Roman Violence Essay, Research Paper
The numerous conquest of the Roman army lead to the glorification of violence in Rome. Violence became a socially acceptable among the Roman people and was considered a form of entertainment. Rome was a state filled with warriors that would resort to killing each other for their own gain. The Roman s would even go so far as to set up artificial battlefields in memory of its warrior traditions. This lead to a more lethal barbaric form of entertainment in Rome where the bloodshed of convicted criminals of war and wild animals became a celebrated event known as gladiatorial contest. Although, public executions where common in Rome, the gladiator games where a mass organized execution of hundreds of unarmed criminals and slaves of war. Its has been suggested that the games where some how connected to funerals. In honor of their dead father two noble men put on the first gladiatorial game in 264 BC This became the aristocrat s way of honoring their dead in Rome. There was a great deal of religious overtone associated in the gladiator games; the attendants that participated in the games dressed as gods. The public attraction to these games also had political implications among the ambitious aristocrats that where motivated by their public supporters. The entertainment of the games soon turned in to a competition that could make or break a senator s social and political reputation. However, the most spectacular gladiatorial games where given by the emperors themselves. This allowed the emperor to show his formidable power over the people. The gladiator games reinforced the imperial legitimacy of its emperor and was enforced through terror. Roman justice was a lesson in pain and punishment and helped reestablish power and order constructed by the emperor himself. The gladiator shows soon became political theatres where the emperor s themselves wanted to be prize winning performers in the shows like the gladiator s. This signified how important the needs of the Roman aristocrats to display their fighting skills and courage to the people. This lead to the glorification of the gladiators and had a direct effect on the representation of masculinity shown by these brave men. Many have questioned why these barbaric gladiator shows became so popular among the Roman people. Maybe there is no real answer as to why violence played such an important role in Roman society. In part maybe the traditions of war had became so common that violence was considered normal. Rome was considered a cruel society where the dehumanization of the victims was common and brutality was apart of its culture. The popular gladiatorial shows were in part a by-product of war and Rome was an empire won through discipline and control. Public discipline was reestablished through political power and shown by mass executions that only reaffirmed the moral order set up by the state. The gladiator shows also provided a stage for the citizens to share in violence and brutality. The glorification of violence in Roman society has made history and will be discussed for centuries to come.