Roman Gladiators Essay
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Gladiatorial events were a token of the Roman civilization. A brutal form of sacrifice adapted from the earlier civilization of Etruscans, who believed when a person dies, his spirit relies on a blood sacrifice to survive in the afterlife. The first event to take place in Rome was in 264 BC, when Decimus Brutus held a sacrifice to honor his dead father (Roman Gladiator). Soon after these events became an undeniable part of the Romans lives, used for political power and general entertainment. A gladiators life was far from easy. Most were slaves, prisoners of war, or hardened criminals, therefore they were not free men. Often times they were trained and forced to take part in the events, hoping for their freedom if…show more content…
An individual on average would fight about three times a year, and for the rest of the time travel with the troop. The troops swore an oath to their master, and traveled from city to city looking for work (Roman Gladiator). The social class of the Gladiators was rather ironic in itself. On one hand they were considered slaves, that's the lowest class in a social structure, but on the other hand, some gained popularity and were looked upon as great warriors and heroes. Some rose to celebrity status in a short time as in the movie when Maximus became a hero to the public eye, worthy of praise of greater importance than even the king himself. In the movie this was a direct result in the downfall of Commodus, but this isn't factual, as Maximus is a fictional character. It just demonstrates the influence the Gladiators had on the public eye, he was the Rockstar of the Roman Empire'. Like anything else, these shows were often times politically based to gain support for an Emperor. Aside from this they made for great entertainment to divert ones thoughts away from everyday troubles. What a better way than to see masses of people brutally slaughtered. In reality and the movie alike, the gladiators wore crude armor, not of military status to depict the difference in class. Nonetheless they were equipped with the armor and
Murderous Games: Gladiatorial Contests In Ancient Rome
In 201 B.C ancient Rome was a warrior state. In addition to being a warrior state, the size of the Roman empire was measured by the suffering, battles, and money that was endured to become a great empire. This proves that it was in the blood of the Romans to fight and be entertained by the idea of death. The Gladiatorial games originally were a way to honor the dead relatives of aristocrats, but evolved into a massive circus of bloodshed, beatings and death for the entertainment of the Roman people. Also, because the Roman army was notorious for its grueling discipline, it carried over into the decimation among participants of the games. Finally, these ideas of strength, power, and discipline were instilled in the Romans as children and was the backbone of the gruesome gladiatorial games they enjoyed.
The Romans forceful army was so strong because of the training and discipline they enforced. First, if a unit from the Roman empire was thought of as disobedient or cowardly in battle, that unit would be dealt with in a horrifying manner. Next, one soldier out of ten was selected to be clubbed to death by his former comrades. This type of treatment of the army occurred during the period of imperial development and was believed to be for the armies common well-being. These executions instill fear among the pubic and expressed what would happen to soldiers that were defeated. Furthermore, this treatment also illustrates how cruel the Romans were among themselves and that the treatment of war captives and prisoners would be far worse.
The origin of the gladiatorial combat began with a connection to funerals. In Keith Hopkin's article, "Murderous Games: Gladiatorial Contest in Ancient Rome, it states that, "Men believed that the souls of the dead were propitiated by human blood, and so at funerals they sacrificed prisoners of war or slaves of poor quality brought for purpose." This shows that early contests, for funerals, evolved into the gruesome battles among prisoners or slaves for entertainment. Next, the very first gladiatorial game was recorded in 264 B.C.. It was offered by two young noble men in the honor of their dead father. It continued to be a way for aristocratic families to honor their deceased relatives at their own expense and proposal. In the next two centuries, the number of shows and the way they were fought changed drastically. Moreover, the fighters were called gladiators and they began fighting wild beasts. In42 B.C, for the first time, gladiatorial fights were substituted in place of chariot racing. Next, in Rome, the Emperor Augustus started placing limitations or regulations on the games, but were eventually eluded.
The Romans participated in gladiatorial shows for celebration, social reputation, and possible political gain. The most impressive shows were held by the emperors to celebrate victory in battle. Next, competitive aristocrats held shows to excite, please, and gain more...
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