The Colosseum and the Roman Gladiators

On our trip to Rome we got to visit the Colosseum.  I learned about Gladiators and how they fought in the Colosseum.   I thought it was cool to see the Colosseum where there were real Gladiator fights.  In this report I will talk about the Colosseum, Gladiators, and my experience at the Colosseum.

 

The Colosseum    

The Colosseum is also known as the Flavian Amphitheatre.  It is built with stone, brick and concrete.  It took 40,000 slaves ten years to build.  When it was first opened the arena was flooded with water so you could have ship battles.  The floor of the arena was made of wood then covered with sand to soak up the blood from the gladiators and animals.  Arena in Latin means sand.  Under the wooden floor there were two levels of small rooms to keep the beasts and gladiators.  There were trap doors leading from under the Colosseum to the arena.  A huge cloth called a Velarium was placed on top of the Colosseum to protect the crowd from the sun and rain.  The cloth was like a ship’s sail and it took 1,000 sailors to work it using ropes and pulleys.  A long time ago, the Colosseum’s arches were decorated with statues.  Did you know that poor people sat at the very top of the arena and the rich and important people sat the closest to the arena?  Men and women also sat apart from each other.

 

Gladiators

There were three types of Colosseum games: Gladiator versus Gladiator, Gladiator versus Animal, and Animal versus Animal.  Tigers, elephants, lions, giraffes, monkeys, zebras and oxen were some of the animals used to entertain the crowd.  The Emperor used the Colosseum games to gain favour from the Roman people.

Gladiators were either prisoners of war or criminals.  They were forced to fight for their lives for the pleasure of the crowd.  New Gladiators were taken to a training school called a ludus to learn how to fight.  Weapons for gladiators were spears, swords, maces, daggers, tridents, shields, nets, hammers, and whips.  Some gladiators wore helmets, greaves (leg protectors), steel armour on their chest and legs.   

There were many different types of Gladiators. The Retiarius was a net fighter and carried a trident and a net, but wore very little protection.  The Secutor was the pursuer. He wore a big helmet, greaves, and armor on his sword arm.  The Velitis was a skirmisher. He wore no armor and fought with a spear.  The Murmillo was one of the most popular gladiators who wore a fish shaped helmet and had strong bulging muscles.  The Equites were the horseback riders who fought their own kind. The Thracian used a curved sword and a square shield.  The Hoplomachi was a heavily armoured Gladiator and comes in last into the arena.   At one point in time, there were also women and dwarf Gladiators.

If a Gladiator was knocked down to the ground and wounded, the crowd would help the Emperor decide if he would live or die.  Thumbs up meant the Gladiator was allowed to live and thumbs down meant death. 

 

My Experience at the Colosseum

 My family and I took a walking tour around the Colosseum.  I got to see under the arena where they stored the Gladiators and beasts because the wooden floor wasn’t there anymore.  There was also a huge cross which marked where the Emperor used to sit.  I really liked visiting the Colosseum because I got to see where the Gladiators used to fight thousands of years ago.  I think that Gladiators were interesting because they were skilled fighters who fought to the death.  Now the Colosseum is a huge ruin.  I wonder what it would have been like thousands of years ago.

 

Conclusion

In this report I talked about the Colosseum, Gladiators, and my experience visiting the Colosseum.  I enjoyed learning a lot about the Colosseum and Gladiators.

By Peter of Wardrobe

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6 Responses to The Colosseum and the Roman Gladiators

  1. Normally I dont learn post on blogs, even so I wish to say that this write-up quite pressured me to try and do it! Your writing taste has been surprised me. Thank you, quite wonderful post.

  2. nanang says:

    Great report Peter! I learned SO much!!!! It also made Gabe smile! love you!

  3. Grandma says:

    Dear Peter, Thank you for your story on the Colosseum and the Gladiators. You told an interesting story. I’m glad you liked it! Love, Grandma

  4. Lisa says:

    Another awesome report! You guys are totally educating me about all the wonders you are seeing on your trip! Thanks! I learned a lot. I never knew that there were even women and dwarf Gladiators. Maybe one day I, too, will visit the Colosseum and see all the things you’ve talked about. Love the costumes and photos!

  5. Patti Smeenk says:

    Good job on the paper Peter! Good to see you got it done. That would be an interesting place to go.

  6. bruleeblog says:

    Good report Peter! I learned a lot. 🙂

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