elements of gladiatorial funerary monuments will be elucidated. Secondly, the different types of gladiatorial relationships will be presented. These are mainly relationships with members of the familia gladiatoria and relationships with the gladiator’s wives (although it is doubtful, if the gladiators were in a legal sense married to the women, who are called their coniunx or uxor) and sometimes their mutual children. It is argued that there was a strong division between the wives of gladiators and the familia, for, up to date, I have not found a single funerary monument in which a gladiator was commemorated by his wife as well as by the familia. The familia gladiatoria therefore was solely considered as a community of men. However, I argue that within this male community boundaries between professional, amicable and familial relationships were blurred. The deceased gladiators were not only seen as fellow professionals but also as friends (sodales, amici) and sometimes as brothers (fratres).
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