Are Gladiators Heroes or Victims?

By Rachel Thornton, Mallika Dinakar, Evelyn Keefer

Who are Gladiators?

Gladiators, everybody has heard of them, but not that many people actually know a lot about them. Gladiators are prisoners of war, slaves, and criminals the Roman empire sponsored to fight in the gladiatorial games to entertain the public. Freedmen and upper class aristocrats would also occasionally become a gladiator, often because of money issues, or because they wanted attention or the thrill of fighting.

What Did Gladiators Do?

Gladiators were fighters. They fought in Gladiatorial Games for the entertainment of the public. Gladiators would fight until their sponsors decided who was going to die. Sometimes if the gladiators had put up a really good fight, both of them would be allowed to live.

Gladiators were trained by people called lanistas. These people had special schools where gladiators would train. The gladiators were kept on special diets that kept them fit and ready to fight all year long. Training sessions were open to the public and people would often come and watch gladiators training. Because of this, gladiators were accustomed to being viewed by the public.

Gladiators had many different styles of fighting and they were placed in lanistas schools according to their style. They would then train with other gladiators with the same fighting style. Often in the arena gladiators were matched unfairly. A gladiator with only a knife may be paired with a horseman. No matter how unfair the chances were, the gladiators still had to fight for their lives.


Are the Gladiators Heros or Victims?

Gladiators are Victims.

Gladiators are victims because of the many harsh treatments they had to endure. Gladiators are victims because most of them were forced to be gladiators. The losers were thrown to a wild beast with no protection at all.

Gladiators are Heroes.

Gladiators are heroes. Even though they are slaves, criminals, and prisoners of war they still deserve to have the title of hero. Gladiators have been ripped from any former life they might have had. Lanistas have thrown them into a school and expect them to stay fit, strong, and ready to entertain the public with a good fight. If you took any normal person today, they probably would not be able to go through what the gladiators went through. That in it self is heroic. Also, when gladiators had to fight, they were fighting for life or death. If they didn't put up a good show, their sponsor might decide it's time for them to die. Even if he does put up a good show, his sponsor may still decide it's time for him to die. A gladiators life balanced on the edge of a knife and they had to fight bravely to be able to live. Gladiators should be called heroes because even though they were forced to be gladiators, the best ones didn't bow down. Gladiators fought bravely and didn't just give up and lie down to die. Gladiators fought both for their lives and for the hope at the occasional grant of freedom. Even though gladiators were forced to fight they didn't give up. They didn't accept that they were going to be killed and that is why they deserve to be called heroes.

Now We've given you our conlcusions, What's yours?