Types of gladiators (in ancient Rome):

bestiarii: Specialized in killing animals
retiarii: Fought with a net and dagger
essedarii: Fought from chariots
equites: Fought from horseback
hoplomachi: Heavily armed
The Thrax, or Thracian: Lightly armed w/ a small dagger (sica)

The A.M. of a spectacle (at the Colosseum) was for beast hunts; the early afternoon to tryouts, mock battles, or criminal execution; later afternoon for the main event, when the gladiators would fight in pairs until one could not continue, at which point the winner would ask the sponsor (munerarius) whether he should spare or kill. Pollice presso, basically, thumb down, to spare; pollice verso, thumb turned, to kill.

Gladiatores first appeared in Rome in 264 B.C., and only at funerals or for games given for an individual (in memoriam). The gladiators could be condemned criminals, prisoners of war, slaves, or volunteers (auctorati, bound over - their pay was termed auctoramentum). There were four training schools for gladiators (after Dominitian's time). Each school had its own fighting style and master.

Once the gladiators were in the amphitheater they began with a preliminary fight (prolusio) using swords and darts, until the trumpet blew and the main fight began (accompanied by music). Some gladiators were prodded with red-hot irons. The sign of mercy (missio) was the waving of handkerchiefs.

Condemned criminals had no chance of mercy in a fight. The FELLED were taken through a door (porta Libitinensis) into a side room (spoliarium) to be stripped and likely put to death. Victors received palms and sometimes money. A gladiator could, by long-term bravery, have the favor of the spectators. In such cases, he was given a rapier (rudis) that deemed him free of further toil. A freed gladiator was called rudiarius (which did not mean absolutely free).

In Pompeii there is a preserved gladiator school and a large bas-relief of gladiatorial combat.

At one point during this movie, during one of the fight scenes, I realized I was laughing. The fratboy types in front of me were laughing.

Even though none of it was real, we were all watching people die, and laughing. We were amused by it. I think that was the main point. We may claim to be more advanced now, but we're really just like the Romans. People stay the same.

There are shots of the arenas done with the same camera angles used in televised football. After killing some people, Maximus screams at the crowd, (and I paraphrase) "Are you not amused? Is this not why you came here today?" I felt like Scott was trying to say that sports (and action movies) are just the modern version of Bread and Circuses to keep the mob happy.

Also, is there some rule that movies about Rome have to be at least two and a half hours long?

Gladiator Movie Review: Summary: A general (Russell Crowe) becomes the rightful heir to the Roman Empire, but must flee when the Caesar's evil son tries to kill him. Maximus, (the general), is soon taken as a slave and made a gladiator(suprising, huh?). He vows to destroy the emporer and keep his promise to the old Caesar and restore the Senate. The rest you'll have to watch.

+'s: Great Battle Scenes, a bit over the top with blood and gore, but if thats your thing, you'll love it. Also, it has one of the most impressive shots of Ancient Rome I have ever seen, obviously done in 3-D, complete with, you guessed it, the coliseum. You can tell it ain't real, but still fun. Again, if you go, go for the fights. Another high point, though, is the flavor of the movie. If you know a little Roman history and culture, much more enjoyable.

-'s: Entirely fabricated plot.In fact, my main complaint deals with the plot. Although it was heralded as a return to the old days of giant casts etc. the plot didn't curve like it did in those days (to see what I mean, read a Shakespeare play, he was the master of that). Instead, it is one monotonous stream of occurences. Theirs no buildup or slow drop off.

Final Evaluation: 3.5 out of 5. Good, if your into something simple and violent.

A gladiator is a person forced to fight for the entertainment of others, usually to the death. This was very popular in the times of ancient Rome.
(thought I'd throw in a definition for all those who are confused by all the movie references)

I may be simple, and I may be violent, but I thoroughly enjoyed this movie. It made me question the things we find entertaining, even in our "civilized" society. At it's time, Rome was the height of civilzation, and yet they found these barbaric gladatorial combats to be highly entertaining. Traces of these competitions can be found in professional sports today.

I think the movie did a fantastic job of forcing to ask this question, even asking the question, "Is the reason I came to see this movie because I enjoy the violence?"

And on the technical side, the acting was quite good, the visual effects were fantastic, and even if you don't see the movie, check out the soundtrack with music by Hans Zimmer and Lisa Gerrard. It's one of the most exciting and moving scores I've heard in a while.
Gladiator - a movie review
warning: gives away plot details

Ridley Scott: Brilliant man.
Russell Crowe: Great actor.

So mind telling me why this movie was suckage?
Ridley Scott's massive epic of Roman conquest just really didn't hit the spot for me this time around. It wasn't the worst movie I've seen granted (cough Battlefield Earth cough), but it was not the brillant piece of film I've heard it hailed to be. This film won best picture. Lets do a little good/bad:


  • Environment. It looked like Rome. It sounded like Rome. It was immersive.
  • 'Epic'ness. It was a big bad epic, no denying it that.
  • Acting. When the actors had a chance, they did their job quite well.
  • Score. Sounded pretty, no doubt.
  • Cohesiveness. This plot lacked it entirely. He escapes from his would-be captors, and we are entranced as he races his home to save his poor family. He's in Balvaria. His family is in Spain. He's on a horse. Do the math people -- their is no sense of urgency when the parties must travel 1500 miles on bloody horseback. We come away with the feeling he 'just missed' saving his family. Rubbish.
  • Cinematography. Mr Scott decided to shoot all action scenes in a style simalar to that developed by MTV. Everything is filmed in this jarring and slightly nausiating form. Atmosphere is important in movies, but I felt this was overdone.
  • Bloat. 2.5 hours. Its not like they did things to make the plot coherent either -- Balvaria to Spain takes 4 minutes of film. Spain to Africa takes about 30 seconds.
  • Script. Ugh. "When I die, I hope to see my family too". Proximo has a father-son relationship with Maximus, loves him, helps him whenever he can, yet sends him to his death at the Gladiator pit.

Guess thats about it. If you want good Ridley Scott see Blade Runner. Russell Crowe was wonderful in LA Confidential. Yeah, this movie isn't a horrible piece of trash, but it certainly shouldn't have won best picture over brilliant pieces of film like Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and Traffic. Endorse movies that do something for you. If violence and visual effects is what you want to attain in your movie experience, you'll like this movie. If you desire something higher, look elsewhere.

Dem Bones pointed out to me that the scenes of roses were a manifestation of the Roman belief of the afterlife. A carryover from Grecian beliefs is that of a journey to the afterlife, Maximus is spiritually dead, and hence the 'acid' scenes have a very valid context.

It should be noted that the part played by Russell Crowe was written with Mel Gibson in mind. You can tell, as with many of the lines sounding like several of his previous films. Mel, however, turned down the part due to it being too much like his other movies. He didn't want to be caught up in historical battle dramas (whether real or contrived), because his last two very sucessful films were Braveheart and The Patriot; both very similar to Gladiator in their own right.

This is not to say that I take complaint with the choice of Russell Crowe. His acting job was quite excellent, and I am the proud owner of it on DVD. The consistency job was not as high as it should have been, as there were several slip-ups and minor historical inaccuracies, but as an entertainment peice, it is superb.

Another interesting aside on the film is that the person who played Proximo (the older, freed gladiator), Oliver Reed, died during filming at the age of 61 on location in Malta, of a heart attack. The problem there was, he still had several scenes left to shoot. The effects editors did an excellent job by playing with computer lighting and positioning to make the remainder of his scenes look like there were actually shot by him. It was quite well done. Even under close inspection, I still cannot tell which scenes were altered.

Gladiator did very well at the 2001 Oscars. It won for:

It was also nominated for:

Gladiator is not just a type of person that fights for mass entertainment, not just the name of a movie that won five awards at the 2001 Oscars, but also the name of an arcade game release by Taito in 1986 in the US and Europe. It can also be found as a bootleg under the name "Golden Castle", and in Japan under the name "Ougon No Siro".

The game is an early example of the beat-em-up genre, in which you control the valiant armoured warrior "Guaranos". You battle a series of computer-controlled enemies in one-on-one contests interspersed with side-scrolling "obstacle course" stages in which you dodge flying knives and so forth. The controls use three buttons to make high, middle, and low attacks with your sword, while the joystick allows you to position your shield at one of these three positions.

There are a number of secrets in the game.
* During an obstacle course stage, rapidly moving the joystick up and down (to move the shield up and down) generates a temporary force field. This can only be done once per level.
* During a combat stage Guaranos can gain temporary invulnerability. To do this block at least four knives with the shield during the previous obstacle course stage and pick the knives up off the ground. This makes your sword red during the next combat stage. Hit your opponent's shield several times in a row to gain the invulnerability (you will start to flash golden).
* The game seems to have a bug with the green axe knight on the third level. After while it freezes and stops defending itself, allowing you to kill it easily.

The most striking feature of the game is the crappy graphics. Despite using standard resolution, the background and sprite figures seem overly pixelated. Also the sprites are poorly animated. Additionally, like most early beat-em-up games, the controls are kludgey and frustrating. Yet despite this, like most early beat-em-up games, Gladiator has an strange "must beat this game" type of attraction.

I think the thing that's most appealing about this movie (to me, but I'm a pointy-headed history monkey) is how very Roman a hero our Maximus Decimus Meridius (Russell Crowe) is. He's modelled on Titus Quinctius Cincinnatus (also referred to as Lucius Quinctius Cincinnatus,) who was elected to a dictatorship in Rome in 458 BCE to repel two Latin tribes who were threatening the city, the the Aequi and Volscians. After resoundingly defeating the invaders, Cincinattus laid down his dictatorship and returned to his farm, having no desire for power. Sound familiar?

The Romans had just as great a love for this type of humble hero as we do. They were similarly beset by career politicians and revered the ideal of the pure public servant - one who serves the people out of a sense of duty. Indeed, the Roman longing for great statesmen with no lust for personal power or influence was probably even greater than ours, given the troubles they had with generals and politicians violently seizing power for their personal aggrandizement.

The Roman mindset also shared our nostalgia for the pastoral life - members the Roman elite almost without exception owned villas in the countryside where they could retreat when the politics and bustle of Rome became overwhelming. They longed for the "good old days on the farm" just as much as we do, and the humble farmer (which in Roman terms meant a man who owned and managed a farm, not the slaves who worked in the fields) shared the same aura of simple goodness and strong values that we tend to ascribe to them.

A Roman audience would have been very fond indeed of our General Maximus. He displays all of the major Roman personal virtues: gravitas (an inherent, unshakeable dignity), virtus (bravery, strength or courage), severitas (discipline, training), and pietas (difficult to translate, but "dutifulness" comes close.) He's also a prime example of frugalitas (simple, unostentatious tastes) and firmitas (strength of purpose) - all in all, a model Roman hero. The more things change, the more they stay the same...

"'Ave Caesar, morituri te salutant' Which when translated means "Hail, Caesar, those who are about to die salute you." Just to add to kessenich's fine w/u, there were other classes of Gladiators that evolved over a period of time. Some of them lasted longer than others due to the equipment they were forced to use, the opponents they were matched against or the fickle nature of the fans. Let’s take a look at some of the characteristics that identified them:


These fellows took their name from the people defeated by allies of Rome in 312 B. C.. The armor they wore and the weapons they used were seen as a sign of contempt for the Samnites. They carried large oblong shield called scutum and wore either metal or boiled leather greaves call ochrea on their left leg. To protect his head he wore a visored helmet called a galea which was adorned with a a large crest and plume. His weapon of choice was a sword called a gladius.


The name “Secutor” come from the term “pursuer”. The guys were forced to fight virtually naked. They carried a large oval or rectangular shield and wore the ochrea on their left leg. His head shaved bald, he wore a round or high visored helmet. Leather bands at the elbow and wrists encased his arms. Usually fought with a sword but was also known to fight with just a dagger


Clothed and armed in similar fashion to the Samnite except these gladiators wore ochrea on both legs and also a mail or leather cuirass


Latin for “challenger” and that’s just what these guys did. Was the popular opponent of the Myrmillo (be patient, read on) and also of some of the less popular gladiators of the day. Armed in similar fashion to the Samnite, he used a round shield called a parma and carried a lance.


Symbolism related to a fisherman. Fought in only a loin cloth and wore a metal shoulder piece on his left arm.

No helmet for this guy, he carried a net, a dagger and a trident. Another variation called the Laquearii substituted a lasso for the net. Either way, both of these classes were regarded as inferior due to the lack of armor


Loosely translated means “fish man”. This made him a popular opponent of Retiarius. These fellows wore a large galea emblazoned with fish on the crest. The left arm bore an arm guard made of chain mail, leather or metal scales. Both of his legs were protected by ochrea. Weapons included a scutum and a straight sword.


For body protection he wore ochrea on both legs and carried a small shield. His head was protected by a helmet, either visored or open faced. Weapon of choice was a scimitar.


Could be the origin of Sagitarius. Armed with bow and arrow and rarely met up against other gladiators in face-to-face combat. Was used mainly in man versu beast competition.


These gladiators were the first to be mounted on horseback. The horses wore no armor but the Equites wore closed, visored helmets along with leather bands on their thighs. Sometimes they wore chain mail coats. Armed with a lance and a shield for protection they usually competed amongst each other and rarely engaged gladiators that were on foot.


Rumored to be introduced by Julias Caesar, these guys were armed in numerous fashions and charged each other in slave driven chariots. Reportedly, a fan favorite!

Gladiator is also the name of the popular rock band from Slovakia formed in 1991. Since then they came over a big change in style from hard trashmetal to pop-rock but still with a high energy. Originaly they started to sing in english and scored high also in MTV rock/metal charts, which was really a success for a newcomer band from eastern Europe. The singles played were named In your head (from the album Third eye) and Sweet little mouse (from the album Dogstime). After that the band decided to come nearer to their home fans and sings mostly in slovak language.


1992 - Designation
1993 - Made of Pain
1994 - Third Eye
1996 - Dogstime
1997 - Legal Drug

1999 - Viem, kde Boh spi
2000 - Babylon Hotel
2002 - Single 1994-2002
2002 - Crepy
2004 - Cesta do neba
2006 - Mesto
2007 - ...ako pred tym

Recent members of the band:
Miko Hladky (vocals, guitar)
Maros Hladky (bass)
Georgio Babulic (drums, vocals)
Livo (guitar, vocals)
Peto Slamecka (keys, hammond)
Gladiator An alchoholic beverage, of the genus drop-shot.

To make, simply fill a high-ball glass half-full with orange juice and 7Up (or Sprite, whichever you use), and then drop in a shot glass full of Amaretto. Ingest.

The only thing to be careful of with this type of drink is to avoid slamming your head back, as the shot glass will slide forwards and smash rather painfully into your teeth.

Back to the Everything Bartender.

Glad"i*a`tor (?), n. [L., fr. gladius sword. See Glaive.]


Originally, a swordplayer; hence, one who fought with weapons in public, either on the occasion of a funeral ceremony, or in the arena, for public amusement.


One who engages in any fierce combat or controversy.

© Webster 1913.

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