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An animated history documentary on the Rise of the Roman Gladiators! Click here ​ to get $20 off your Cometeer order + free shipping - That’s over 30% in savings!

In this history documentary we continue our How They Did It series with an exploration of the Rise of the Gladiators. This begins with a discussion of their origins in the early days of the Roman Republic as a form a funerary ceremony. From there we trace their gradual transformation from small, religious events to massive entertainment spectacles. Along the way there were certainly bumps in the road such as the Great Servile Revolt led by Spartacus. Yet nothing could stop the Rise of the Gladiators. When the Colosseum was built in the 1st century there would be now doubt that the Golden Age of the Gladiators had arrived!

The history documentary talks about where the Gladiators themselves came from. This proves important as sources varied from slaves, to criminals, and volunteers. We then discuss how these were organized into different types of Gladiator classes including the Murmillo, the Thracian, and the Retiarius. These had their origins in caricatures of Rome's enemies but eventually evolved into a fore fanciful forms which were later grouped into industry standards with designated kits and matchups.

Finally we touch on the customs of the Gladiator battles themselves with their rules, their props, and their staff. We even talk about what Gladiators ate and how Gladiators were trained. We hope this dispels some of the myths propagated by media like the Movie Gladiator or the show Spartacus Blood in the Sand. Overall this episode is meant to serve as an introduction to the world of the Roman Games. More videos will follow to dive deeper into various topics. What would you like to see us cover?

Works Cited/Recommended Reads
The World of Pompeii eds. John Dobbins and Pedar Fross
Ancient Rome on Five Denarii a Day by Peter Matyszak
Popular Culture in Ancient Rome by Jerry Toner
Emperors and Gladiators by Thomas Wiedemann
Life, Death, and Entertainment in the Roman Empire eds. D.S. Potter and D.J. Mattingly
As The Romans Did by Jo-Ann Shelton
The Roman Games by Alison Futrell
The Victor’s Crown by David Potter
The Oxford Handbook of Roman Epigraphy eds. Christer Bruun and Jonathan Edmondson

Research: Chris Das Neves
Writing: Chris Das Neves
Artwork: Beverly Johnson
Editing: Penta Limited