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Explore the connection between ancient Roman gladiators and NASCAR at SXU on Nov. 3

"Bread and Circuses: Truth and Fiction in the Ancient Gladiator and Chariot Arena" with Western Illinois University Professor Lee Brice

Chicago (Oct. 13, 2011) What do ancient Roman gladiators and NASCAR have in common? Find out at "Bread and Circuses: Truth and Fiction in the Ancient Gladiator and Chariot Arena" with Western Illinois University (WIU) Associate Professor of History Lee L. Brice from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. on Thurs., Nov. 3 in the Bishop Quarter Room.

Gladiators fighting to the death in the Coliseum remains one of our most prevalent images associated with ancient Rome. Like many modern sports, the ancient arena drew huge crowds. Yet critics dismissed these events as “bread and circuses” created to distract the masses, and similar criticisms are leveled against TV and modern entertainment such as professional wrestling and NASCAR. This illustrated presentation considers the reality of gladiators and chariot-racing and the value of drawing connections to modern entertainment.

Brice holds a Ph.D. in history from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. His primary area of research concerns mutinies in the Roman army, but he also maintains a study of the coins of Greek Corinth. He was a Tytus Fellow at the University of Cincinnati, and received WIU's "Outstanding First-Year Experience Teacher" award. His publications include articles on the Roman army as a peace-keeping force, the treatment of the Roman army in the HBO/BBC TV series Rome, Octavian Caesar and the Roman army, and a forthcoming article examining the Athenian invasion of Sicily in 415 BCE. In addition to his articles, Brice is co-editor of Recent Directions in the Military History of the Ancient World.

This program is made possible in part by an award from the Illinois Humanities Council, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Illinois General Assembly. For more information, contact SXU's Robert and Mary Rita Murphy Stump Library at (773) 298-3350 or visit www.sxu.edu, keyword: library. 


-SXU-

Media Contact:
Karla Thomas, Executive Director of Media Relations
(773) 298-3937 or kthomas@sxu.edu