Colosseum: Roman Society Essay
Colosseum: Roman Society
The colosseum was built to serve the emperors wants and needs to the members of society and it was more than just gladiator combat! The Purpose of the colosseum was to portray the dominance and power of Rome, highlight the social class/hierarchy of roman society, reinforcing the legal functions that applied the roman society, entertainment and social interactions between members of society, education, for political reasons and for religious purposes.
Gladiators were entertaining and brave warriors as they had a large appeal to the audience, Even though gladiators came from the lowest class of Roman society. The gladiators fighting were customised differently so each individual had a gladiator to go for. These Gladiators were named and perceived different and they were Murmillion this gladiator was halfly armed swordsman and was a male sea creature called a mermaid. There was Retiarius Who was armed like a fisherman, Thracian a barbarian warrior, Samnite an old enemy and Secutor the most heavily armed with the heaviest body due to armor, but there was more to the colosseum than just gladiator combat. These characters represented the enemies of Rome as Rome was victories at the time and this reinforces the victory of the roman society.
The colosseum portrays the power of Rome’s technology, wealth and military powers as they had the ability to build such a great structure using lime stone, cement, marble, and brick which also indicates that they had the population and man power needed to construct new things. The colosseum also highlights the technology the Roman society had by building such a huge structure not only in width but in height in contrast to other countries. This is evident as in other countries the amphitheatres were made from wood and would eventually break down. The hypogeum even reveals the power of the technology as there were elevators to escalate the fighters, animals or humans. Having conflicts within colosseum highlights there military power as it outline the different types of weapons it had in relation to other nations. The power of Rome was revealed as the building of the colosseum is still standing today.
Inside the massive Colosseum there were hierarchical seating structures that individuals will sit in which outlined what type of citizens they were in the Roman society highlighting there social class. There were 76 entrance gates that will lead you to were you would sit. The unnumbered gates were special as only senators would have access to which will lead them to the best view closest to the arena then behind them in the other rows were the equestrians and further behind ordinary citizens and then regulated people but the emperors the highest of the social class were opposite each other next to the senators in there own box. The closer you are to the arena the more acceptable and appreciated you were in roman society as it portrays the social class you belonged in. The people fighting in the arena were criminals as they had the lowest reputation.
This could have been an educational aspect as the poorer individuals of the roman society will learn new techniques in hunting and fighting which probably has never accompanied there attributes before as they never had the wealth and the eligibility to learn. This highlights how the poorer individuals of Roman society watching the games would have learnt new techniques and hunting skills from watching the events at the time.
As mentioned the people fighting were criminals and for them to be a criminals they must have broken or disobeyed the law or have committed a crime such as murder and therefore they are sent out in the arena forced the fight as to reinforce the law to the people that want to disobey or break the law of Romanian society. The colosseum was also used as a legal function to Romanian society as a consequence and judgment to people that want disobey the legal system.
Sport in Rome was there entertainment but they had very little compared to today’s society without television soccer balls and computers. The Roman society had entertainment the hard way as there entertainment was fighting until death and gladiator combat. In other words the colosseum was built in order for entertainment which practically everyone in the society needed. Gladiators were a source of entertainment so to were animals like a hippopotamus, elephant dogs and other vicious animals like lions. These animals or competitors will access the area through the hypogeum and out from the elevator. Animals were left to starve and therefore it will lead to a death battle which will excite the Rome society.
As well as it being entertaining it also had a purpose of getting people socially interacting as individuals will compete and talk to people in there social class about the fights. The emperor could have built the colosseum possibly for financial reasons as there was merchandises being available for consumption. Individuals in the coloseum watching the game may get paranoid from the sun and start fights with other people. Food and entertainment was issued to calm and distract individuals from trouble making. The colosseum had bollards as they looked like gravestone things which were used for crowd control and people up to fifty five thousand could leave in half an hour.
The colosseum was built by the emperor for entertainment but for also for political reasons. During the time of when the colosseum was built there was political corruption and trouble going on and the colosseum was built to get the roman people’s thinking away from corruption and being entertained by events being held in the colosseum. The colosseum had a religious purpose which was portrayed through the statues outside the colosseum.
All the above leads to the articulation of the colosseum serving a purpose more than just gladiator combats. The above demonstrates the other purposes that lead to the creation of the colosseum like to portray the dominance and power of Rome, highlight the social class/hierarchy of roman society, reinforcing the legal functions that applied the roman society, entertainment and social interactions between members of society, education, for political reasons and for religious purposes.
University/College: University of California
Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter
Date: 15 February 2017
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