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  • to keep idle citizens entertained, amount of mischief, brutal combat to the death and become popular.

  • Mhm.

  • You probably know what a gladiator is, swords shields, angry emperors, that stuff.

  • But a deeper look and recent discoveries point to an industry far more complex than just a bloody battle.

  • A gladiator is a performer in certain ways, in shows that draw mass audiences in the roman world.

  • There's questioning about the impression that pop culture perpetuates that two men enter one man leaves sort of thing that all of them were fights to the death.

  • It's clear that that doesn't make economic sense for the larger system of Rome dr Allison Futrell studies the spectacle of gladiatorial games.

  • The first gladiatorial combat that we know about in Rome Date to the 3rd century and their associated with public funerals.

  • A violent confrontation at a funeral feels pretty morbid today, but the romans saw it as an honored ritual to send the noble deceased off into the next kind of existence and also to honor the deceased by suggesting that their death is something that's worth marking by the entire society, not just by the family.

  • As the Roman Empire grew, so did the political influence of the games Caesar in 65.

  • BC commemorated his father who had died 20 years earlier with lavish gladiatorial games and later for his daughter who had died eight years prior.

  • The expansion of Rome and the tremendous amount of wealth that that brought in, especially into the roman elites that presented an opportunity for them to enhance their own politicking by massively building up a spectacle.

  • Mhm.

  • That said, the chasm between wealthy and non wealthy is opening up hugely.

  • It was the wealthy fuel rather than the many who benefited from the riches and vast resources of the empire.

  • So a lot more poor people, They want access to have a slice of the roman pie to have their voices heard and for your voice to be heard in Rome.

  • There were few places better than the Games.

  • People who are presenting these shows.

  • The sponsors of these shows and the roman elite have prime sitting areas, right?

  • But they are also there to be seen.

  • Their goal is to make it all positive attention and yelling about how wonderful I am and I am.

  • Yes, I love the people, this is the kind of interaction were supposed to have.

  • That's not always how it works.

  • Political actions follows them into the prestige seating areas and there's an exchange.

  • There's an idea in Rome, this license of the theaters that, that kind of exchange and the freedom of criticism is welcomed.

  • This license of the theater even applied to the emperor when he hosted the Games and was carried over into venues like these.

  • I think that the roman amphitheater is really important because it is specifically a roman building type.

  • The romans draw a lot of architectural influences from other peoples in the mediterranean.

  • But the amphitheater seems to be something that they developed.

  • Hundreds of amphitheaters popped up across the empire, but none were as large and detailed as the colosseum.

  • The colosseum is the premier example with facades that make use of more expensive kinds of stone that suggests expense and power and artistry that makes it into a premier cultural object.

  • These were remarkable, remarkable structures and feels so modern.

  • A modern venue for a modern game day experience that included prizes that were a bit better than your typical bobblehead.

  • This is not just toys and necklaces and that kind of thing, but small balls that are being thrown from in the spectator stands inscribed on them have the details of a significant prize that could be the equivalent of an apartment in downtown Rome sums of money, food, that kind of thing.

  • This is a very visible and tangible way of showing how you're benefiting from the roman empire discoveries of new artifacts are beginning to detail Gladiators and their clashes.

  • Not all of them died young majority of them probably did survive their first game.

  • Animals were viciously hunted while criminals and christians were executed, reminding us just how violent the games were.

  • But new analysis suggests that for every 10 gladiators who entered the ring, possibly nine live to see another day and the games were surprisingly structured.

  • They do have the equivalent of timeouts, images where there seemed to be hairs drinking water, getting a quick massage, taking a breather and then presumably they're going to resume combat.

  • One image found on a small pot in the Netherlands shows a referee holding up his staff to halt to fight as an assistant runs in with a replacement sword.

  • There's the opportunity to get a glimpse into those who are in the arena by looking at things like tombstones that talk about the endgame basically on one Gladiators tombstone found in France, there's an inscription that reads his wife put this up with her own money for her wonderful spouse.

  • So that sense of connection of reputation, of sorrow, there seems to be this connection between the performers and the Spectators.

  • Certainly there were people who were sold as slaves.

  • There's also the fact that prisoners of war enter into the larger slave system, but we also see evidence about people who selected this life.

  • People who were faced with overwhelming amounts of debt, sold themselves as Gladiators, there are others who were freeborn who chose this for an enjoyment of combat and perhaps an interest in potentially becoming famous, making a name for oneself socially.

  • You'll dress up and attend that premier and you'll sign a couple of 100 autograph books, no matter the result.

  • Gladiators belonged to the lowest class of roman society, but still some did become famous graffiti found on the walls in pompeii, boast of admired gladiators who were celebrities to their fans and more discoveries teach us.

  • It wasn't only men who were Gladiators, there's some evidence that there were women who appeared in the arena.

  • A relief that clearly shows two female gladiators, an inscription that talks about.

  • Here.

  • We had women pick up the sword.

  • One could see these as just random things of something that hardly ever happened.

  • I tend to think it was a bit more regularized.

  • The emperors and influential politicians who controlled the games will probably be remembered by history, but a look at the Gladiator tells an important part of the story as well.

  • There are stories are important for us to learn to develop empathy of people who are more than just the great shakers on the top, but the ones who are enabling human society to continue on a on a day to day basis.

  • Their stories matter.

to keep idle citizens entertained, amount of mischief, brutal combat to the death and become popular.

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    林宜悉 posted on 2021/12/23
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