Roman Gladiators Essay

2217 Words9 Pages
Known and Unknown History of Roman Gladiators Gladiators are always known for the bloody fights to the death that HBO portrays, but that is not what happened in the time of the gladiators. Gladiators were not always slaves forced into battle. Gladiator fights were originally a part of a funeral service. Not all gladiators fought to the death when it came to the arena. There were many signs that could have meant death. Different classes of fighters lured in different types of crowds. For additional entertainment, animals got put into the arena as an opening event to get the crowd pumped. Women were also fighting for their lives in the arena. Gladiators started to form their own government to rule among one another. Emperors would show their…show more content…
“Referees oversaw the action, and probably stopped the fight as soon as one of the participants was seriously wounded” (Andrews np). Some of today’s sports could be of descent from the gladiators: MMA fighting. If the crowd became bored with the fight both men were able to leave with their honor and their lives (Andrews np). Both men were of equal skill level and one could not win so the ruler made the decision to continue the game so that the crowd would not rebel and grow tired of the games. This was a way for the emperors to maintain crowd control. “Since gladiators were expensive to house, feed and train, their promoters were loath to see them needlessly killed” (Andrews np). Most rulers would have the weakest fighter killed because they were not worth the money to keep around and feed. “Most only lived to their mid-20’s, and historians have estimated that somewhere between one and five or one in 10 [fights] left one of its participants dead” (Andrews np). All in all, not many gladiators lost their lives in the arena, it was mainly for entertainment for the many spectators that came to…show more content…
“The colosseum and other Roman arenas are often associated with gruesome animal hunts, but it was uncommon for the gladiators to be involved” (Andrews np). Since gladiators rarely participated, these hunts were left for emperors and other high officials in Roman time. “Animal hunts were typically the opening event at the games, and it wasn’t unusual for scores of unfortunate creatures to be slaughtered in a single exhibition” (Andrews np). The hunts were fast and right to the point, for the opening act to get the crowd fired up for the main event. “Convicted criminals and Christians were often thrown to ravenous dogs, lions, and bears as part of the day’s entertainment” (Andrews np). This was another form of human sacrifice and a way to keep the criminals down to a lesser number. When the Colosseum opened, over 9,000 animals lost their lives (Andrews np). These animals lost their lives in a 100-day festival that marked the opening of the
Open Document