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May 03, 2023


The scholar, M.J Carter had clearly based his article to study the art of gladiatorial combat. He had researched the different types of combats that are fought in the history to identify the impact of this activity on the spectator and the purpose of the fighters (Futrell). From this scholarly article the scholar has attempted to answer the question of choice that is put in front of the victor. This can be either life or death.

The scholar is seen to be using inscriptions as historical or ancient evidences. The scholar motions the activity of a certain gladiator named Urbicus who died at a very young. He was one of the renowned and influential gladiators who had managed to fight thirteen battles in his lifetime. The homicidal approach that was followed by the gladiators was exposed along with detailed research (Futrell). After the known death the gladiators they are seen to have various versions inscribed on their epitaph. Urbicus’s epitaph is seen to be different from that as he had mentioned the real and unfiltered reason. Most of the gladiators had mentioned “Hurt no one” or “saved many” in their epitaphs which was contrary to their reality and that of Urbicus’s principles (Carter). As mentioned by the scholar, in the imperial period in Rome, the life of the gladiator depended in the hands of the opponent. A Macedonian inscription had mentioned and encouraged the gladiators to fight for their lives which were not justified on a humanitarian level. Considering wounded gladiators or the ones who managed to get away being safe had their own problems which were faced (Dunkle). Thus, it can be concluded from the scholarly article that a gladiator had to abandon his entire life to embark upon a journey that had only one ending. It would either end the lives of the professionally trained gladiators as they succumb to a dangerous wound or die on the battlefield. The ones who survived without being brutally hurt were sent off to a different battle field as they were able bodied.

There were shows and events which were held and were watched by spectators as a form of entertainment. People showed up to watch the crucial display of martial excellence and the entire progress of the gladiators being governed by rules and standards of behaviors. Due to the tremendous amount of cost involved, the rules differed and were slightly liberal. The gladiators could surrender but there was no escape from serious wounds or even death. It was seen as an exciting bound by rules contest of marital excellence. It displayed the immaculate skills of the men who showed their bravery in the face of death (Dunkle).  They showed that they were evidently the creatures of principles, disciple and skills which they had practiced and developed over the time. The audience did not particularly appreciate the combat but they seemed to like the way the gladiators were fighting (Gilula). It seemed to be more engaging than the combat. There were experts who were kept to ensure that they gladiators are fighting bravely and following the disciples or principles that they believed in. therefore, it can be derived that a lot of the professional gladiators were trained and a lot of resources were used in order to track their progress. Thus, losing a valuable life like that due to a serious injury was impacting the structure of the show. With time the summa rudis as technical experts closely watched the combat to stop it when it was required. This system has aided in saving a number of lives before a deadly and perilous blow (Carter).

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