Article

Between Marginality and Celebrity: Entertainers and Entertainments in Roman Society

Hartmut Leppin

in The Oxford Handbook of Social Relations in the Roman World

Published in print February 2011 | ISBN: 9780195188004
Published online September 2012 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780195188004.013.0032

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Classics and Ancient History

 Between Marginality and Celebrity: Entertainers and Entertainments in Roman Society

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This article discusses actors and gladiators, who were among the most despised and most revered people in Roman society. It looks at how the masses and the Roman elite viewed these marginalized groups of entertainers, and identifies the reasons why the games were considered indispensable despite the risks that they posed to Roman society. It also examines the various venues for performance, from the ludi, or public entertainments, to the agones, or Greek-style contests. The article ends with a discussion of the social statuses and situations of the entertainers.

Keywords: actors; gladiators; entertainers; games; performance venues; social status; social situation

Article.  8786 words. 

Subjects: Classical Studies ; Ancient Roman History

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