In today's age, we value sport to a high extent. People make millions upon millions of dollars playing these sports. Yet, a little injury such as a sprained wrist or broken nose can keep one of the players out of the game for weeks at a time. These people claim that they would do anything to be able to play and that they would give anything to participate in their game. Granted, there are some athletes that play very hard and play through pain. They waive off treatment to help their teams become victorious. But, at what cost do these players try to win?.
Around the time that the Common Era had begun, Rome had athletes that played at a greater price. They played to keep themselves alive. The gladiator fights held in the Roman Coliseum were the ultimate in sports history. Two young Romans would square off in the pit and literally fight to the death. Armed with weapons like a sword and a shield or a net and a dagger, these two fighters would put on a spectacle for all of the people to watch. Citizens would come from far and near to watch this ritual take place. .
What made the events that occurred so frequent in the Roman Coliseum was that the death of the combatants wasn't considered a travesty. Obviously, death is not a good thing. Yet, since it happened so often and it was the object of the fight, not many tears were shed. It became such a ritual in the society that sight if the gladiators dying had almost no effect on the audience. (Carbishey 165) Another aspect of the gladiator fights that made the crowd so indifferent to the deaths of the combatants was that for the most part, the fighters were slaves and captives of war. (Carbishey 166).
Construction of the Coliseum began in 72 A.D. (Jordan 50) Originally the Coliseum was called the Flavian Amphitheater. (Jordan 50) It later became known as the Coliseum because of the colossal column standing nearby which had originally carried a statue of Nero.