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Gladiator - Summary

Life in ancient Rome was hard. Fathers were often separated from their families, defending the Empire's far-flung borders. Mothers had lots of children, but many babies died.

 To distract citizens from the daily grind, and to protect their own base of power, the Emperor and other wealthy families hosted games. The spectacles were often bloody, a tradition started in Rome by its earlier conquerors, the Etruscans.

In the Colosseum - away from the wild animals which are often brought into the arena - Rome's citizens are safely seated, separated by class distinctions. Sometimes they watch men fight other men. These gladiators, as they are called, are Rome's equivalent of movie stars (except that gladiators are members of the lowest class).

Sometimes gladiators fight wild animals instead of each other. Sometimes animals kill other animals. The arena floor is always covered with sand, to absorb spilled blood.

In this story behind the movie, virtually visit ancient Rome. Meet Commodus, a Roman emperor (180-192 AD) who indiscriminately kills animals while dressed as a gladiator. Learn the meaning of “thumbs up” and “thumbs down” as those terms relate to Colosseum spectators.

Discover what ancient historians have to say about Commodus, the son of Marcus Aurelius. And ... uncover the plot, concocted by the emperor’s closest associates, which results in his death.

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Author: Carole D. Bos, J.D. 5139stories and lessons created

Original Release: May 01, 2000

Updated Last Revision: Nov 04, 2016


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"Gladiator" AwesomeStories.com. May 01, 2000. Dec 14, 2017.
       <http://www.awesomestories.com/asset/view/127487/Summary>.
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