RETURN ANCIENT ROME
roman blood, gore, gladiators, circus, fun
THE FUN, THE GORE AND THE LUST FOR BLOOD THAT MESMORIZED IT
The Games, the Colosseum, the Blood, the Gore, the Endless Days Each
Year of Packed Stadiums, of Humans Screaming for More.
Why the spectacles?
What did they accomplish, what was their impact?
Why would the civilized people of that time create or promote these
Why did they participate so readily?
What would YOU have been doing?
Gladiator: The Film
For Those Gladiator Gurus Who Have Seen
What was factual, what was fiction? Both in specifics and in a general
manner. In what ways does it portray the Roman Empire of that time accurately.
Fom the movie and your thinking, what conclusions do you haves about the
reasons for the games, and Colosseum, and the blood and gore, and endless
days each year of packed stadiums of humans screaming for more. Evaluate,
comment on the reasons for the spectacles and for the government's use of
them, what they caused and what they
"Gladiator is a movie based on actual
people that lived thousands of years ago in ancient Rome. Gladiator, the story behind
the movie is the story of the actual people from
ancient Rome; Commodus, Marcus Aurelius, Narcissus (whom killed Commodus). The gladiator
of ancient Rome fought (many times to the death) for the pleasure and
entertainment of the populous. The Roman Gladiators were courageous and young/strong
men, that if beaten in the collosseum, would either be spared or killed
on the spot. The gladiator living or dying depended on the mood of
the crowds in the collosseum. Rome, the gladiators, Commodus, Marcus Aurelius,
Narcissus and ancient Roman ways."
Interesting commentary on what is wrong with the movie from historian
and mystery writer S. Saylor.
THE GAMES AND CIRCUSES THAT SAVAGED IT
Spectacles of Blood: Roman Gladiators and Christian Martyrs - THE PRIMARY SOURCES
Spartacus - An
The Spartacus film commentary by College of New Rochelle professor.
Violence Enters Politics, Revolt of the Generals, Rise of Spartacus and his
significance. Excellent chronology and explanations. "' The sources
make clear that Spartacus endeavored to bring his forces out of Italy toward
freedom rather than to reform or reverse Roman society. The achievements
of Spartacus are no less formidable for that. The courage, tenacity, and
ability of the Thracian gladiator who held Roman forces at bay for some two
years and built a handful of followers into an assemblage of over 120,000
men can only inspire admiration.'"
Gladiatorial Games Spend a day at the Arena!
The Arena was more than just a place for gladiatorial combat. The arena
was an integral part of Roman culture. It layed an important political role
as well as entertainment for the masses.
"Entertainment has always played in important part in human history. People
go to great lengths to escape their mundane lives. From the plays that
Shakespeare wrote in the Elizabethan era to professional sports today, each
civilization had its unique way to find enjoyment. Roman citizens, surrounded
by a barbaric age filled with violence, found their escape in the form of
gladiatorial combat. Chaos reigned in ancient Rome. The blood of the battlefield
in territorial conquest was equalled only by the blood spilled as a result
of political ambition. The people of the Roman empire found a sport that
matched their lives."
"To make sure the loser wasn't pretending to be dead, an attendant dressed
as Mercury would touch him with his hot iron wand. Another attendant, dressed
as Charon, would hit him with a mallet." And then the Gladiator's
Entertainment in Ancient Roman
" If transported back to Rome, modern-day Americans would find
much of Roman entertainment extremely violent; especially
the thousands of gladiator contests and animal fights sponsored by Trajan to celebrate
his military victories, with their many public deaths of both people and
wild animals. In the theater, the Romans seem to have had little
patience with Greek tragedy and preferred comedies, often loosely based on Greek
originals. Religion also provided public spectacle and entertainment; religious festivals provided more
and more holidays in the Roman calendar. "
Romans were appalled at the brutality of the games but justified them as
a means of directing popular anger away from the elite. A much larger group
defended the gladiatorial games as useful lessons in bravery and courage
in the face of death. The wild beast hunts were justified on the grounds
that the animals slain were themselves vicious and cruel. Their death was
seen as demonstrating the power of Rome to control the natural environment,
which in ancient times was much more threatening than it is now. Symbolically
the hunts represented Roman order over the chaos of disorderly nature. The
gladiatorial games were sometimes seen in a similar way. The gladiators were
outcasts; their bravery sometimes won them freedom and reentry into a society
they had rejected as criminals or lost. The festivals, then, were ritual
reaffirmations of the social, political, and natural orders.
Theatrical festivals, circus games, chariot races, gladiatorial, wild
beast hunts, public executions, sea battles, disasters. "Not only was the
official Roman working day a short one by modern standards, but there were
comparatively few working days in the year, except for slaves, who in any
case were not allowed to attend public entertainments as spectators. In the
reign of Claudius, 199 days in the year were designated public holidays,
90 of which shows were offered at public expense: in the middle of the fifth
century AD, there were 200 holidays a year, on 175 of which public games
Ludi - (The
Games): Public Games, Chariot Races, Gladiators, Theatre,
Extensive information about the killing of animals in Rome. Another
site, "The Spectacle of Nature: Exotic Animals and Roman Culture", is down
now. But the quote from it is an excellent summary.
"The late Republic and all the emperors used public games and spectacles
featuring exotic animals as entertainment for the masses. . . By 25 BC, leopards,
hippos, lions, rhinos, apes, elephants, giraffe, and crocodiles were all
exhibited at the Circus Maximus. . . Not only did one have to pay several
different kinds of
professionals-- trappers and hunters,
keepers, trainers, and veterinarians-- for highly skilled and dangerous work; one
also had to maintain special facilities for animals (imagine what would
be involved in keeping a few elephants or
great cats on your property). . . .Exotic animals usually had a short life-span
in Rome. Many were struck down from European diseases that were new to
them and hence especially dangerous; others failed to acclimatize to the strange climate; but
many others were killed for sport and show. . .Large or dangerous
animals were thrown into the ring with Christian martyrs, condemned criminals, or
pitted against professional fighters and hunters.
Vast numbers of animals could be killed
at a time in special events like imperial marriages, birthdays, accession
anniversaries, or surviving assassination attempts." Toynbee considered it
paradoxical "that a people that was so much alive to the interest and beauty
of the animal kingdom, that admired the intelligence and skill to be found
in so many of its representatives, that never seemed to tire of the sight
of rare and unfamiliar speciments, that displayed such devotion to its pets,
should yet have taken pleasure in the often hideous sufferings and agonizing
deaths of quantities of noble creatures."
The whole field! Origin, gladiator types, experience, amphitheater,
politics, culture, the hunt, animals, capital punishment.
Technology Center - The Gladiator
"Because of the movie "Gladiator," CTCWeb's editors thought you
might want to learn more about gladiators and gladiatorial combat. You will
find links to historical information that we collected about the history,
origins, and daily lives of gladiators."
Gladiator, combat, in the Arena, Amphitheater, games and politics, cultural
mean of combat and venatio. Venatio (the Hunt - animas) "Originally,
the venatio was a kind of warm-up act in the morning, with the main event,
gladiatorial combat, taking place in the afternoon. As this event gained
popularity, it became a spectacle that audiences sought out for its own sake.
The venatio was no longer combined with gladiatorial combat and was held
in prime time in the afternoon sometimes lasting for several days." Venatio
as Capital Punishment.
- All the original sources including Seneca, Cicero, Tacitus, Pliny, et al.
"While stands the Coliseum, Rome shall stand; When falls the Coliseum,
Rome shall fall; And when Rome falls -- the world." Lord Byron.
of the CM Site
Maximus: Rome's Astrodome
"The Super Bowl approaches. We feel justified in making a comparison to
the Roman chariot races, in particular those held in the largest spectator
venue ever, the Circus Maximus. A third of a mile long and 150 yards wide,
the Circus Maximus allegedly held 250,000 people."
A day at the races. "Chariot racing was the most popular sport in
Rome, appealing to all social classes from slaves to the emperor himself.
This appeal was no doubt enhanced by the private betting that went on, lthough
there was no public gambling on the races."
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