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Noodles II
08-12-2005, 11:33 PM
Our Troops? Pshaw. Salute Romes Gladiators!


Gladiators who fought in ancient Rome's amphitheaters were highly trained, overpaid and pampered professionals who amused the crowds by showing their fighting skills, rather than battling for their lives, according to a new study which reconstructed the tactics of gladiators and the course of their bouts.

Disputing images of ancient combat such as those seen in the epic movie "Gladiator," the research suggests that gladiatorial fighting had become a form of entertaining, spectator-oriented martial art at the beginning of the first century A.D.

"What we know from literary sources and inscriptions of the High Empire is that gladiators were famous — in fact many were celebrities known by name across the Roman world." archaeologist Steve Tuck of the University of Miami told Discovery News.

"They fought seldom, had short careers, were very expensive to hire and were generally expected to survive their matches."

Tuck presented his study at the annual meeting of the Archaeological Institute of America in Boston in early January.

Focusing on fighting methods used by pairs of gladiators in one-to-one combat, Tuck examined 158 images of Roman art from the period, showing gladiatorial active combat.

Then he compared them with manuals on sword fighting and martial arts produced in medieval and Renaissance times in Germany and northern Italy.

"The manuals make good parallels for gladiatorial imagery because they involve single combat — as opposed to battlefield tactics — by warriors armed and armored in ways similar or exactly like gladiators," Tuck said.

It emerged that there were often three critical phases in the course of the bouts.

The first was the initial contact, with both gladiators on their feet, moving forward, fully armed and going for a body shot.

The second was when one gladiator, wounded or at some disadvantage, backpedaled or sought to create distance between himself and his opponent.

The third was when gladiators dropped their undamaged shields and grappling inevitably commenced.

According to Tuck, this move was a common way to conclude a fight: the aim was not to kill the opponent but to "win without wounding," as the Roman poet Martial said.

Purchased and trained to fight in the arena, gladiators represented a significant investment on the part of their owners. This would explain why a gladiatorial match did not automatically end in the death of one of the opponents, according to Bryn Walters, the director of the British Association for Roman Archaeology.

"Senators, wealthy businessmen and emperors were hardly going to have their best sporting stars butchered in the arena to appease the masses," Walters said.

The fact that gladiators were generally well armed in heavy helmets, shields, arm protection and often body armor, would provide further evidence.

"If they were marked to die, such protection would be absurd, pointless and as absent as it was for the prisoners being executed. Gladiators were armed and armored to face the chance of death, but not certain death ... ," Tuck said.

The art of gladiators showed the expectation of survival and also the ability to win without wounding. This may be the origin of the western martial arts tradition seen throughout western Europe," he said.

See, when Gladiators die, they do it with honour, When our soldiers die, they die with freedom. Personally i like honour more. It would be kinda cool to live in the ancient rome times.

Mota Boy
08-12-2005, 11:57 PM
Did you even fucking read what you posted? From reading that, how on Earth could you come to the conclusion that gladiators a) died with "honour" and b) weren't free?

Noodles II
08-13-2005, 12:01 AM
Did you even fucking read what you posted? From reading that, how on Earth could you come to the conclusion that gladiators a) died with "honour" and b) weren't free?

i just skimed through that and use id for an example. If you wacth Discovery times and sceince channel theres a whole bunch of shows about roman gladioters

Mota Boy
08-13-2005, 12:21 AM
...and if I did, I'd still learn that what you said in your first post was complete bullshit. Your point?

Noodles II
08-13-2005, 12:23 AM
...and if I did, I'd still learn that what you said in your first post was complete bullshit. Your point?


dunno, i just like anceint rome and the dark ages

Thucydides
08-13-2005, 07:51 AM
Did you even fucking read what you posted? From reading that, how on Earth could you come to the conclusion that gladiators a) died with "honour" and b) weren't free?

a) I think that's a matter of opinion. They supposedly died with honour – a loser was supposed to accept the decision of the adjudicator and give themselves honourably and I can’t think of any case where this didn’t happen. Also there was “Morituri te salutant” which sounds like an honourable thing to say before they died. However, on the other hand, they died for the entertainment of a baying mob which isn’t all that ‘honourable’. And in taking their oath they accepted that they were the level of slaves and the drags of society.

b) Generally gladiators were slaves (and so weren't free), although there are quite a few exceptions to this (but probably the vast majority were slaves).



It would be kinda cool to live in the ancient rome times.

Yes, yes it would (but ancient Greece would be even cooler!). :D

Mota Boy
08-13-2005, 08:03 AM
Jen - read the article. According to it, our early ideas concerning gladiators were misconceptions. They rarely died and were often wealthy. Perhaps in the early days it was a bloodsport, but by the time they made it to the Colosseum it was basically an ancient version of professional wrestling.

sKratch
08-13-2005, 09:31 AM
but by the time they made it to the Colosseum it was basically an ancient version of professional wrestling.
That's what I was thinking.

sKratch
08-14-2005, 01:57 PM
Furthermore, every time I read this thread title, I read it "Roman Salute", which is remeniscent of Roman Helmet. I wonder what a Roman Salute would be?
(if you are considering several hand gestures that don't involve the humiliation of a woman, you don't know what I'm talking about)

RXP
08-14-2005, 03:25 PM
I wonder of the Glaidators had a union and they went on strike cause Ceaser (Betman) wanted to impose a salary cap on them.