Classical Studies 3400E Chapter Notes -Gladiator, Loincloth

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Social status gladiators and actors had an ambivalent status in ancient rome, and there were very real reasons for this. Such persons were often associated with sexual promiscuity (especially if female/effeminate). Virtus gladiators were popular because they displayed a quality called virtus, a very important value in the roman ethical system. The manly skill and courage shown by gladiators won great approval because it was connected with fighting in wartime and. Roman was a state which was at war every year somewhere in her vast empire. Bloodshed, slaughter, military glory and violence were central elements in roman culture. Gladiators could also be feared because of their physical size, prowess with weapons, and ability to inflict bodily harm. There was a basis for the roman anxiety here. Spartacus" rebellion in the 70"s bc began in a gladiatorial school. It took three years for the roman army to stamp it out.

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