The Rise Of Gladiatorial Combat In Rome



Gladiatorial contests (munera gladitoria), hold a central place in our
perception of Roman behavior. They were also a big influence on how Romans
themselves ordered their lives. Attending the games was one of the practices
that went with being a Roman. The Etruscans who introduced this type of
contest in the sixth century BC, are credited with its development but its the
Romans who made it famous. A surviving feature of the Roman games was when a
gladiator fell he was hauled out of the arena by a slave dressed as the Etruscan
death-demon Charun. The slave would carry a hammer which was the demon's
attribute. Moreover, the Latin term for a trainer-manager of gladiators
(lanista), ...

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sacrifice continued to hang about their combats. Obviously most
spectators just enjoyed the massacre without any remorseful reflections. Even
ancient writers felt no pity, they were aware that gladiators had originated
from these holocausts in honor of the dead. What was offered to appease the
dead was counted as a funeral rite. It is called munus (a service) from being a
service due. The ancients thought that by this sort of spectacle they rendered
a service to the dead, after they had made it a more cultured form of cruelty.
The belief was that the souls of the dead are appeased with human blood, they
use to sacrifice captives or slaves of poor quality at funerals. Afterwards it
seemed good to obscure their impiety by making it a pleasure. (6:170) So after
the acquired person had been trained to fight as best they can, their training
was to learn to be killed! For such reasons gladiators were sometimes known as
bustuarii or funeral men. Throughout many centuries of ...

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was primarily military, and also to
compensate the soft Greek culture which now was abroad. (8:98)

The Gladiators

Those compelled to fight gladiator duels included prisoners of war,
slaves and condemned criminals. Among them were numerous followers of the new
Christian faith. During this time persecution fell heavily on their faith, many
won immortal fame as martyrs. Fighting in the arena was one of the sentences
earned by the sacrilege accused against members of the Christian religion
because of their refusal to sacrifice to the emperor. It was written that these
Christians were forced, as gladiatorial novices to run the gauntlet. At other
times they were thrown to the wild ...

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PAPER DETAILS
Added: 10/16/2004 03:16:10 AM
Category: Miscellaneous
Type: Free Paper
Words: 3289
Pages: 12

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