Gladiators and The Colosseum Flashcards Preview

Classical civilizations- Rome > Gladiators and The Colosseum > Flashcards

Flashcards in Gladiators and The Colosseum Deck (38):

What is the Latin word for a sword?

Gladius (also Roman slang for penis)


When did gladiator fights first begin?

In 264BC as funeral rites for the funeral of a distinguished aristocrat, Junius Brutus Pera where three pairs of slaves first fought to the death.


What did a wooden sword signify?

Freedom for a gladiator


Explain the various backgrounds of gladiators?

Captured slaves and prisoners of war from Rome's empire-building; later on this included free men


What job did a Lanista do?

He trained the gladiators


What conclusions were made from the discovery of a gladiator graveyard in Ephesus, Turkey?

They had access to the finest medical care - broken bones had been carefully re-set. Opium-based anaesthetics were used for ops.


How was a Murmillo (translates to fish fighter) armed?

With a short sword, greave, large rectangular shield, padded arm protector, and a helmet that may have had a fish design on top.


How was a Thraex (translates to thracien) armed?

With a curved sword, greaves to the knees, a medium shield, and a helmet.


How was a Retiarius (translates to fisherman) armed?

With a trident, a net, a shoulder shield, a small dagger


How was a Secutor armed?

With a short sword, short greaves, a semi-circular shield, and an egg-shaped helmet


Name two likely pairings of gladiators, give reasons

Retiarius v Secutor;
Retiarius v Murmillo;
Murmillo v Thraex


Explain the programme for a typical day at the Amphitheatre

Animal shows in moming; executions at midday; gladiatorial games in the afternoon


Name the three different types of animal shows

Animals pitted vs each other; Hunters vs animals; Animals vs prisoners


What was the difference between a bestiarius and a venator?

The venator was a trained animal hunter, whilst the bestiaries was someone who fought animals and held in low esteem


How many animals died at the games celebrating Trajan's accession as emperor?

Over 9000 died!


How were audiences protected from the beasts?

The beasts were kept in cages; Rollers at the top of the arena wall covered with polished marble; nets and finally archers


What was the real significance of the venatio?

As a symbol of Roman domination over its empire and also as a demonstration of man's civilized domination over wild nature; the venatio gave the Roman common man an opportunity to participate in an aristocratic pastime.


What time of the day did executions take place?

At midday


Describe the various types of executions?

Being damned to the beasts or the flames; also you could participate in a 'sudden death' contest in which criminals had to kill each other


What was the purpose of executing criminals?

To serve as a warning, and because in life they did not wish to be useful citizens, certainly the state benefited by their death.


When did gladiator fights take place?

In he afternoon. just as the crowd were


How often were gladiators killed?

Not often — perhaps once or twice. Posters refer to men who had survived 20-30 fights yet had only half of them


What do the words mitte and iugula signify?

Release him or kill him!


What happened after a gladiator died?

Two officials would enter the arena-- one dressed as Mercury (carrying a red hot wand) and Charon (carrying knife to slit the throat).


How did Roman philosophers and early Christians view gladiatorial games?

They objected to the boss of self-control among the spectators (though always the deaths)


Why was attending the games an essential part of being Roman?

Attending was an essential part of being a Roman, Rome was a warrior state that had achieved its large empire by military violence


What does the Latin word 'cavea' mean?



When did the Colosseum open / Who held the inaugural games?

The Emperor Titus opened the Colosseum in 80AD. The inaugural games lasted for over
100 days!


What was the Colosseum first known as?

The Flavian Amphitheatre


How many entrances did the Colosseum have?

There were 76 entrances for spectators to use


How many tiers of seats were there, and who sat there?

Lowest tier had 12 rows of marble seats where the eques sat; Middle tier [media cavea] consisted of 19 rows of marble seats where toga wearers sat; Upper tier [summa cavea] had 7 rows of limestone seating where the poorer citizens, slaves, women and freedmen sat


Where did the wives of wealthy Romans sit?

In a shaded colonnade at the very top


What did the basement of the Colosseum contain?

Series of cages. trap doors, ramps and lifts for the animals; also areas for the gladiators. slaves and stage hands


What shape was the Colosseum and why?

It was oval — this helped to ensure everyone had a good


What was a Naumachia?

A sea battle the Colosseum may have been flooded when first opened (before the basement was built)


What was the real significance of the games for the emperor?

This was where he met/controlled the people. Certainly he did not want rivals hosting games at the expense of the emperors popularity; he would receive the crowd's adulation


What was the real significance of the games for the audience?

The amphitheater provided them with an opportunity to speak directly to the emperor - they could loudly complain of
the price of wheat, or call for the death of an unpopular official


Why is the Colosseum so significant?

The Colosseum itself represents imperial power and public
pleasure. The Colosseum was capable of holding 50,000