Roman Entertainment: Gladiator Exhibitions Essay

Roman Entertainment: Gladiator Exhibitions Essay

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According to Merriam-Webster, the definition of entertainment is “amusement or pleasure that comes from watching a performer, playing a game, etc”. There are numerous forms of entertainment in our world today. What may be entertaining for one person may not be entertaining to the next person. Rome is known for many things and has been gone for thousands of years. This paper will cover the different aspects of ancient Roman entertainment and identify if there is any correlation to todays entertainment after all these years.
The Romans are known for their various types of entertainment with gladiator fights being at the top. The Romans were not the ones who introduced public games. The Etruscans of northern Italy originally held public games. They featured gladiator battles and chariot races as a sacrifice to the gods. The first known gladiator fights in Rome were put on by Decimus Brutus in 264 B.C. It consisted of only three pairs of gladiators that fought in his father's honor at his funeral. This game took place 300 years before the Roman Coliseum was even built. Eventually over the next two centuries the gladiator games scale and frequency increased dramatically and was a way to display power as opposed to honor the dead.
The games were free to the public and paid for by politicians and emperors looking to gain popularity and win votes and to keep the poor and unemployed entertained and occupied so they would not revolt. I see that same parallel in our society today. Large companies and the wealthy provide their customers with tickets to all kinds of events in hopes of winning or keeping their business. This is really prevalent in large companies that provide customers and potential customers with every kind of entertainmen...


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Dictionary, M. (2006). The Merriam-Webster Dictionary. Massachusetts: Merriam-Webster.
Hopkins, K. (2012, October 11). Murderous games: Gladiatorial contests in ancient Rome. History Today. Retrieved January 29, 2014, from http://www.historytoday.com/keith-hopkins/murderous-games-gladiatorial-contests-ancient-rome
Trueman, C. (n.d.). Search the history learning site. History Learning Site. Retrieved from http://www.historylearningsite.co.uk/
US History. (n.d.). Ushistory.org. Retrieved January 28, 2014, from http://www.ushistory.org/
Ward, A. M., Heichelheim, F. M., Yeo, C. A., & Perry, J. S. (2010). A history of the Roman people. Boston, MA: Prentice Hall.
Where did gladiator fights begin? (n.d.). Discovery Channel. Retrieved January 29, 2014, from http://curiosity.discovery.com/

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