In social studies class we wrote fictional journals from a Roman Gladiators point of view. We researched Roman daily life, what life was like for a Gladiator, and the Colosseum.
Here is an excerpt from the journal:
This is the lost journal of Maximus. Archaeologists found his journal in a small hole in a wall while they we renovating an ancient apartment building in Rome. The first “gladiators” were slaves that fought at funerals in honor of their Masters memory. The fights were staged by the wealthy to display power. In the Colosseum the number of gladiators was a key attraction because more gladiators meant a larger, more spectacular show.
Maximus was a Murmillo gladiator. A Murmillo was known as a, “fish-fighter,” because they had a fish on their helmet. The Murmillo was heavily armed with a large boot over their left leg to protect it from their opponent’s sword, a large shield, a dagger, and a leather belt. The most common opponents of the Murmillo were the Thraex and the Hoplomachus.
Before Maximus was a gladiator he was a poor son of a farmer. When he was 12 and his education ended he worked on his family’s farm with his three surviving brothers, until his parents died of malaria and they he lost the farm because the taxes were too high for them to pay.
Maximus and his oldest brother, Valerius, decided to become gladiators, while their younger two brothers joined the military. Once Maximus and Valerius took an oath to start training they practically became slaves. Maximus fought for almost two years. Valerius, a Retiarious, however only fought for two fights before being killed.
When a man takes the oath to become a gladiator he is promising to be a loyal gladiator. Maximus said that his older brother Valerius was becoming a Retiarious. A Retiarious was lightly armed, there for they were the most vulnerable gladiators. They had “fishermen” armor, wearing left arm and shoulder protection, no head protection and carried a net, dagger, and trident.