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Kathleen Coleman, from Zimbabwe, is a professor of Latin at Harvard University. Latin is a so-called “dead language," but when it was in daily use it was spoken by millions of people throughout the Roman Empire—including gladiators, who are one of Kathleen Coleman’s special areas of interest.
She has studied many aspects of the Roman amphitheatre, including the execution of condemned criminals dressed up as mythological figures and the staging of grand sea-battles on artificial lakes. She has also written about left-handed gladiators and the display of various exotic species in the arena, such as the African rhinoceros. And she has most recently edited a collection of Latin poems about spectacles in the Colosseum in the late first century AD.