Roman Bloodsport: Gladiatorial Games
"We who are about to die salute you!"This was the cry of the gladiators, or professional fighters, when they saluted the Roman emperor as they marched about the amphitheater before engaging in combat with one another or with wild beasts for the entertainment of the people.
There were many advantages to engaging in that particular profession. The profession called for courage, good morale, and absolute fidelity to the master to the point of death, so the participant’s life became a model of military discipline. Through courageous behavior, he received an honor similar to that of a Roman soldier on the battlefield. Another notable advantage would be that if an aristocrat or common person suffered a financial setback, or lost his inheritance, he would find it difficult to make a living, so a career serving as a gladiator seemed most attractive. The position could prove to be one of reverence that modern athletes today enjoy.
Rules in Combat
In conclusion, the gladiator games served as a platform not only for political propaganda but also to communicate to the masses, the might and strength of the Roman military. It served as a message to the people of the kind of courage and bravery expected of them. It emphasized on values such as heroism, perseverance and gallantry, unflinching even when staring at death.