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  1. lklawson is offline

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    Posted On:
    3/31/2010 8:30am


     Style: Bowie

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by Polar Bear View Post
    Gladiators were slaves, they lived and died for entertainment. You cannot simulate that.
    Sometimes they were slaves and sometimes they weren't. Depended on which time period in Roman history. During the height of gladiatorial popularity free men pledged themselves to the arena rather frequently. Gladiators were super-stars who got lots of women and national recognition. Assuming you were any good, you could make a fine living and retire to the country.

    Got so popular at one point that they actually had to pass a law to prevent free WOMEN from pledging themselves as female gladiators.

    The attrition rate was extremely high.
    Sometimes yes, sometimes no. See, slaves could be either cheap or expensive. Highly trained, crowd-pleasing, slaves were high-investment, expensive, products that you didn't just go killing willy-nilly. Sure, if you had unskilled slaves grinding out grain they're less valuable than others, but still even a "horse" costs money. I suppose if you had captured a crapload of prisoners in the last war or you have some political dissidents bucking the social order of the empire (aka "Christians"), feed 'em to the lions. But not real Gladiators. Uh-uh. Too much investment. Heck, ims, most gladiatorial contests weren't "to the death" - those were reserved for "the main event" and even then the sponsor could thumbs-down.

    What you will see in the research is no worse than a MMA training camp.
    I suspect you are right about this. But still should be some good info, learning, and a lot of fun. (The "fun" part is what separates this from a historic ludus.)

    Peace favor your sword,
    Kirk
  2. Polar Bear is offline

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    Posted On:
    3/31/2010 10:22am


     Style: WMA - German Longsword

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by Grimnir69 View Post
    There has been a shift in what is honourable in the last few decades from winning a "decent and fair" fight to just winning, even against innocent, much weaker and inexperienced victims. This is very sad in my opinion, and makes me want to keep my kids well away from such situations. And as much as I enjoy practicing myself, I really think it would be sad to have to put kids in self-defense classes for protection.
    Ach TBH, it's been like that for a long time here. I was attacked numerous times as a kid for just being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Now they just record it and put it on you tube. UK these days is run like an open prison, everything is punishable, hate and fear is pumped out of the TV nightly into everyone. It's no wonder the kids flip out, it's very difficult to function as a normal person here these days.

    Quote Originally Posted by Grimnir69 View Post
    I fully understand about the red tape and restrictions. However, it would be interesting if they would follow the Italian rules that might allow a bit more "intent". However, I too suspect that this might not be the case, especially considering the sponsor.
    Yeah, if they could get the participants into the right mindset that would be extremely interesting. However, I suspect the psychological damage from that would be considerable.

    Quote Originally Posted by Grimnir69 View Post
    Regarding the death rate of gladiators, I think you need to differentiate between "real" gladiators and "cannon fodder". The death rate amongst the trained gladiators was quite a lot lower than that of the untrained slaves, criminals and pow, who were more or less executed. This pulls the death rate up a lot.
    Well, true. Though I reckon it must have been riskier than joining the Legions. I guess like most things in Rome history it all depends on the period and the circumstances you were fighting in.
  3. Grimnir69 is offline

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    Posted On:
    3/31/2010 11:03am


     Style: HEMA

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Although things seem a bit harsher in Glasgow, I think we have had a similar situation here. It is just that I believe things have gotten worse. There's always been fighting, but it seems as if stabbing and even shooting is done more and more often, for less reason. Just yesterday a couple almost 80 years old were beaten up over arguing about a parking lot and the woman might very well die. Hells Angels just started up a youth division and since my wife works with youth in the suburbs we see some very ugly parts of our society. A kid in a gang shot another young guy in the face with a shotgun and walked free. Another gang of four, with the youngest being eleven, beat a man to death, trying to steal his gold jewelry, despite the people working with these kids warning the social services that things would go very wrong soon. There are thousands of stories like this and it all makes me move far way into uninhabited areas with my kids...

    Back to topic. I'm not sure if being a trained, professional gladiator was more dangerous than being a legionaire. Once again, it depends on the context. Legionaires occassionally had quite a few more things to worry about, like artillery, cavalry, war elephants etc. So just as you said, it depends on the circumstances. :)
  4. lklawson is offline

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    Posted On:
    3/31/2010 11:06am


     Style: Bowie

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by Grimnir69 View Post
    The death rate amongst the trained gladiators was quite a lot lower than that of the untrained slaves, criminals and pow, who were more or less executed.
    Sometimes POWs. A lot of times POWs were considered nearly trained gladiators and worth quite a bit more because of their military training. Further, Romans believed that becoming a Gladiator gave the POW a chance to regain honor and glory. Nearly considered it a "favor" to them. :P

    Peace favor your sword,
    Kirk
  5. Grimnir69 is offline

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    Posted On:
    3/31/2010 12:15pm


     Style: HEMA

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quite right, of course. Some pow's were slaves and some regular soldiers. And all of them could be "criminals". The groups aren't so rigid.

    Like you said, becoming a gladiator was in a way a second chance. In reality, how big of a chance that really was depended on your background, though. So gladiators really were quite a mixed bunch of pow's, ex-soldiers, inexperienced slaves, political dissidents and criminals, free men & women and even senators.

    In that respect the German students might fit in as less experienced fighters, if they were up against fighters like Ars Dimicandi, if they were given permission to use proper force. It would certainly be interesting if they did.
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