Rome: Gladiators of the Colosseum

Pollice Verso ("With a Turned Thumb"), an 1872 painting by Jean-Léon Gérôme

Pollice Verso (“With a Turned Thumb”), an 1872 painting by Jean-Léon Gérôme

They came, they saw… but not all of them conquered. The gladiator battles at the Colosseum were the main attraction when the massive Flavian amphitheater opened for business in 80 C.E. under Emperor Titus; the gladiators’ bloody, often desperate clashes captured the imagination of the people of Ancient Rome, and ensured the Colosseum became the staging ground for some famous – and notorious – incidents in the history of the Roman Empire. Today’s post examines how the spectacle of gladiators fighting each other to death has ensured the Colosseum remains, even today, a potent symbol of Rome’s past. Read More →