Barbaric: Life and Death of Gladiators in Ancient Rome

Funeral Rituals

Originally, gladiator fights were part of funeral rituals for members of wealthy Roman nobility. The somewhat macabre eulogy involved fights between slaves at the burial site. This ritual was rooted in the belief that human blood could purify a deceased’s soul. In fact, the gladiator rituals didn’t become the games as we know them until Julius Caesar when he hosted a massive funeral for his father, and by the end of 1st century BC, the government allowed gladiator games as entertainment.

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