The Role Of Gladiators In Ancient Rome

2725 Words11 Pages
Death is Optional The gladiator was the quintessential Roman athletic performer. In Ancient Rome, a man’s virtus (manliness and courage) was the very definition of being a Roman. The gladiator was a perfect representation of the Roman citizen’s concept of virtus; for in the arena he demonstrated prowess, manliness, and strength while fighting, and courage upon death. The people of Ancient Rome prided themselves in their military prowess, and the gladiator was a physical representation of that prowess; continually reminding the population (and surrounding areas) that Rome was the best of the best when it came to military capability. The gladiator and their status amongst the people is an enigma. Here was a man (who was not generally Roman) representing the people, and managing to earn their respect by demonstrating courageous fighting tactics. A man who would honorably die to be received favorably by the Romans. Although it was originally thought that one gladiator died in every fight, it has now come to light that that assumption is grossly over-exaggerated. It would be incorrect to associate all gladiators with those that were performing in the early afternoon games, or naumachia (naval battles), for these were very different types of gladiators and not the famous ones used during actual gladiatorial combat. The intent of this paper is to prove that death in the arena was infrequent for professional gladiators due to their monetary value, their fame and success, and lack

More about The Role Of Gladiators In Ancient Rome

Open Document