And Advertisements Objective: Students will work individually or in pairs to create an original inscription having to do with gladiators that reflects details of gladiators and gladiator competitions, and Romans’ views of gladiators and competitions. Your options are:
Create a tombstone for a gladiator
Create an advertisement for a gladiator competition
Create a protest sign for a gladiator competition
In order to create a plausible inscription, students will need to conduct research using in-class resources and approved websites to learn about the way Romans wrote and inscribed stone, what kinds of phrases they used, what kinds of pictures they used, etc.
To make our tombstones look “Ancient Roman,” students will be supplied with tag board and other art materials. Students will also be expected to use correct Roman spelling (recall differences between the Roman and English alphabet), Roman numerals, Roman names, and culturally-appropriate references.
You will be graded on these areas:
Creativity and appearance
Ancient Roman TombstonePossible Points
Grading Rubric Points Earned
On-task during group time; appropriate use of materials 5 ____
Creativity and Appearance:
Your project is neat and creative; evidence that effort was put into it 20 ____
Adequate research was done regarding gladiator games and daily life, the
This article includes an interpretation of the inscriptions and pictures on the mosaic from northern Africa that we saw in class.
A very in-depth analysis of the mosaic from northern Africa that we saw in class – YOU DO NOT NEED TO DOWNLOAD THE PDF. Just exit out of the download prompt and read the report.
The book Gladiators 100 BC – AD 200 – A very good book with a lot of pictures and information. There is an interesting section about average height of the Romans compared to the average height of a gladiator.
Cultural Background – Stage 8
NOTE: These links will appear in a new window.
CSCP is not responsible for the content of external sites.
Great introduction, primarily for younger surfers, but instructive and humorous for all. Follow your fate in cartoon form, as you're captured, sold, trained as a gladiator... and then put to fight in the arena.
Check out especially the "Who's Who" page!
Based on the book You Wouldn't Want To Be A Roman Gladiator!
This fantastic website has an excellent section on gladiator "games" as well as on the Colosseum. The wonderful illustrations are large and clear, and there are many hyperlinks to other parts of the site. for instance, click on the hyperlink "free-specatcles" to learn about the origin of gladiatorial contests.
Use the the drop-down menus for full navigation of the site with loads more info.
Good web-page on gladiators and amphitheatres.
Another good site from the BBC, dealing briefly with gladiator origins, styles of fighting, barrack life, and graffiti.
Gladiator - the Movie: How accurate is the film?
Excellent discussion of the movie by Alan Ward of Connecticut University.
Gladiator - the Movie: trailer
Haven't yet seen the film? Here's the original trailer.
Gladiator - the Movie: poster
Movie poster of the Gladiator (Russell Crowe).
Gladiator - the Movie: man v. tiger
The tigers may have been chained for the film, but in Roman times...
Despite being slow to load, this is a great little game where you have to correctly supply the arms and armour for different types of gladiators. Use the clues to pick the correct weapons for them. Your choice of weapons and armour will decide whether or not they are victorious.
For many more images and descriptions of gladiators and the animals that fought in amphitheatres, see further below.
Back to top
The amphitheatre is a Roman invention, but what is it exactly? The differences between theatres and amphitheatres graphically explained. Excellent!
The Colosseum 1: virtual tour
The greatest of all Roman amphitheatres was the Colosseum in Rome. Excellent animation (courtesy Discovery Channel/BBC) providing short, precise information on various areas of the arena.
The Colosseum 2: cgi reconstruction
One of the best & most accurate computer-generated images on the web.
The Colosseum 3: construction & design
Fact-packed, easy-to-access web-pages produced by the BBC and Prof. Keith Hopkins.
The Colosseum 4
Detailed website on this amphitheatre's history and architecture of the arena; more suitable for older surfers.
The Colosseum 5: image gallery
This fabulous aerial view kicks off this collection of great views:
- interior showing the corridors and niches under the arena where the beasts & gladiators were kept;
- at night;
- the collapsed exterior wall revealing inner walls;
- Roman coin depicting the arena
- modern Italian Euro coin;
- cut-away model;
- computer reconstruction showing the statue of the emperor Nero shown as the sun god Helios, the colossal size of which gave the arena its name in the Middle Ages.
- "the Square Colosseum" (aka "Palazzo della Civilt� Italiana"), built 1938-43 in a modern suburb of Rome called EUR.
The Colosseum 6: special effects
Good, illustrated article from the Smithsonian magazine about recent discoveries of how the trapdoors and cages under the floor of the amphitheatre worked.
Pompeii Amphitheatre 1
Description, photos and plans of the actual remains.
- aerial view.
- view from afar showing how the amphitheatre is constructed by sinking its lower half into the ground, not completely building it up from ground level as in later exampes.
- official webpage.
Pompeii Amphitheatre 2: wall-painting
Famous fresco of a riot in and around Pompeii's amphitheatre in 59 AD. Note the awning shielding spectators from the sun.
From House I-3-23 in Pompeii; now in National Archaeological Museum, Naples.
The Roman historian Tacitus records this riot:
"About the same time a trifling beginning led to frightful bloodshed between the inhabitants of Nuceria and Pompeii, at a gladiatorial show exhibited by Livineius Regulus, who had been, as I have related, expelled from the Senate. With the unruly spirit of townsfolk, they began with abusive language of each other; then they took up stones and at last weapons, the advantage resting with the populace of Pompeii, where the show was being exhibited. And so there were brought to Rome a number of the people of Nuceria, with their bodies mutilated by wounds, and many lamented the deaths of children or of parents. The emperor entrusted the trial of the case to the Senate, and the Senate to the consuls, and then again the matter being referred back to the Senators, the inhabitants of Pompeii were forbidden to have any such public gathering for ten years, and all associations they had formed in defiance of the laws were dissolved. Livineius and the others who had excited the disturbance, were punished with exile." From Annals Bk.14.17.
Arles Amphitheatre, France
- interior view.
- interior corridor.
Nimes Amphitheatre, France
- arena including description;
- an internal corridor;
- a modern performance;
- aerial view.
El Djem Amphitheatre, Tunisia
Beautiful aerial photo of the 3rd largest amphitheatre in the Roman world. More photos:
- anothe aerial view;
- exterior 1;
- exterior 2;
- exterior Corinthian columns;
- old photo of exterior before modern buildings built close by;
- interior view;
- the long trapdoor cavity.
As rebuilt c.180 AD the amphitheatre at Chester was a rather splendid building with engaged columns runnning around the exterior.
London Amphitheatre, England
Part of the arena is preserved and dramatically lit under the Guildhall art gallery in a stunning display, while other parts of the arena are outlined in Guldhall Yard.
First built in AD 70 when it was made of timber, the arena was enlarged in the 2nd C. with its outer walls re-built of stone. It held 6000 spectators - when the population of London was between 20-30,000. It was abandoned in the 4th Cent.
Amphitheatres in Britain: map
Locations of known amphitheatres and theatres, and so-called theatre-amphitheatres which were probably used for both drama and gladiatorial contests.
Back to top
ANIMAL HUNTS in the ARENA
Many of the websites above have sections on the animal hunts or"venationes", but these following links stand out:
Detailed with images.
Short description with ancient images.
ANIMAL HUNTS in the COUNTRYSIDE Click for links...
ADDITIONAL IMAGES OF GLADIATORS, ARMOUR & ARENA ANIMALS
Gladiator Helmet 1
One of several gladiator helmets found in the quadriporticus of the theatre in Pompeii which had been rebuilt as gladiator barracks.
This was the helmet of a Thraex (Thracian) gladiator and was decorated with a tall solid crest terminating in the head of a griffin, the companion of Nemesis, goddess of vengeance and retribution. It was decorated with feathers placed in sockets on the sides, and a plume could be fastened to the crest.
Now in the National Archaeological Museum, Naples.
Gladiator Helmet 2
Said to be also from the quadriporticus of the theatre in Pompeii.
In the British Museum, London.
Gladiator Leg Greaves
From quadriporticus in Pompeii; now in the National Archaeological Museum, Naples.
Again from the quadriporticus in Pompeii; now in the National Archaeological Museum, Naples.
Fresco of two gladiators fighting painted on the wall of a the Tomb of Vestorius Priscus in Pompeii.
As shown on p.132 of CLC Unit 1.
Gladiator Sculpture 1: simply the best
This superb sculpture shows gladiators in action: the round-shielded Hoplomachus or Samnite is surounded by three Secutores. It's part of a much larger funerary monument of Lucius Storax.
In the National Archaeological Museum of Chieti in Italy.
Gladiator Sculpture 2: new discoveries
These sculptures, found in 2007, once probably decorated the inside of a tomb. Pairs of gladiators fight to the music of horns and trumpets. More images.
Dating to late 1st-century BC, they are now in the Lucus Feroniae Museum of Archaeology near Rome.
Gladiator Sculpture 3: women
Yes - on occassions women did fight as gladiators in the arena.
This sculpture even gives their tough stage names - Amazon and Achilia. Originally from Halikarnassos (modern Bodrum) in Turkey, and now in the British Museum, London.
Gladiator Sculpture 4: training
Each gladiator is coached by his trainer. In L'Aquila Museum, Amiternum, Italy.
Gladiator Mosaic 1: retiarius versus secutor
Wonderful mosaic - of a terrible ordeal. The duels between the "net-man" and the "chaser" were always popular. The referee (or summa rudis from the rod, rudis, that he carried) adjudicates.
This detail is part of a stunning mosaic floor in Nennig, a town 30 miles south of Trier in Germany. Made of nearly 3 million tesserae (cubes of stone), it dates to the 200's AD. The mosaic, is housed in its reconstructed Roman villa in Nennig.
Gladiator Mosaic 2: retiarii versus secutores
Lightly-armed and lightly-armoured, the "net-men" always seem the under-dogs. Here, though, the nets have been thrown and their opponents entrapped.
In the National Archaeological Museum, Madrid.
Gladiator Mosaic 3: retiarius versus secutor
He's lost his net, but the retiarius has the uper hand.
Gladiator Mosaic 4: a Thraex (Thracian) versus murmillo
Detail from another major "gladiator mosaic", this one from a villa in Bad Kreuznach,Germany.
The left-handed Thracian, distinguished by his curved, griffin-crested helmet has lost his shield.
Here's the whole mosaic from above.
The Romans also liked "unusual" pairings, presumably such as these gladiators armed merely with whips and rods.
Another detail from the Nennig mosaic, as described above.
Gladiator Mosaic 7: winners and losers
Part of another famous "gladiator mosaic", this one originally from Torre Nuova near Rome. The dead gladiators are marked with a theta, the first letter of the Greek word for death - thanatos.
In the Galleria Borghese, Rome.
Gladiator Mosaic 8: various gladiators
from Augusta Raurica (modern Augst) near Basel, Switzerland; on display in the town museum.
Gladiator Mosaic 10: on stilts
One of these guys is on stilts! Honest! Image of the "Magirius Mosaic" from Smirat, near El-djem in Tunisia. In the Museum of Sousse, Tunisia.
Gladiator Oil Lamp
in the Hermitage Museum, Russia.
This is the Colchester Vase, one of the most famous pots from Roman Britain. It was made in Colchester about AD 175 and shows a fight between two gladiators. An inscription scratched on the pot tells us their names: Memnon and Valentinius.
in the British Museum.
Animals in the Arena: wall-painting 1
Roman fresco of hunter confronting a lion.
Originally painted on the barrier surrounding the arena in the amphitheatre of Merida (ancient Augusta Emerita) in Spain; now in the city's National Museum of Roman Art.
As depicted on p.137 of CLC Unit 1.
Animals in the Arena: wall-painting 2
Part of the same fresco as above, but here a lion attacks another animal (a wildebeest or large wild boar?).
Again, in the National Museum of Roman Art at Merida in Spain.
Animals in the Arena mosaic 1
Bestiarius killing a leopard.
In the Roman villa at Bad Kreuznach,Germany.
Animals in the Arena mosaic 2
Another bestiarius killing a leopard.
At Nennig Roman villa, Germany.
Animals in the Arena mosaic 3
The venator was a specialised hunter and often rode on horseback.
The hunted animals include a deer, an antelope, a lion, a leopard and a bear.
This is the central panel from the magnificent mosaic in the Roman villa at Bad Kreuznach, Germany.
Animals in the Arena mosaic 4
Tiger and antelope.
At Nennig Roman villa, Germany.
Animals in the Arena mosaic 5
Tiger and donkey.
In the Roman villa at Bad Kreuznach,Germany
Animals in the Arena mosaic 6
Bestiarius and bear.
In the Roman villa at Bad Kreuznach,Germany
Animals in the Arena mosaic 7
Bestiarii and bear.
From Nennig Roman villa, Germany.
Animals in the Arena mosaic 8
Elephant and boa constrictor snake...
Animals in the Arena mosaic 9
In a more humane scene, the trainer pats his lion.
From Nennig Roman villa, Germany.
Animals in the Arena mosaic 10
Prisoners condemned to die were often executed in the "lunch intervals" at the amphitheatres. Here, his hands tied behind his back, the condemned is attacked by leopard.
Animals in the Arena mosaic 11
Similar fate for this condemend man. From Zliten, near Leptis Magna, and now in the Archaeological Museum in Tripoli, Libya.
Animals in the Arena mosaic 12
Leopards being hunted. The "Magirius Mosaic" from Smirat, near El-Djem, Tunisia.
Animals in the Arena sculpture:
Bestiarii fighting lions.
In the Museum of Roman Civilization, Rome.
and if all that wasn't bad enough...
Music in the Arena: mosaic 1
To add "drama" and to entertain the crowd, musicians played before, after and presumably during the gladiatorial contests.
This organist and trumpeter are from Nennig Roman villa in Germany.
As depicted on p.133 of CLC Unit 1.
Music in the Arena: mosaic 2
Found at Zliten, on the coast east of Leptis Magna.
Now in the Archaeological Museum, Tripoli, Libya.