Gladiators, History's Most Deadly Sport Essay

2071 words - 8 pages

Throughout Roman history, gladiatorial events were one of Rome's most desired pastimesports. The evolution of this deadly sport is fascinating itself. Emperors as well as civilizedcitizens would often come to the arena for entertainment and to relax as well. Since the citizen'sgovernment and community were mainly focused on conquering at that time, whether it was acountry or person, the hosts of the show or known as managers would often put up gladiatorialfights to satisfy the public (Meijer 152). These men that fought were consisted of prisoners ofwar or men who volunteered to take part of the familia gladiatoria hoping to find a better way tolive. To understand why this sport was one of Rome most desired past time activity, one mustfirst examine how: how someone becomes a gladiator, how they lived their lives, and what typeof games they partook in. When one scrutinizes these aspects before hand, it will be clearlyshown why these men were considered as celebrities to the spectators.Gladiator fights were first introduced to Rome in 264 BC, when the sons of Junius Brutuspaid honor to their father's funeral by showing three pairs of gladiators fight (Baker 67). Thisritual caught on and was performed to honor significant men. As the years passed, theceremonies became more promoted and emperors began to present the games to symbolize theirpower. The citizens of Rome loved to go to these bloody warfares. In the city of Rome, theseevents were held in the Colosseum. This arena was so large that it could hold fifty thousandspectators and host fights between men and animals (Meijer 56). Gladiatorial games occupied acentral role in society. Sponsored during the republic by rich magistrates and later in the Empireby the Emperors themselves, the games have long been called an election tool. The games inRome are known today as the bloodiest exhibitions of public entertainment known to mankind.Men, Women and children flocked to the Colosseum to watch the bloodthirsty fighters murderone another. The spectators came from all over the Roman Empire and various other regions,like Africa. The games became a way of entertaining the wealthy, as well as the common people.The time in which a gladiator agrees to join the familia gladiatoria is one key event in a man'slife. "Gladiator", comes from the Latin word "gladius", for sword. They were primarily made upof slaves, criminals, prisoners of war or even men who volunteered. The crimes that could leadone to the arena included treason, robbery, and murder, among others. Some free men becamegladiators of their own free will in hopes of gaining notoriety and patronage amongst the wealthycitizens. By the end of 50 BC almost half of the gladiators fighting in the Colosseum were freemen. Since unemployed and under employed men couldn't make one a decent living, theresecondary choice would be to apply at the local gladiator school (Baker 85). Volunteers as ex-soldiers would also join because they didn't know how to live in the...

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