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Gladiatorial Conquests As Public Entertainment Essay

2213 words - 9 pages

Gladiatorial Conquests as Public Entertainment In the ancient world public entertainment was crucial in most
societies so that the order of the people could be maintained and
monitored by the respective ruler. Public entertainment came commonly
in the form of an act or show that was used as an amusement or
diversion to hold the attention of mass audiences of which is open to
the whole community or the people in general (Entertainment, nd,
online). With Rome and Greece being accountable for the positioning of
the foundations that shaped modern day Europe we are instinctively
drawn to analyse the functions of these societies. A plausible way to
the way of life of these civilisations is to look to the forms of
public entertainment that were enjoyed by the individual populace. The
public entertainment that the Ancient Greeks and Romans enjoyed was a
reflection of their societal values and individual way of life. Facets
of this essay will be contrasting the Gladiatorials exhibited by the
Romans and the Ancient Olympics by the Greeks. Subtopics including the
origins of the two forms of public entertainment and the role of
spectators and the athletes in each will be used to support the
reflection of societal values and way of life that is represented
through these forms of public entertainment. Of course in order to
understand and comprehend the societal values and way of life of each
of the civilisations we must first learn of the origins of both forms
of mass entertainment.

The gladiatorial combats in ancient Rome have a long and colorful
history, and were an incredibly large part of the culture of what was
once the greatest empire known to the world. The first recorded
gladiator fight was in 264BC and occurred when three pairs of
gladiators fought to the death at the funeral of Junius Brutus. The
gladiator fights were known as munera as they were once founded as the
‘duties’ that were paid to dead ancestors. In the beginning the
combats were rather noble as they were served as the purpose of
keeping alive the memory of an important individual after death.
Nevertheless, these gladiator combats gradually lost their connection
to funerals hence lost their nobility also. Combats soon became pure
blood spilt pleasure for the Romans. More importantly for the emperor
it became a vital stage for leaders to gain popularity and control
over his citizens. Gladiatorial fights became somewhat a trademark
that was eventually embedded into the history of the Roman Empire and
indeed earmarked the civilisation as brutal and blood thirsty.
Supporting this assumption is the fact that Rome in itself was
actually constructed upon a...

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