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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 ...


7

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, ...


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 ...


9

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 ...


26

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 ...



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