History's Finest: The Gladiator

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The concept of gladiators was a very prevalent occurrence in Ancient Rome, and it constitutes as a significant milestone in the shaping of history. With this in mind it is important for this piece of history to be presented accurately. In general, the gladiator is portrayed correctly, however sometimes scholars miss important details. The history of the Roman Gladiator is crucial to the legacy of Ancient Rome and its accurate representation is just as vital.
The people of Rome were known for many things; one was their love of games. They were entertained by all things extravagant, which explains their enjoyment of the gladiator games. According to Donald Kyle, “The death of humans (and sometimes even of animals) usually constitutes a spectacle, a disturbing sight which is awful in both senses of the word, an eerie yet intriguing phenomenon demanding acknowledgement and attention” (Kyle, 1). This was very true of the crowds that gladiatorial games drew. Ten to twelve times a year, the amphitheaters were packed with people hungry for the clashing of swords and drawing of blood, suspenseful action that appealed to their senses. These games often coincided with other significant celebrations and were an event greatly anticipated by the Roman citizens.
Cannedy 2
The gladiator games began in 264 B.C. memorial ceremony reserved for the aristocracy (Auguet, 19). They originally were called bustuarii, which is derived from the word bustum meaning tomb. In the early years of gladiatorial combat, the participants scrapped in pairs and were equipped with a shield, sword, helmet, and greaves (armor that protects the legs). It was originally a ceremony preformed in in honor of the dead and in memory of sacred rituals (Auguet, 20). Roland Augu...

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...portant to their legacy. As always it is important to portray history correctly, and the tale of the gladiators is one of histories finest memories.

Works Cited

Auguet, Roland. Cruelty and Civilization: The Roman Games.

London: Routledge, 1994. Print.

Fagan, Garrett G. The Lure of the Arena: Social Psychology and the Crowd at the

Roman Games. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2011. Print.

Hopkins, Keith. "Murderous Game." History Today 33.6 (1983): n. pag. JSTOR. Web.

2 Dec. 2013.

Juvenal. The Satires. VI.

Kyle, Donald G. Spectacles of Death in Ancient Rome. London: Routledge, 1998.


McCullough, Anna. "Female Gladiators in Imperial Rome: Literary Context and

Historical Fact." Classical World 101.2 (2008): n. pag. JSTOR. Web. 2 Dec.


Pliny the Younger. Panegyric in Praise of Trajan. xxxi.1

Seneca. Epistles.

Tertullian. Spectacles. XIX.

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