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A Critique Of Michael Grants’ Book Titled Gladia

905 words - 4 pages

A Critique of Michael Grants' book titled Gladiators In Michael Grant's book Gladiators, he details various groups of people from different backgrounds which exchange blows as gladiators. Grant's book reveals a glimpse into roman culture by describing who the gladiators were in roman society. The section in the book titled "Who are the gladiators?" describes the emergence of the varieties of gladiators. Grant shows that regardless of the gladiator's background every gladiator is seen as equal once he enters the arena. Along with every gladiator being equal in the arena every gladiator has the same goal in the arena: to survive.In his book, Grant explores the different people who make up the gladiators and their willingness to fight. Roman officials force prisoners of war, condemned criminals, and slaves into gladiatorial combat (Grant 29). Along with being a Christian, crimes such as murder, treason, robbery, and arson result in a sentence to gladiatorial combat (Grant 30). Although prisoners of war and criminals make up a part of the gladiatorial population, slaves make up the majority of the gladiatorial population. Most gladiators are forced into combat; however, some free men choose the profession. Gladiators yield from a variety of people; however, every man is stripped of his rights once agrees or is forced into gladiatorial combat. Grant provides an accurate view of roman gladiators. He correctly states the origination of the gladiators. The information Grant gives about gladiators is significant in understanding what roman culture is like. By knowing how the gladiators came about, a person knows how Romans viewed slaves, prisoners of war, and criminals. By forcing these people into such bloody and painful combat, it is obvious that Romans did not see them as people but as objects. By mentioning that some free men volunteered to become gladiators, Grant shows that conditions are unbearable for the lower class in roman society. The lower classmen so strongly desire to fit in that they subject themselves to terrible pain and death. Through the mention of an upper classmen volunteering as a gladiator and Romans seeing this as offensive, Grant shows that there are strict social class boundaries in roman society. Since gladiators are seen as the lowest of the low it is disgraceful for an upper classmen to volunteer to fight and drop in his social status. Grants presents this information with accuracy and is sure to cite ideas which are not his own. Grant does a fantastic job of clearly defining his terms. Grant starts off by defining what a gladiator is. Grant is sure that his readers understand what a gladiators is so the reader will know what potential...

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