Truth and myths about gladiatorial combat
Interest in the XIX century to antiquity, including ancient Rome, went sideways general knowledge. Much of what has come to be perceived as the facts come up with the writers and artists of the time, because that archeology has not been developed, and the imagination - on the contrary. Hollywood consolidate these inventions, turning them into conventional wisdom stereotypes. Very much got the culture of gladiatorial fights.
Gladiators fought not only with swords and foot
Despite the fact that the profession of the name comes from the word for a short sword, gladiators fought in the different types of weapons, and even horseback or war chariots - it was a bit like that in our time "athletes in general" are divided into artistic and sports gymnastics , sprinters and jumpers. Radically different in characteristics of gladiators usually not released at the scene, because it is simply not interesting: the battle between equals will last longer and will not be predictable turns.
The same with a lot of gladiator on one stage. Quest will be released two interesting than mindless running three or four to each other (or each other). Gladiatorial fights were very ordered.
Gladiators were superstars
Gladiators were not soldiers, which was pushed into the arena for the crimes, and prisoners who dragged disposable entertainment. They were something like our fighters without rules - just the rules. With a pretty bloody. Nevertheless, the death of gladiators in the arena was the work of infrequent.
Firstly, it would be unprofitable for the owners of slaves, gladiators or owners gladiatorial schools that were free men. The equipment, food, gladiator training takes too much money to give without regret fighter then to die - even if not the first battle, and on the tenth.
In the second place, it seems that the practice of contractual fights. At the gladiators had their own techniques, how to fight in the arena sharper, more spectacular and safer ... for each other, and there was no reason not to use these techniques.
Most of the gladiators in the arena worked for several years, became the most successful real superstars - touted their women dating men showered with gifts, and the children were playing with their doll-like images of clay. Not surprisingly, in gladiatorial combat was not necessary to use a lot of slaves or prisoners. The arena was torn for fame and money a lot of strong young men. To ensure that the life of gladiators flowed sweetly and smoothly, the following analogy of modern trade unions! Gladiators could even go on strike!
By the way, about men
Researchers antiquity of modern times it was very difficult to accept that the Gladiators were women. Each time finding the sculptural or pictorial images Gladiatrix, they tried to find an explanation, based on their perceptions of the role of women in the immutable society. In the end, visual and written sources have accumulated so much that it does not recognize that the arena went out and women, it is impossible. Banned women fighting for moral reasons (out of fear that they will decide to represent Rome at the Olympic Games) only at the beginning of the third century of our era!
Belonged to a different phenomenon Gladiatrix in a patriarchal Roman society, approximately, as now responding to women in boxing and various forms of martial arts. Someone was angry or ridiculed, but missed and fans. Gifts and declarations of love Gladiatrix produced in large quantities, and during their fights empty seats in the stands was not. However, to get married to her it was impossible. Woman leading any public life, was considered a public woman.
Animals less people died on the scene
Fights in the arena is rarely death Gladiator. Often after a long, spectacular battle with jumps, deceptive maneuvers and beautiful strokes of swords one gladiator acknowledged defeat. Viewers could demand his death marks, but what were those signs exactly unknown. Thumbs up or thumbs down - the same myth of the nineteenth century.
In ancient Rome there was a period when the audience were so bloodthirsty that demanded the execution of every other loser, but still more than the usual statistics were eight or seven pardons ten fights. While the same gladiator released into the arena is not as common, that is, it was not more dangerous than the fight in the Roman army.
But no matter how rarely died in the arena gladiators, more rarely there dying animals - although in a fight with the animal almost always won people. The fact that the lion, tiger or rhinoceros impossible to design a spectacular scenario of the battle, so that the fight with the beasts looked pretty bored. So to battle with them were allowed a few specially trained gladiators - and taught them not only how to kill the animal, but also the way as much as possible to squeeze out of this fight something like the show. Animals in these gladiatorial combat was used except that the opening act. Another thing is that the gladiatorial arena sometimes not used for fighting, but for executions, and popular had the penalty, as the wild beasts.
It is because of the fact that the gladiatorial games were very much in order, the most odious Roman emperors came up battle, which then belonged to the legend, as exemplary. For example, they fought themselves with ill-prepared audience, or were forced to fight in the arena of persons with disabilities under the threat of the death penalty, let the slaves from Africa against the Tigers with small daggers or knives made little slaves for a long time to kill each other. Due to the fact that the gladiator fights were not bloody, and brutal executions came up in the arena.
ban is not only the cruelty of
Gladiatorial contest when Christians banned not only because of the possible fatal outcome (after bouts of honor and tournaments Christians practiced quietly), and not only because they encourage baser feelings. In gladiatorial combat suspected pagan principle, and for good reason. It is likely that this brutal sport came from ritual fights to the death - sacrifice variety in which the victim of the gods became lost. Probably such fights leaders is initially arranged on a funeral. Historians are not sure whether to participate in them only criminals or slaves and considered it an honor to try their hand, and Warriors free. Later, when the gladiators fought already for fame and money, fighting in the arena in front of still praised the pagan gods.
Now it is also believed that gladiatorial combat was in classic form were not in Rome itself, and not as a borrowing from the Etruscans, and in Italy under the name of the campaign. It is the earliest image of gladiator fights there found. They belong to the fourth century BC.
For a slave or criminal fights were a chance to
Even slaves and criminals were obliged to pay a share of the fighting. After several battles well proved himself a slave could buy off the host, and the offender could not throw into the ring for more than five years (by the way, strictly speaking, Spartacus was not a slave, but in such a criminal - it is deserted from the Roman army, where he was recruited force).
In addition, the slave could be on the loose more before start working on your ransom. After a particularly good fight organizers could present him with a symbolic prize - a wooden sword called "Rudis". This prize is meant that the gladiator is now free. Someone left the scene for good, while others belonged to the gladiatorial school.
Why pay slaves and were given prizes, and not cheat? Because the slave, which just made, fought without a spark, and fights were primarily show. Artists encouraged for the sake of a good spectacle, which will give certain profit. The law, which obliged to pay a gladiator, easy use and those emperors who actually went to the arena to entertain. At the same time, and the treasury replenished.
Despite the money and the odds, not all gladiators would entertain the crowd. All sorts of criminals, especially ideological, were reluctant to fight, and they pushed the red-hot iron rods or beaten with whips. I must say that from the arena carry off hooks the body could only in this case - that is, where the deceased was the culprit. Other gladiators with honors were taken away in special chariot. In schools for gladiators who died were special cemetery and the graves of them do not come cheap. But the fighter's career does not necessarily end in the arena. Many went to the trainers or simply retire.