Gladiators had great hygiene for the time they lived in. Being a celebrated bestiarius, Carpophorus was instinctively gifted in fights involving wild animals. The Mirmillones were heavily armed and wore helmets decorated with fish, while the Thracians carried just a shield and scimitar, making them much quicker on their feet. The life of a gladiator in terms of food and living conditions was therefore often superior to the lower class of Romans. He was known to fight with only a sword, shield, and basic armor.
The gladiators also wore armour and their helmets, in particular, were objects of great workmanship, richly embossed with decorative motifs and set with ostrich or peacock plumed crests. The living conditions of gladiators were good. This can be difficult, as some sources present a negative view of Spartacus, whereas others are unexpectedly positive. Their doctors were some of the best around the world for their time and they were kept to proper diets to ensure they would be ready to fight the next day. Finally, the Bestiarii fought wild animals.
It is a popular misconception that gladiators saluted their emperor at the beginning of each show with the line: Ave imperator, morituri te salutant! The type of armor and weapons they fought with depended on their social ranking as a gladiator. Contests were typically single combat between two men of similar size and experience. If the emperor were present then he would decide, although the crowd would certainly try to influence his judgement by waving cloths or gesturing with their hands - raised thumbs and shouts of Mitte! Their diet was poor in animal protein, yet their bones, according to research, were twice as strong as those of your average Roman, and their muscular strength is pretty much demonstrated by their very own job. His adversary could then decide to be lenient, although, as there was a significant risk of meeting again in the arena, it was considered good professional practice to kill your opponent. The gladiators stand before their fights, unsure if their life will end today. There ethnic background was reflected in the type of gladiator they would be and they would wear the armor and use the weapons of their homeland. An archaeological discovery made in 2004 near London, allowed scientists to recreate a Roman face cream.
However, it should be noted that the average was much lower and there were even some games in which victors fought other winners until only one gladiator was left standing. A Thracian by birth, served in the Roman army, perhaps deserted, led bandit raids, and was caught and sold as a slave. Gladiators were also taught to show no fear. The little tin box found by archaeologists was still filled with its perfectly preserved content, which gave the opportunity to conduct a full analysis on it. Their portrayal in films and stories has turned them into archetypal legends — facing death on a daily basis is certainly not something to be taken lightly! The term gladiator is derived from the Latin gladiatores in reference to their weapon the gladius — the short sword.
For those looking for suggested readings and some archaeological remains on gladiators in general, look. Free gladiators had to say an oath agreeing to be submitted to beating, burning, and death by the sword if they did not perform as expected. Research has actually been done on headstones relating to Roman gladiators and an average age is considered to be 27, although likely many more died younger and were not even given headstones. There were many different types of gladiators in Rome. Gladiators could also own their own slaves. They would dress up for the crowds and wear helmets, specially shaped shields and some would only wear a loin cloth. Suggesting that the Romans really did have some of the best medical care of their time and for generations to come.
Historian Luciana Jacobelli explained to Focus Storia, one of Italy best selling history monthlies, that gladiatorial games became, especially in Imperial Rome, an excellent means of publicity. They trained for hours each day and learnt how to use various weapons including the war chain, net, trident, dagger and lasso. Ritualized violence Ritualized, public violence had been a favorite entertainment of the Romans for centuries. The expectations of gladiators are incomparable to anything we see or do today, making their lives even more fascinating and yet inconceivable. Some were even knights and nobles who wanted to prove their pedigree and show off their fighting skills.
As a gladiator a man gained immediate status even though as a gladiator he was forced to act as a slave and to endure flogging, branding or death by the sword. Paul Denis, Assistant Curator World Culture at the Royal Ontario Museum, describes the Roman gladiatorial combat. After fighting for hours in a nail biting battle, the two warriors submitted to each other at the same time. Priscus and Verus These two might have had won a number of fights in their careers as competent gladiators, but they are mostly known for their legendary final fight in which they faced off against each other. They were never allowed to show fear. It is therefore not surprising that some free men enrolled as gladiators. Contrary to what is seen in most movies, it was less likely that gladiatorial combat would result in death.
This practice continued till these games were finally completely banned in the 5th century. Contents: The origins of Roman gladiators -- Recruitment, training, and discipline -- Many and diverse types of arena fighters -- Death in the arena : gladiators in action -- The great gladiator rebellion of Spartacus -- Social and moral aspects of amphitheater fights -- Epilogue--the decline of the gladiator. The presence of the divine Emperor himself, accompanied by priests and the Vestal Virgins also lent a certain pseudo-religious air to the contests. Referees oversaw the action, and probably stopped the fight as soon as one of the participants was seriously wounded. If they chose to send him or her to Avernus, they rose the thumb, Fonzie-like.