Were mostly condemned criminals, prisoners of war or slaves who were bought for the purpose of fighting. Professional gladiators however were free men who volunteered to participate. Pairs of Gladiators would fight each other for the amusement of the public in theatres, amphitheatres, the circus and even the Roman Forum. Professional Gladiators were expensive to train so there were very few fights to the death. It was much easier to just slit the throats of the condemned criminals. The 1 st contest was in 264 BCE fights and contests were banned in 325 CE by Emperor Constantine I. The last known gladiator competition in the city of Rome occurred on January 1, 404.
The games were established by Etruscans The Romans then started to do it as a form of entertainment. The Etruscans Believed when an important man died, his spirit needed a sacrfice to survive in the after life. The first gladiator game was taken place in Rome in 263 BCE. Decimus Brutus Scaeva put it in honour of his father who passed away. Three slaves participated in the first game. The Gladiators were slaves, prisoners of war, and ciminals. Sometimes there were volunteers. They were trained in gladiator schools. A gladiator would usually only fight no more than 3 times a year. Gladiator fights were first banned by Constantine I in 325 BCE. The last gladiator competition was on 404 BCE.
Andabatae: they Fought with visored helmet and were possibly blindfolded and were on horses or chariots. Dimachaeri: The Dimachaeri used small swords. Bestiari: These gladiators Fought against animals, and they used spears to kill them. Equites: these gladiators Fought on horses, and there weapons were speasrs and they dressed in a full tunic. Essedari: these fought in chariots. Hoplomachi:they had a full amour, they wore a helmet, woollen tights, and shin-guards. They carried a gladius and a small, round shield, and were paired with mirmillones or Thraces. They apparently became Samnites later. Gladiators had different types of fighting, they specialized in different weapons, and it was popular to put pairs together, who have different ways to fight. The types of gladiators were:
Laquerii: were those who used a noose to catch their adversaries Mirmillones (or murmillones): Wore a helmet. They carried a gladius and an oblong shield. Provocatores: Fought with the Samnites. Retiarii: Carried a trident, a dagger, and a net, no helmet, and a larger manica. They commonly fought secutores or mirmillones. Samnites: Carried a long rectangular shield, visor, plumed helmet and short sword. Secutores: Had the same armour as a murmillo, including oblong shield and a gladius, however, they wore a helmet with only two eye-holes. Thraces/Thracians: Had the same armour and weapons as hoplomachi, but instead had a round shield and also carried a curved dagger.
The Roman legion was the basic military unit of the ancient Roman army. It consisted of a core of heavy infantry, with auxiliary cavalry and ranged troops, typically skirmishersancient Roman armyinfantrycavalryskirmishers ~The size of a typical legion varied widely throughout the history of Rome, ranging from 5000-6000 men in the republican period of Rome ~As legions were not standing armies, were instead created, used, and disbanded again, several hundred Legions were named and numbered throughout Roman history ~Due to the enormous military successes of the Roman Republic and the Roman Empire the legion has long been regarded as the prime ancient model for military efficiency and abilityRoman Republic Roman Empire ~ A Roman legion was an infantry unit consisting of heavily armed soldier, equipped with shields, armor, helmets, spears and swords ~In the early days when Augustus was in power, there were 25 legions that defended the empire ~Minor punishments included reduction of the food ration or to eat barley instead of the usual grain ration
The younger ones and formed the front line Men in their prime ages (late twenties to early thirties), composed the second line of the legion The veteran soldiers that occupied the rear; only in extreme situations would they be used in battle. They were equipped with spears, rather then the other weapons. Legions were composed of the following units: EquitesEquites(cavalry) ~ most prestigious unit, where wealthy young Roman upstarts displayed their skill. All of the equipment was purchased by each cavalryman, which consisted of a round shield, helmet, body armour, sword and one or more javelins VelitesVelites (light infantry):light infantry Velites were basically javelin throwers. They did not have a precise formal function in battle, they were being used when they were needed. They try to break up the enemy formation and would deploy in front. Heavy Infantry:. The heavy infantry was composed of citizen legionaries that could afford the equipment composed of bronze helmet, shield, armour and short spear (pilum). They preferred the weapon gladius, a short sword. The heavy infantry was subdivided, according to the legionaries' experience.pilumgladius
Geography: Though the geography of Rome was not affected by the gladiators, the gladiators were affected by the geography. The land conquered by the Romans, combined with the armies they defeated dictated who would become the gladiators. Social: The battles of the Gladiators were a main form of entertainment for the Romans. They were seen fighting at venues such as theatres, amphitheatres, the circus, and the Roman Forum. These made a bloodlust an acceptable ideal in society. It is believed that these fighters were idolized by the women of society, and looked upon as we look upon athletes or celebrities today. Political: Members of the nobility often hired the gladiators. The politicians were the ones fuelling the use of gladiators as entertainment. Though not having any direct power, the gladiators were idolized. This meant that politicians would try to hire the more popular gladiators in order to gain votes and popularity. Later, the battles were a place where commoners could inform nobility of their opinions on society, and get their voices heard.
Economic: The gladiators caused wealthy nobility to spend money on hiring gladiators to fight. This means that the battles allowed money to reach the slave population of Rome. The status of gladiator allowed slaves and members of defeated armies to regain a semblance of status in society, because they were paid for their fighting, and could possibly be freed after fighting for three to five years. Despite the perception that most gladiators fought to the death, few battles ended in such bloodshed due to the costly nature of the training of gladiators. Also, the host of the event would be charged far more by the trainers if the gladiator died. Cultural: This was a form of entertainment for over 7 centuries. This was a way of life for them, and was an expected practice. The wealthy and the nobility would be expected to provide such entertainment, especially during peace times when there was no war to satisfy the bloodlust. Religious: The spectacles of a gladiator battle were frowned upon by the church. Ironically enough, this wasn’t because of the violent nature of the battles, but because of the frenzied uproar that they drove the crowds to, causing many of the audience to loose their abandon.
Technological: Because gladiators were so culturally diverse, they often fought with weapons of their own originality to make things more interesting. Like fighting techniques, these different types of weapons were added to Rome’s vast arsenal. Military: The gladiators were often members of defeated armies. They were often forced to fight in their own cultural style, and with their traditional weapons. This allowed the Romans to thoroughly analyse and use the fighting techniques of their enemies. Gladiator shield
Geography: The legions were the armed forces of Rome and were therefore responsible for increasing Rome’s boundaries, and defending the Roman Empire on any terrain. Social: At one point in time, the legions consisted of all free males who owned property, and were citizens. It was expected of the Romans to fight in the army. This meant that it was expected, socially, for men to be involved in battle. Political: The leader of each legion was often a governor of the area in which their legion resided. This gave each force an element of control, despite being governed by a higher official. Cultural: Originally, legions were not full forces. They were put together when needed, and disbanded when no longer necessary. It was socially acceptable for Romans to enjoy the bloody spectacle of battle, so their immediate lives involved the legions, and most likely being a member of one when necessary. Aerial view of a Roman Army
Works Cited List Coleman, Professor Kathleen. Ancient History Romans. 19 08. 2003. 9 May 2006. Discovery channel. Ancient Rome. 25 Mar. 2003. 9 May 2006 -. Dunkle, Roger. Roman Gladiatorial Games. 11 08. 2002. 9 May 2006. Newman, Garfield. Echoes from the Past: World History to the 16th Century. McGraw-Hill Ryerson Limited, 2001. no organization. Gladiators.. 9 May 2006.
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