• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

The Roman games were all about justice being seen to be done. Do you agree?

Extracts from this document...


Question: The Roman games were all about justice being seen to be done. Do you agree? On top of justice is being done, we need to look at the functions of the games from the Romans' point of view. As Thomas Wiedemann says "simply to give way to our emotions is not enough" (RB1, C11, P.101). Wiedemann wanted us to understand the ancient Romans' beliefs and customs in watching the games. Based from my reading materials, it was not true as the Roman games were more than a medium of public entertainment. In this essay, I will look at the various aspects in which the Roman games were not only about justice, drawing on a variety of sources to support each claim. Firstly, the Romans viewed the games as a form of entertainment. These 'games' included gladiator fights, wild-beast displays and events in which condemned criminals and later, Christians were put to death held in the Colosseum were an integral part of the Roman culture. ...read more.


Ancient writer like Apuleius glorified the game shows as public pleasure (RB1, C3, P.94). In other words, it possesses entertainment value for the Romans. Thirdly, the games emphasized Roman power. It was a practical sign that Romans were proud of their strength and stamina that made Rome great. To the Romans, it was a "symbol of the ordered world, the 'cosmos', and it was the emperor who was the guarantor of that order" (RB1, C11, P.104). However, Ciero's attitude towards gladiator shows was inhuman (RB1, C8, P.98). Thus, it was more to encourage Romans' cruelty and their courage shown at the games. Fourthly, the games offered the brave a possibility of social rebirth. The Romans commended bravery and a criminal gladiator may be granted life if he comes back alive as a victor. The "symbolism of public execution" seemed to be "deeply ingained in" the Christian consciousness (RB1, C11, P101-107). The decision to pardon brave and successful fighters was also a collective and popular one, according to Wiedemann. ...read more.


Lastly, the games also acted as a source of betting. The Romans would bet on which gladiator would win. This display the cruel and bloodthirsty nature of the ancient Romans who treated this as a form of enjoyment rather than justice was being seen here. Beside that, the Romans also found that killing beasts as a struggle with nature and they even thought that they were establishing civilization by doing so. Wiedemann says "Gladiatorial shows and wild-beast games...made the onlookers...temporarily incapable of rational thought" (RB1, C11, P.101-102). Thus, the Romans enjoyed watching the games rather than seeing that justice was being done. After looking at several sources, we realise that the Roman games involved more than justice for the number of reasons - show of imperial strength, punishment of criminals, betting, killing of wild-beasts and most importantly, as a source of entertainment and amusement. Given the condition of those times, these games were needed the continuation of Roman power throughout the world by the emperor to enhance the glory and emphasize their patronage of all citizens. Hence, in view of the above mentioned, the Roman games were not all about justice being seen to be done. (914 words) 1 ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE History Projects section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE History Projects essays

  1. Gladiatorial games were one the most popular events displayed in the great amphitheatres of ...

    The spectacular games were held in honour of gods and goddesses. The amphitheatre became its main attractions to its citizens, nearby cities, and neighbouring countries. The main event citizens and spectators claimed as the most electrifying game in all ancient history were the gladiatorial games.

  2. What was a chariot racing day like for the spectators and drivers in Roman ...

    He has no interest in the horse races but the woman. This is taken from a poem that this man wrote. It is called Love Affairs. 'You watch the races, and I'll watch you.' The man is totally obsessed with her and is paying no attention to the races.

  1. How do Roman fish sauces compare with sauces today?

    It is a largely unbiased source, except in its comment that haimation is the best liquamen. Martial, on the other hand, believes garum sociorum, a Spanish preparation using mackerel, to be the best kind.

  2. In the ancient world public entertainment was crucial in most societies so that the ...

    Gladiatorial fights became somewhat a trademark that was eventually embedded into the history of the Roman Empire and indeed earmarked the civilisation as brutal and blood thirsty. Supporting this assumption is the fact that Rome in itself was actually constructed upon a bloody conquest of wars.

  1. What Factors Led to a Roman Emperor

    his genius is officially allowed to be worshiped whilst he is still alive; from this comes divine honours granted on behalf of the cult of a community. Many emperors, beginning with Julius Caesar, received honours ranging from libations being poured to their genius to temples being built in association with

  2. Explain how the Colosseum was made both visually impressive and safe for the audience.

    The construction utilized a careful combination of types: concrete for the foundations, travertine for the piers and arcades, tufa infill between piers for the walls of the lower two levels, and brick-faced concrete used for the upper levels and for most of the vaults. Roman concrete vaults were extraordinarily strong.

  1. Women in Ancient Rome

    In reality, this meant that a Roman girl moved from the role of being a daughter to her father's family to the role of a wife-daughter of her husband's family. A husband would have been more like a guardian then an equal partner.

  2. What Do Roman Authors Tell Us About The Celts? To What Extent Are Their ...

    It seemed to be a popular Roman belief that the western side of Britain faced Spain, as both Caesar and Tacitus wrote of this, although it is not true. Caesar questioned the natives as to the size of the island and also had Volusenus make a general reconnaissance of the

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work