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Gladiatorial Rome in comparison to modern sport
Transcript of Gladiatorial Rome in comparison to modern sport
Just as it was with sport today, the fights of the Gladiators started small and grew to become the pass time of the Romans. But how and why did it start?
Gladiatorial Rome in comparison to Modern Sport
How Gladiatorial Rome influenced sport today
All sports today are similar to the Gladiator fights in some ways. However, there are some sports that do seem to have more similarities than others. For example, UFC or MMA fighting. This sports involve two competitors fighting to see who has the most skill, athleticism and determination to beat their opponent, just like how it was for the Gladiators of Rome.
Nowadays, we admire the Colosseum in Rome, but when it was in use it was the home to fights to the death , the mass execution of unarmed criminals, and the indiscriminate slaughter of domestic and wild animals. However, there are distinct similarities between gladiatorial Rome and sport today.
Is there a link between Gladiatorial Rome and Modern Sport?
Roman sport was held in great stadiums, ensuring as many people as possible watched the show. And just as it is today, it was watched and cheered on by thousands!
The Colosseum was the greatest of the Roman amphitheaters
It held up to 50,000 people
It was finished and opened in 80 AD
up to 3000 men would fight in one day!
to celebrate it's opening;100 days of games were held
It is difficult for modern people to realize this but the Gladiator fighting wasn't all that savage. It had a symbolic nature to it.
However, the fights between the Gladiators were brutal, it wasn't like a Football game where players come back with bruises, the only way to win was to kill your opponent, unless the Emperor gave the signal that he was to be spared.
How is modern sport similar to the fights of the Gladiators?
Much like in modern day sports events, there is more to the game than just the event itself, there is the characters involved, the personal drama as well as technical skill and determination. Just as soccer fans do not just go to see 22 men kick a ball, and a baseball fan does not just go to watch a few men throw a little ball about, so did the Romans not just sit and watch people being killed. It is difficult to comprehend today, yet there was a different dimension to the games in Roman eyes.
Stadiums today hold up to and above 100,000 people.
They are amazing feats of engineering, as proven by the beautiful Allianz Arena in Munich
Modern stadiums are the home to many sports; from Soccer to Olympic Athletics
Modern stadiums, are often the jewel of the city they are found in, just like the colosseum was to Rome.
How modern stadiums are inspired by the Colosseum
It is clear to see that stadiums are inspired by the Colosseum just from looking at them.
They were both used for similar reasons, to entertain the public.
Over 400,000 people died in the time it was used for Gladiatorial games
It was originally named the Flavian aphitheatre
It was renamed Colosseum because of the large statue of Nero placed outside
It was constructed by 60,000 Jewish slaves
Unlike in Roman times, no killing takes place for sport inside the stadiums.
The man power needed to build these stadiums is far less than that was needed to build the Colosseum.
To think that the Colosseum was built 2000 years ago shows what an impressive build it is. This is why it is Rome's most famous building,
It is safe to say that sport has changed a lot since the times of the Roman Empire. No longer do you find men sword fighting or fighting wild animals.
However there are some similarities between the sports of today and the sport of the Roman Empire.
In Rome entry to the games was free. It was a citizens right to see the games, not a luxury.
Many people today think that the Romans were savage because of the Gladiators. But this wasn't totally true. Although there is little doubt that the was mob baying for blood. A Roman mob will have differed little from a modern day lynch mob or a horde of soccer hooligans. They didn't just come to see someone die, they came to see the skill and determination of the Gladiators, just like sports fans today come to see skill and determination from their team.
The Games started during th expansion of the Roman Empire in the camps of the army. The prisoners captured in victory would have been thrown in to battle with a wild animal for the entertainment of the soldiers.
It then grew and moved to the big stadiums in the 200 years of peace.
How it started
During the time of peace the Empire was protected by its effective frontier defense. So in memory of their warrior traditions they set up their artificial battlefields in cities and towns for public amusement. The custom spread from Italy to the provinces and was used throughout the Roman Empire.
Why it started
How did Gladiator fights end? (n.d.). Retrieved from About.com: http://ancienthistory.about.com/od/games/a/thumbsup.htm
Muderous games:Gladiatorial conquests in ancient Rome. (n.d.). Retrieved from Historytoday: Source: www.historytoday.com/keith-hopkins/murderous-games-gladiatorial-contests-ancient-rome
Perry, M. (n.d.). Western Civilisation Tenth Edition. George W. Bock.
The Games. (n.d.). Retrieved from Romanempire.net: Source: http://www.roman-empire.net/society/soc-games.html