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The most notable non-Christian Roman critic of gladiatorial games was likely the Stoic philosopher Seneca. Of course Christians like Tertullian had good reason to speak out against bloody spectacles in general, and some of the conquered peoples living under Rome took less joy in the games than did the Romans. But for the most part, even enlightened Romans ...


14

I will answer the first question the Gladiatorial games were free for everyone to watch? Not really, quoting from Wikipedia (I don't know how to re-write it in my own words so I'll just paste it) Towards the end of the Republic, Cicero (Murena, 72–3) still describes gladiator shows as ticketed — their political usefulness was served by inviting ...


12

Slaves cost around 500 denarii at the time of Augustus - fluctuated around that price though depending on the wars.They were trained everyday and expected to live past one or two fights. Wild animals (untrained) were bought for the express purpose of being slaughtered, thus they would be purchased for much less. However, as they are rare they would obviously ...


11

In addition to harper89's answer, some gladiators were in the games to repay debts. Once they were repaid, they would return to whatever life they left before. With some luck, they would have earned a lot more than the debt, and thus be able to live off those earnings or invest them. The most successful gladiators were also treated like modern day ...


11

Once freed a Gladiator would become a Rudiarius and would be given a rudis which was a wooden sword that symbolized their freedom. Some gladiators stayed near and with their rudis were able to take up training of other gladiators. Others were even offered coin to return to the arena. The Roman Emperor Tiberius (r. 14-37 AD) once offered 1,000 gold ...


10

Seneca's letter to a friend: There is nothing so ruinous to good character as to idle away one's time at some spectacle. Vices have a way of creeping in because of the feeling of pleasure that it brings. Why do you think that I say that I personally return from shows greedier, more ambitious and more given to luxury, and I might add, with ...


8

Small point. Though the spectacles were bloody, as Seneca notes, they were rationalized on the assumption that those who were killed had been condemned for a crime, thus, it was a sort of capital punishment, and tolerated, by those who did not enjoy it, on that basis. From the Roman point of view, no "innocent" victims were being murdered, but rather, ...


8

None of the standard fighting styles would have been armed with an axe (at least none of them that I can find reference to). However... This mosaic at Galleria Borghese in Rome is believed to have dated from between 320AD and 330AD clearly shows a gladiator armed with an axe on the far right: These mosaics memorialize great gladiatorial matches (the ...


6

The book "Those About to Die" by Daniel Mannix (Panther 1960) relates that women were among the spectators, including ...noble ladies on the podium [who] often lost their heads. When one handsome young Myrmillo, only a few weeks before a simple farmboy living on the slopes of Apennine, paraded before the podium with his bloody sword upraised a ...


5

The gladitorial games were largely thought to be adopted by the Campanians and found their way to Rome through the Etruscans. From this site: Adopted from the earlier Etruscans, perhaps by way of Campania, gladiatorial games (munera) originated in the rites of sacrifice due the spirits of the dead and the need to propitiate them with offerings of ...


5

Certainly not every fight were to the death - that was considered very luxurious. Most of the deaths in such games would have been provided by condemned convicts. One of the most comprehensive studies were conducted by George Ville. In a survey of first century duels, Ville calculated that 19 out of every 100 fights edned in deaths. This gives a ...


5

It would depend on what type of animal it was and what type of entertainment it would be providing. A list of animals that took part in events can be found on this page. Some animals such as zebras and ostriches were trained so that they could pull chariots. Other animals were taught to do tricks. With the massive variety of animals that participated in the ...


5

Augustine's Confessions criticizes gladiatorial shows several places in Book 6. One example is below (emphasis added): For being utterly averse to and detesting spectacles, he was one day by chance met by divers of his acquaintance and fellow-students coming from dinner, and they with a familiar violence haled him, vehemently refusing and resisting, into ...


4

I don't have the book in my hand, so I can't quote directly, but Will Durant's "Ceasar and Christ" a history of the Roman Empire, mentions at one point that Christian ministers in general opposed gladiatorial battles (but had difficulty stopping their congregations from attending because of the general popularity). As for his source, I don't know. Ignatius ...


3

This page on the University of Chicago's website goes into some detail and is well sourced. It appears that there is no definite answer as to which way the thumb points or even the gesture in general. Also a more technical article from the same collection. According to that article; mercy was granted by waving handkerchiefs.


1

Games were not normally free. Sometimes emperors would sponsor events as a way of winning popularity with the public. Julius Caesar was, I believe, the first to do this. Late in the empire the emperor subsidized games out of the public purse. Women did attend. The Romans had no problem with women appearing in public. In fact, not only did women attend, ...



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