By: Maryam, Yarden, and Genevieve
What is a gladiator and what weapons were used?
Many people have heard a saying when someone says, "I am Spartacus!" but most don't know what it means. Well, "I am Spartacus!" is a quote from the famous movie Spartacus, a film about a famous gladiator that led a slave uprising. When Spartacus became a warrior, he realized he didn't like it, and attempted to escape. However, he was caught and sold as a slave to a gladiator school. At the school, he trained to fight against animals and other gladiators. Just like when he was a warrior, Spartacus hated his job and tried to run free. With a group of 70 men, Spartacus escaped and became the leader of his small army. In order to fight their way to where the weapons were stored, the gladiators used kitchen utensils for protection. Over time, the small army grew and grew by collecting slaves along the way and teaching them to fight like gladiators. They would rob the country estates and seek food and ships to escape from Italy. Spartacus led 6,000 warriors at the time. They were encamped near Mount Vesuvius. The Romans feared Spartacus, so they decided to round up an army consisting of 3,000 men to defeat him. However, that was still not enough to overthrow Spartacus's army, so the Romans waited them out and expected for them to starve to death. However, because of Spartacus's clever ways, he ordered his army to sneak up on the Romans and managed to kill almost all of them. The Romans later sent out 6,000 men, and the same thing happened. The amount of warriors continued to grow, and Spartacus's army held nearly 70,000 men. During the final battle, known as the Third Servile War, Rome led about 50,000 men to battle. Eventually, Spartacus's army fell, and Rome captured 6,000 slaves and crucified them all. Spartacus however, was forced to fight against his last friend that was a part of his army in a gladiator battle. The rule was that whoever was the victor would be crucified. Spartacus's fellow warrior loved Spartacus too much to kill him, so Spartacus killed the other man and was crucified. His body was never to be found. Thus, there was once a famous gladiator named Spartacus who accomplished much in ancient Rome.
Before and during the fights
Did you know gladiators fight crocodiles, bears, rhinos, elephants, tigers, deer, panthers...the list goes on. In fact, over 9,000 animals were slaughtered during the 100 day celebration for the opening of the colosseum, and we Romans even hunted some species to extinction! But animals aren't the only ones who fight in the arena, and in fact it is more common for people to battle people. All gladiators-to-be are sent to a training school which has harsh conditions. When they are ready to fight, they are sent to fight in the Colosseum. The gladiators wait for their turn underneath the colosseum, which is basically an underground labyrinth of tunnels and cages. The spectators can vary from poor commoners to wealthy nobles. Also, spectators can feel free to bring food and refreshments to enjoy while watching the fight. During the fight, gladiators are expected to fight dramatically and please the crowd. To decide whether a gladiator should kill his, or occasionally her, opponent, they will look to the crowd and see if they are making a thumbs up or thumbs down. If they are making a thumbs up, then that signifies a sword being jabbed into a heart, and therefore killing. If they are making thumbs down, that replicates a sword being dropped, so the opponent should be given mercy. Ultimately, the host of the fight will have the final say, but still considers the audience's votes in order to please them.