Gladiators - fighters for the emperor
“Morituri te salutant!“ - Deep silence rules over the sands of the coliseum. You may just perceive the breathing sounds of ten thousand onlookers as the four gladiators lift slowly their weapons towards the ornamented stand above them and greet: “Morituri te salutant!” = “Those bound to die are saluting you!”
It is believed this was the formula by which the gladiators, first professional sportsmen and competitors in staged combats, greeted the emperor, another dignified person highest in rank being present or simply the organizer of these particular games, which were the bloodiest and most inhumane ever seen up to now. But behold: they did not have to be bloody and inhumane all the time.
Actually not as many gladiators were left dead in the sand as Hollywood has been telling us for sake of dramatics. The fighters were too expensive to train and build up as to lose them so quickly and in great numbers, they earned their owners a lot of money. So naturally their owners or the entrepreneurs of a gladiator school wanted to save their life as long as possible for exploiting them economically rather than sacrifying at the beginning of a promising career. How did it all start? Combat games in the arena evolved from earlier Etruscan and Greek competitions held at funerals of important people or for celebrating major holidays and then became ritualized sport events.
Gladiators for your home
Despite the reputation for having participated in bloody onslaught of men the gladiators kept fascinating following generations and ages. We still can imagine the thrills of the games in Roman times when we look at the strange equipments carried by the fighters and picture the graze the audience felt about their favorite heroes, just like sports idols today. And the challenge for life or death does not miss the morbid fascination it had then. Numerous historic combat scenes of actual people can be restaged by the model kit “Morituri te salutant”. The card board kit has everything you need for this purpose:
- 8 card boards in color, sized 30 x 21 centimeters each
- 4 gladiators, between 9 and 13 centimeters tall
- Traditional types of fighters: Retiarius, Secutor, Thraex and Murmillo
- Self-explaining instruction
- suitable for children of 6 years and older
Trident and net, sword and shield
The professional fighters were trained in special gladiator schools. The cadets there not only consisted of strongly built slaves chosen for fight (and fortune) but also volunteers from low social origin who sought a way to glory (and wealth). When successful and good in fight, a gladiator became sort of a ‘pop star’ and earned the admiration and respect of the population. They took pre-defined roles and stories were told thereby which the audience loved: the Retiarius fought with the weapons of a fisherman, a Thracian of a foreigner, the Secutor resembled a soldier with his helmet, sword and shield.
Morituri te salutant: explaining history in a thrilling way
The kit set shown here offers you a captivating and scientifically detailed opportunity to revive history and explain Roman entertainment business with its stars to your listeners. In particular for school and groups of young students this set may bring history to their attention in a vivid way. Adopt this great idea and let the games begin in your environment, for your chosen audience!
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