Explain and Discuss What Life Was Like for a Gladiator.

Explain and Discuss, What life was like for a Roman Gladiator – Aron Lawford

Gladiators were a form of entertainment during the Roman Empire. This essay focuses on explaining and discussing what life was like for a Roman Gladiator. Attention will be brought to the different types of gladiators, how they were recruited, their weapons and armory, their training, the inaugural games, diet, and how the public perceived of them.

Miriam Greenblatt suggests in “Augustus and Imperial Rome” that there were many types of gladiatorial bouts in the arena. Such as Individual gladiatorial fights, dual gladiatorial fights, chariot races, man vs. animal fights including lions, bears, elephants and rhino’s. Individual gladiator bouts didn’t just occur in the arena, they were also the entertainment of many parties. The Major arena for the Gladiatorial bouts was The Colosseum or originally known as The Flavian Amphitheatre. It was under Emperor Vespasian’s Reign; between 70-80 CE the he constructed the Colosseum. The final production was completed under Emperor Titus, the son of Vespasian after his death at the age of 69, midway through the production of the Colosseum. It was built, capable of holding 50,000 spectators.

Most gladiators were slaves, volunteers, criminals or prisoners of war. It wasn’t often that an upper class roman man was a gladiator. However there are some cases of upper class roman men breaking the law to do battle for the thrill and fame of being a gladiator. Archaeological sources such as the Goblet d’Aco and mosaics and frescos of Roman gladiators found throughout Pompeii and Herculaneum indicate their popularity and fascination from all levels of the population regardless of their status. It is recorded by Romans such as Seneca that the first gladiators were slaves who were made to fight to the death at the funeral of a distinguished aristocrat, Junius Brutus Pera, in 264 BC. This spectacle was arranged by the heirs of the deceased to honour his...