The Account of a Gladiator
Lexi Perardi Period-2 1-21-10 An Account Of A Gladiator Finally the day had come, the emperor had declared it a public holiday, and we gladiators would hold a few games at the newly built coliseum. I remember when the coliseum had just started being built it was about 8 years ago. They said it was going to be able to hold about 50,000 spectators, have approximately 80 entrances, and consist of 4 floors. When Emperor Vespasian had come up with the idea to build this structure he sent people out to find men and women who would fight in the games held at this arena.
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I had been picked up from the pit, where I was a slave. They told me if I lived through three to five years of fighting I would be set free; I thought it was a fair deal. We were brought to train at special schools. The training consists of learning how to fight with a various amount of weapons, including the war chain, dagger, trident, and lasso. We received the best medical attention and 3 meals a day. It was a great change from life at the pit. Many years of training had passed, when one day they had told us we were going to become a specific kind of gladiator.
Gladiator types were based on the weapons you fought with and what you wore. I became a samnite; I carried a sword or a lance, sputum, a metal helmet, and protective armor on my right arm and left leg. They told us if we won a fight we would be payed, and with just winning one fight we would get as much as a soldiers annual salary, that really hyped us up. Today was the moment of truth all the hard work would either pay off or get us killed. When we marched to the Coliseum, fans were going crazy screaming for us and cheering, they sure were excited.
People poured in the entrances to see the games. Then the Emperor had announced the start of the games and the spectators went wild. The first game failed because the lions wouldn’t attack the prisoners because they were frightened from the noise. So the animal keepers were held responsible and killed. After that disaster the emperor knew he would have to make up for the bore so he brought in all of us and we fought. The emperor would come up with the final decision on whether we lived or died.
Sometimes even the spectators got to decide with a simple thumb up or down. The way this worked was once one gladiator had pretty much won he would put his weapon to the neck of his opponent and look up at the emperor and the emperor would do a thumbs up (spare him and let him live), or a thumbs down (kill him). During the fighting the spectators would scream what was appropriate at the time, like “Verbera! ” (“Strike”) or “iHac habet! ” (“Now he’s done for! ).
Sometimes at the end of the event the emperor had the two best fighters fight as a treat to his people. One specific fight between Decimus and Brutus was the only fight recorded in detail at the coliseum. It was also a fight where “Two fought, and both won”, which was rear. After many years of fighting I had finally been set free. This is where my brother hood with my fellow gladiators ended, I am now going to try and find my family I had lost many years ago. They always told me “To be a gladiator, is to make a pact with death”, I guess I broke that pact.