Roman Gladiators

Decent Essays
Blood and bodies everywhere. Two Gladiators left, exhausted and bloodied, one pleading for mercy, the other looks toward the emperor. The emperor puts out his fist with thumb out. his fist rotates thumb pointing down telling the standing gladiator to finish their opponent. one swing and its finished, this is the life of a gladiator. Gladiators lives were some of the toughest. During ancient Roman times many trained and became gladiators and fought in the arenas where some were victorious but most failed. Many people trained and became gladiators. To start off most gladiators were prisoners of war, slaves, and criminals. “Free men started to enrol as gladiators. Some were ex- soldiers, some wanted the adulation (fame) and the glory and some…show more content…
Once a gladiator won they were given “the prestigious palm branch of victory, often a crown, a silver dish heaped with prize money and perhaps, after years of victories, even freedom.” (Gladiator.) “Slaves and prisoners could gain their freedom, winning a fight and they were allowed to have relationships with women. But they still could not become Roman citizens. After having back their freedom they could marry and their children could become citizens.” (Who Were…show more content…
“Romans believed that human sacrifice at the dead person's funeral would appease the Roman gods and ensure a satisfactory entrance into the afterlife. Earlier customs of sacrificing prisoners on the graves of warriors were adopted by the Romans. Ceremonies connected with funerals lasted for nine days at the end of which a sacrifice was made. The Romans believed that "souls of the dead were propitiated by human blood..." Gladiator history moved on as the preparation for their funeral rites involved enemy captives or slaves being bought, trained to kill and then sacrificed during the funeral rites. This sacrificial ceremony, was called a munus. A munus was a duty paid to a dead ancestor by his descendants, with the intention of keeping alive his memory.” (Gladiator History.) Gladiator training also taught them how to die. “Roman spectators expected gladiators to die bravely, showing no fear, offering themselves to cold blooded murder by their opponents. Gladiator training therefore included how to die gracefully and with honor.” (Gladiator Training.) “Killing a defeated gladiator required a specific ritual. The loser, with one knee on the ground, grasped the thigh of the winner. The victor held the helmet or head of his rival and plunged his sword into his neck or cut his throat. The gladiator was not allowed to ask for mercy or scream when he was killed. All this respected a code of discipline.” (Winners
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