Gladiatorial combat in ancient Rome | Latin Texts

There is, as they say, nothing new under the sun. As the UFC is gaining popularity, and discussions arise regarding its role as entertainment, it can be useful to look to the Romans and their gladiatorial games, which though dramatically different, nevertheless, relate in spirit to the modern equivalents. Listen to the audio of the Latin text and follow along with the transcription.

Romani e spectaculis gladiatoriis magnam voluptatem capiebant. Qua in re cernebatur non tam bellicosum populi Romani ingenium quam prava vulgi indoles. Primo pugnae gladiatoriae inter mortuorum exsequias edebantur, postea ei qui magistratum petebant spectaculis huiusmodi plebis suffragia quaerebant. Hoc consilio magnas gladiatorum familias alebant. Iulius Caesar trecenta viginti paria simul in harenam misit.

Barbari captivi et servi gregi adscribebantur gladiatorum, multi etiam alii ultro nomina profitebantur. Varia erant eorum arma: alius scutum gladiumque, alius clipeum sicamque, rete et tridentem alius habebat. Nonnulli divitias hoc tam atroci quaestu consecuti sunt, permulti misere perierunt. Caesarem spectaculis praesidentem salutabant gladiatores his verbis: ”Ave, Caesar, morituri te salutant.”

– Meurer, H., Lateinisches Lesebuch mit Vokabular

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