Gladiators vs Slaves Essay

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Jackie Rishkel During the time of great Roman expansion, slaves were so numerous that they outnumbered citizens ten to one. This means that slaves were disposable. They were treated horribly and usually only had a lifespan of three years after they were enslaved. If you are “lucky” enough in some sense, you were a slave that they chose to be a gladiator. You still were treated horribly and were malnourished but you had a chance at fame. Being a regular slave brought no glory at all, but if you were a gladiator you could become famous and well-liked; like celebrities today. The Romans thought of their gladiators as slaves, but, they had more affinity and maybe even a form of respect for the gladiators who entertained them. Gladiators were slaves that woke up every day not knowing if they were going to face a brutal violent death, or live by killing someone with brutal violence; the Romans thought of this forced bravery with a sense of glory. To a Roman if the person entertains you and your guests, you look good as a host and so you like those who are providing the entertainment. So I think there is a slight difference when it comes to being a regular do-the-chores slave, and being a celebrated fighting gladiator. From the reading I learned that the majority of gladiators were slaves who were taught how to fight in special schools. Have you ever heard of a normal slave going to school? At this time even women didn’t normally go to school, yet the gladiators did. Florus describes it this way, “For although slaves are persons who have been made to subject punishment in every way by some stroke of misfortune they are still a human being, albeit an inferior type.” Even with all the fame, gladiators were greatly looked down upon; they’re still slaves. Symmachus seems like he doesn’t even really care that his gladiators killed themselves. He says, “I would just as

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