Gladitorial Combat in Ancient Rome Essay

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Gladitorial Combat in Ancient Rome

The culture of Ancient Rome had a distinct way to entertain its citizens. Besides spending times at the baths, Romans found pleasure and delight in the games held at the local coliseum. These games were among the bloodiest displays of public amusement in the history of man. Professional wrestling and boxing today, do not come close to the disgusting horrors that the people of Rome took so much pleasure in observing. Although the games were very bloody and extremely brutal, often killing many men and animals, the Romans enjoyed the scenery of life and death being very near. Watching men fight and eventually die a dreadful death, is what fascinated the Roman population in great degree as the games
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The gladiators fought in various styles, depending on their background and training. Gladiatorial combat was so important to ancient Romans that they had gladiator schools to train men to be machines of slaughter for the scheduled entertainment (Johnston 287).

These trained machines fought in festivals held for ten to twelve day periods each year and often coincided with Saturnalia, a festival celebrating the god Saturn. Professional sign makers advertised with red lettered signs; heralds also proclaimed these spectacles. Programs were also available to aid in the inevitable betting. The fights were very brutal and gruesome. The most popular fights were against a heavily armed and shielded man against a fighter with only a net and a small dagger. Depending on the emperor of the day, you might see dwarfs fighting women, Amazons or even non-human opponents (Johnston 297). Not only did people fight each other, but also bears, buffalo's and other huge vicious animals. The gladiators would be forced to fight the wild beasts unarmed. In addition, many times the beast would be victorious. Beasts were also made to fight other beasts. One could watch bears fighting buffalos, buffaloes against elephants, elephants against rhinoceros. Even the ostriches that were brought in to amuse the spectators were not spared. After dashing around the arena, they were killed by arrows from archers who were located in the stands. Fights between men and tame

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