cover image of Colosseum


Arena of Blood

by Simone Sarasso Author · Ross Alexander Nelhams Translator


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Britannia, 1st century AD: a young Briton is deported by the Roman Army and sent to work in a quarry in Pompei, where he is given a Latin name, Verus. After the eruption of Vesuvius, he is transferred to Rome and ends up working on the site of the Flavian Amphitheatre. In fact the dream of stone and glory of the Emperor Vespasian is about to be inaugurated by his son Titus and the whole city is excitedly waiting for the promised one hundred days of games. One day the renowned gladiator instructor Decius arrives on the site and recruits Verus, together with another forced laborer from Gaul called Priscus, for his school of gladiators. The two youths also begin to attend the court of the emperor, who is impressed by the gladiator talents of them both, and the Briton ends up falling in love with Julia, the daughter of Titus. This is the beginning of a dangerous triangle that causes a rift in the relationship between the two gladiators. The two will come face to face again, however, in a final clash on the first of the hundred days of games for the inauguration of the Amphitheatre. Their combat will be unique in the history of Rome: because both, after having fought to the last drop of blood, will be victorious.

Publication Details

RCS Libri/Rizzoli
RCS Libri/Rizzoli
Publication Date:


Simone Sarasso (Author)

Simone Sarasso, born in 1978, lives in Novara. He is the author of Confine di Stato (The State Border), Settanta (Seventy), and the epic historical novel Invictus: Constantine, the Warrior Emperor, which will be published in English by RCS Libri a...

More about Simone Sarasso
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