Roman Gladiators Analysis

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The author, Keith Hopkins, discusses the famed Roman gladiatorial shows. With an incredible list of sources and evidence he introduces how the gladiatorial shows originated, the political role the shows held in Roman society, and how the gladiators were idealised. The author did a good job at keeping the information of the origins of gladiatorial shows in a proper flowing timeline. He discusses the real origin of the shows. Hopkins claims the shows originated as a form of funeral games. It was widely associated that the souls of the deceased requested sacrifices at the funerals, usually of prisoners or slaves. With the entertainment found in those funeral games and the growing popularity of it in upper class circles, it eventually made its way…show more content…
The gladiatorial shows provided great chances for the emperors and citizens to meet. Common citizens roles in politics were beginning to diminish and so the shows became the most frequent way for the people to voice their opinions to the rulers. Not only was it great for meeting with the ruler, political figures also entered the arena as gladiators. It was not actually allowed for the senators and emperors to fight, but under secrecy many did. The author provided many examples of certain political figures evading the laws. The author also managed to appropriately explain how Romans idealised the gladiators. Gladiators were seen as heroes to some, especially if they had won many games. Some would even become so popular among the people that they would beg for the gladiator’s freedom. He even cites evidence of a political figure’s wife eloping to Egypt with her favorite gladiator. With less shows being presented yearly, it only made the anticipation of the shows that much more intense. The citizens would be hyped up about the upcoming shows with full-sized portraits of the more popular gladiators painted on

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