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Gladiator: Its Faults With Roman History

2098 words - 8 pages

When watching the movie Gladiator, one is sees the Roman culture and how it was portrayed at the time. The main historical features that stuck out were the details of the Roman military and the accuracies of a gladiator. Throughout the movie these two features are viewed multiple times by the audience. By viewing this movie and through research these one can see that even though it is a great movie, Gladiator, has some inaccuracies about these historical features.
The origin of gladiatorial games started with hand-to-hand combats which were performed at memorial games with in Rome (Brown, 2007, pg.1). From this the gladiatorial games continued to grow and grow in popularity as well as entertainment. The potential of gladiatorial battles started and soon were not just done at funerals but for all kinds of celebrations and occasions (Brown, 2007, pg.2).Due to these games becoming so huge all around Rome, amphitheaters were beginning to be built across new cities and old cities were attempting to add them. With the amphitheaters being built more and more people came to see these games, and thus gladiatorial battles became a way of entertainment.
During the Roman ages gladiators were used as entertainment for The Republic as well as the citizens of Rome. Most of the time the gladiators were slaves and sometimes prisoners who have committed crimes. Also there were times where some enlisted into the combat voluntarily as free or freed men (Brown, 2007, pg.4). According to Wolfgang Neubauer (2014), “it was a prison; they were prisoners, and lived in cells, in a fortress with only one gate out” (pg.1). Something that is seen in Gladiator is the gladiators traveling from town to town which is inaccurate.
When becoming gladiators the men took an oath to hand themselves over to their master, body and soul, and to submit to being beaten, burned, or put to the sword (Brown, 2007, pg.4). The truth of it is that the gladiators actually slept in 32 inch cells (Vergano, 2014, pg.2) fit for up to 2 people underneath the amphitheater. When the gladiators were not sleeping or training, they were in combat in front of most of Rome.
In combat the gladiators were blinded when going into the arena. When fighting in the arena gladiators were forced to fight wild beasts or even each other. In a journal article written by Tom Mueller (2011) it states, that the gladiators fought to their deaths for the public’s entertainment (pg.27). Most of the time events in the arena were subdivided by trained hunters, public executions, and then the gladiatorial combat.
The trained hunters went in the morning for the Romans to enjoy the weak being defeated by the strong (Brown, 2007, pg.3). Around noon the executions would begin with either crucifixions, burning people alive, or throwing people to beasts as forms of torture. Finally sometime in the afternoon the most prestigious event of the arena takes place, which is gladiatorial combat.
In the battles the gladiators were...

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