Gladiators in Ancient Rome paper – Term Paper

1.0  Identification of Gladiators in Ancient Rome

1.1.   Explanation of the problem

1.2.   Background information about the problem

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1.3.   Thesis statement

2.0  Analysis of gladiators in Ancient Rome

3.0  Discussion about gladiators in Ancient Rome

3.1  Cultural origin of gladiators

3.2  Recruitment of gladiators

3.3  Gladiators as entertainers

3.4  Weapons and body armors used by gladiators


Cultural origin of gladiators

Gladiators originated in ancient times. It is believed that gladiatorial fights were a form of human sacrifice to the gods. It is also believed that Gladiatorial fights were used by aristocrats to sustain their political power (Dunkle 10). Gladiator fights were also seen as a way in which rulers would win favor from the public given that the public was very enthusiastic and excited to watch gladiator fights. Gladiator fights started as a way of wealthy individuals, and ruling elites showed their love for citizens who loved them and had been loyal to them. Gladiator fights were a way of rich individuals showing their generosity to the public. Stinginess while presenting a gladiatorial combat could damage the reputation of an aristocrat among fellow citizens. Gladiator fights were hosted in amphitheaters. Gladiator fights were also a form of funeral games. Gladiator fights were also viewed as athletic competition. A high tolerance of cruelty and violence is what compelled gladiator fights to be very popular (Dunkle 14).

Recruitment of gladiators

Gladiators were either barbarians or men with no moral worth. Gladiators were either prisoner of war, men convicted of capital crimes (Dunkle 30). Although most of the men who were gladiators did so involuntarily, there are individuals who volunteered themselves to be gladiators. Individuals who volunteered themselves to be gladiators mostly were mostly men of the lower classes who were after fame and fortune (Dunkle 35).

Gladiators as entertainers

Games involving gladiators were an opportunity for wealthy individuals in ancient Rome to celebrate birthdays and commemorate important days in their lives. Gladiators were either slaves, had a criminal background or they were heavily indebted (Dunkle 67). Fights that involved gladiators were a matter of life and death. Losing a match did not necessarily result in the death of a gladiator. A gladiator could be discharged after losing a fight, meaning that he could be given an opportunity to come back and fight another day. Gladiators training involved rigorous activities. The gladiators had to be highly and rigorously trained so that they could be in a good physical position to fight. Training schools for gladiators were akin to prisoners; the conditions were very inhumane and very few free people could stand those conditions. The gladiators lived in small cells from where they were fed. However, it is worthy to mention that the gladiators were well fed so that they could be physically able to take part in the fights. Gladiator trainees were accorded appropriate medical care given that they were a worthy investment for the wealthy individuals (Dunkle 69).

Weapons and body armors used by gladiators

Gladiators had body armors that ensured that they were protected as they embarked on fights. It was important for gladiators to be physically protected to minimize physical injuries and pain that could arise from the fights. Weapons that were used by gladiators included swords and Body armors involved shields and helmets. The body armors that were worn by gladiators involved a great level of workmanship. The body armors that were used by gladiators were highly embellished; the amours were highly fancied by audiences that watched the gladiators fight (Dunkle 67).

Work Cited

Dunkle, Roger. Gladiators: Violence