Rome’s Gladiatorial Games: Myths vs Reality

Editorials News | Apr-25-2022

Rome’s Gladiatorial Games: Myths vs Reality

In the ancient period, ROME was a powerful and self-dependent Kingdom that has marvelous culture, architecture, rituals, and indeed their Gladiatorial Games which were a major source of entertainment for the public in those days. But did the legendary stories of  Roman Gladiators like Spartacus exist in reality? Most archaeologists believe that the Gladiatorial Games existed in reality and the Games are not a Myth. So, let us discuss a bit more about Gladiatorial Games played in Rome.

An ancient Roman's experience with a Gladiator fight from their location of seat to their reason for attending the fight, was dependent a lot on their Social Order and Status. The arena where the fight took place was known as the Colosseum whose construction began around 72 CE by the emperor Vespasian and was completed in 80 CE by his successor Emperor 'Titus'. Even after centuries the earthquake, the impressive stone arches of the crumbling facade of  The Roman Colosseum are still an iconic symbol of the Roman empire at the height of its power.

Emperor Titus was in crisis at the time of the completion of the Colosseum because the public was displeased with the Emperor. In an extravagant and expensive effort, to regain public favor and pacify the masses he celebrated the opening of the Roman Colosseum with 100 days of games. This was a strategy of a Roman Poet, 'Juvenal', called the Bread and Circuses program for distracting the public from the troubles and the corruption of the ruling class with Free Entertainment. The Gladiator events were always sponsored by Prosperous men to display their wealth and power and to increase their popularity among the people. The Gladiatorial Games became more expensive but impressive when the sponsors increased and they caught the attention of a large crowd.

But by the early, the fifth century, the popularity of Gladiator Fights started fading with the rise of Christianity, and finally, in 404 CE Emperor Honorius officially ended Gladiator fights after the incident of a Christian Monk being stoned to death by an angry crowd in Arena for stepping between two fighting Gladiators.