By now, you know that your favorite website has partnered with one of the largest publishers in New York to create the SOFREP Book Club. It’s off to a fantastic start!

There we have curated an amazing ebook library with over 1000 titles. As a SOFREP Book Club member, you have unlimited access to all of them.

Today, I have a special treat for you.

Guy’s Pick for Book of the Week – Gladiators: Deadly Arena Sports of Ancient Rome

This is how I imagined my adult self when I was a kid, ready to fight.

As a young boy, I wanted to be one of two things when I grew up: a gladiator or a Spartan warrior… didn’t really matter which. I just wanted to fight.

Christopher Epplett’s book, Gladiators: Deadly Arena Sports of Ancient Rome, is chock full of the stuff my childhood dreams were made of. It’s available at the SOFREP Book Club and is my choice for book of the week.

The book is a comprehensive look at bloody combat sports in ancient Rome. It explains why gladiators and gladiatorial combat were so popular and takes a deep dive into their training, equipment, and fighting styles. This stuff truly makes MMA look like a day on the playground.

In addition to hand-to-hand combat, the book also takes a fascinating look at beast hunts, or venationes. These involved all manner of dangerous animals (tigers, lions, elephants, rhinos) pitted against each other and against men as sport. Particularly lavish events were held at the Colosseum in Rome or the Circus Maximus. No matter where they were held, they were gruesome dangerous affairs with plenty of blood and death.

Gladiators captures the spirit of the times well and thrusts you back into a decidedly non-politically correct time.