The Gladiators And The Gladiatorial Games Essay

854 Words Sep 18th, 2016 4 Pages
The Gladiators and games were not what they are historically described as in most history textbooks. History teaches us that the gladiators were murderers, rapists and the dregs of the Roman Empire and they were forced to fight. However, this is not entirely the case. The role of the Gladiators and the Gladiatorial games on the Roman Empire was long-lasting and far-reaching.
When the games first took off, many of the soldiers were actually volunteers who wanted to fight to increase their social and financial status or free a friend from slavery. While the idea was sound, unfortunately, few if any of them were able to change their outlook on life or standing in Roman culture since the Gladiators were not paid that well and had a minuscule chance of life or freedom after entering the stadium.
The first century of games was paid for and supported by the upper elites and timed shortly after a family member had died as to support their son/daughter in the afterlife. However, after more and more common people (bottom of the social ladder) came to these, it became a way to promote your status and wealth and less about funerals. As a result, within a few decades of becoming popular, it changed perspectives from something to do after a funeral to something to do every day of the week. To support the growing number of games and festivities, special gladiatorial training centers were established where men would go to train for battle and impending doom. These centers were under the…

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