The Gladiators

and how they affected the city of Rome

How The Battles Began

Before I give facts on the effects on the city, the battles would have never been so great if they weren't created, this is a bit about how they were created. The first ever battle was held at a funeral to honor D. Junius Brutus Pera in 264 A.D. over 300 years before the Colosseum was built, the battle consisted of three pairs of gladiators battling each other to the death. It drew a big crowd and many people enjoyed it so after that almost at every funeral there was some form of battle. A few years after that the sport was still growing and becoming an event on its own and the battles were moving to amphitheaters where more people could watch. The battles continued continually gaining more and more popularity for over 300 years until the new emperor Vespasian believed it proved to its own sport and he believed the battles were worthy of taking place in their own arena made just for the sport. The building of the Colosseum started in 69 A.D. after the election of Vespasian and was opened in 80 A.D by Titus who was the brother of Vespasian and the new emperor because Vespasian was killed.

About the gladiators

The first gladiators were prisoners of war but then evolved into slaves and criminals. If you were a slave/criminal/prisoner of war you would have no choice if you wanted to fight or not unless you volunteered as one. Many gladiators claimed that they felt free while fighting in the Colosseum. You could own national glory and fame if you were a really good fighter. You could even be released from slavery if you were an amazing gladiator. Many people volunteered to fight because of the glory that you could posses and the freedom that came with being a gladiator.

The three main types of gladiators

Affects on the Emperors of Rome

Emperor would always attend battles. Battles were created for entertainment but were first used to honor people at funerals. Emperor candidates would put on shows for political influence in election. When Julius Caesar was elected he had a celebration with over 300 pairs of gladiators. Commodus appreciated the battles inside the coliseum so much he even competed as one same with Gaius Caligula, Caracalla, Geta and Marcus Aurellius. Every emperor used the Colosseum significantly until Honorius and he did not like the gladiators and he closed all the schools in 399 A.D.

Affects on the citizens of Rome

Citizens looked up on the gladiators. Gladiators were everyone's favorite part of the show. If a gladiator mercies, the crowd attending would decide if he fought well and should be kept alive and if they thought he did not fight well the gladiator would be killed. Gladiator battles took place on special holidays and when it was scheduled the whole town would be counting down the days until it happened. The citizens caused the gladiator battles to evolve from held just at funerals into a city event. Gladiators were always a part of the Roman culture from emperor to emperor