The Roman Gladiators and the Colosseum: The History and Legacy of Ancient Rome's Most Famous Arena and Fighters, Charles River Editors
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The Roman Gladiators and the Colosseum: The History and Legacy of Ancient Rome's Most Famous Arena and Fighters

Author: Charles River Editors

Narrator: Bill Caufield

Unabridged: 2 hr 1 min

Format: Digital Audiobook

Publisher: Findaway Voices

Published: 03/14/2023

Genre: History - Ancient - Rome

Synopsis

When the Colosseum was built in the late 1st century A.D., the Romans, a people known for their architectural acumen, managed to amaze themselves. Martial, a Roman poet writing during the inauguration of the Colosseum, clearly believed the Colosseum was so grand a monument that it was even greater than the other Wonders of the Ancient World, which had been written about and visited endlessly by the Romans and Greeks in antiquity. Indeed, although the Wonders were wondrous to behold, the Colosseum was a spectacular achievement in architecture, something new and innovative, and therefore an amazing “Wonder” in its own way.

Of course, the main events in the Colosseum were gladiator fights. Gladiators are somewhat synonymous with ancient Rome, and even thousands of years after they performed on the sands, when people are asked about Roman culture, many think about and refer to the bloody spectacles of men fighting to the death in the arena. Gladiatorial combat is often regarded as barbaric, and most find it very difficult to comprehend how people could have enjoyed watching something so violent, but nevertheless, the spectacle still intrigues and fascinates people today, whether in movies like Gladiator or television shows about Spartacus.

Each match usually pitted one type of gladiator against a different type of gladiator, with each having their own kind of armor, weaponry and fighting style. For example, the retiarius was a gladiator that used a net, dagger and trident as his offensive weapons, while only wearing a protective guard over his left arm for protection. The retiarius would typically fight against the secutor, a gladiator armed with a sword, large shield, helmet and protective covering on his right arm and left leg. Therefore, a retiarius sacrificed armor for quickness in battle, while the secutor did the opposite.

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