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Title: Roman Gladiators Contents Introduction..... Amphitheatres..... Origin of Gladiators‌ Types of Gladiators‌. Animals..... Weapons... Torture....

Introduction Roman gladiators are people from the Roman times who fought each other and animals for entertainment. Romans enjoyed seeing people being killed because they thought that their gods were seeing justice being done. The first battle was held 310 BC and involved only a few gladiators. By the time of Julius Ceasar, three hundred "ludi" (pairs of gladiators) would combat in a single day. Gladiators were an essential part of the Roman culture at their peak in the 1st century BC and some of them were considered absolute heroes.

Amphitheatres A Roman town might have a theatre, stadium and an amphitheatre. One of the main entertainments at the amphitheatre was a fight between men who were trained to chase and kill animals or each other. Roman architecture used a rich system of ornament using upright posts (columns). The amphitheatre in Rome is called the Coliseum. It could seat up to fifty thousand people in the audience. The Romans invented concrete by mixing lime, water, and the ash from volcanoes. Concrete was as strong as stone and it set hard even underwater. This is how the amphitheatres were built.

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Prisoners and gladiators lived in dark underground sections of the amphitheater. From there they could see and hear the battles going on in the stadium.

Origin of Gladiators The people who were thrown into the amphitheatre rings to animals were Christians, criminals and slaves. Gladiators were sent into the Arena to be chased, wounded and killed. They fought each other while the audience was cheering and having fun watching people suffer. Those condemned to death were sent into the arena without weapons. Those that had been sentenced for lesser crimes were trained at the "ludi" gladiator schools and fought with the weapons of their choice. If a gladiator survived 3-5 years of combat, he would be set free. Few survived that long.

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Types of Gladiators Andabatae: these gladiators wore armour made of metal mesh and wore helmets without eyeholes. They charged at each other blindly witch was a tradition that carried on into the medieval times. Bestiarii: These specialized in fighting exotic animals and were

very likely to die. They were armed with a sword or a spear. Dimachaerii: Gladiators trained to fight with two short swords, one for defence, one for attack. Samnite: (or hoplomachi) fully armed with helmet, armour and shin guards. Their weapons were a short sword or a spear. Thracian: These wore a broad rimmed helmet which covered their whole head, a small square shield and a short sword called a “sica�. Retiarius: These were armed with a trident, a net and a dagger. They would catch their opponent in the net.

Animals Many different kinds of animals were shipped to Rome from all over the world to fight in the Arenas. Thousands of lions, leopards, wolves and bears would be killed in a single day.

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Roman Weapons There were many weapons specially developed for gladiators. However, gladiators who where criminals where sent into a amphitheatre with no weapons so they would probably die. The Roman shield had the symbol of the eagle. Their armour was made of metal, leather and cloth. Some gladiators chose their weapons to be a huge net so they could catch their opponents in the net and strangle them. Some gladiators would have a lance to stab their opponents with. Others had spiky clubs with which to batter their opponents.

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Torture Torture was widespread in Ancient Rome. Some Christians would be crucified on a cross upside down. Others were burnt alive on the cross or

would be fed to the lions. Some would fight other gladiators or they had to fight a mad bull with their bare hands.

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Index Glossary Column/upright post

Bibliography • History of Kids • Gladiator wikipedia • The Oxford childrens illastrated encyclopedia • Book of Knowledge I wonder why • Google Images • • UNRV History:

Roman Gladiator's  

A view by Viktor, aged 8

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