are often portrayed as brutal and unforgiving people who enjoy violence and though it is
small group of people enjoy.
slavery was legal and common. It is also important to understand just how advanced the
Romans were civilized, the educated being able to write and detailed records being kept by
poorer classes. In fact, Their system of law was actually quite advanced (even if it was
taken into account, and there was less importance attached to what he did and what he
meant to do. The next thing to become established was the notion that all men must be
treated equally.? This way of thinking was very advanced and not barbaric or uncivilized
at all, in fact the same notion that all men should be treated equally was not established in
America and other countries for many years to come.
It is know common knowledge that, in Ancient Rome, people often attended and
pantomimes and plays which too were often very violent in nature. ? It was not
uncommon for a condemned criminal to be executed [on stage] as part of the play.?
Contemporary sources say that it is often portrayed that slaves were treated more
of their own, and that their rights were protected by law.? In most cases, slaves were
citizens of conquered lands who had been spared and put into slavery instead of being
executed. This in itself was a privilege. Often slaves were trained by their ?masters? in a
craft, giving them skills and again benefiting them. ? For a man from a ?backward? race
might be brought within the pale of civilization, educated and trained in a craft or
profession, and turned into a useful member of society.? Although this extract is clearly
heavens for slavery, it made me what you see today.? Although this only account of one
man, it shows that at least some people actually recognized the benefits that slavery
On the other hand, some slaves masters treated their slaves very poorly. In the
was common, and some slaves lived in constant fear of their masters. Often masters
constant fear of the whip or the cross.? ?It was common in criminal cases for slaves?
evidence to be given under torture, and the law of the Imperial age was explicit on how to
? These poor, undersized slaves. Their skin was black and blue with bruises, their
backs covered with cuts from the whip. They were covered with rags, not clothes, and it
description of the harsh conditions at a flourmill, written by Apuleius.
Unfortunately, many slaves were treated very badly but there were many masters
that treated their slaves well and sometimes even respected their slaves. These particular
slaves were often more talented at a particular craft than their master. Many slaves were
often released by their masters. ?It was discovered that, the nearer the lot of a slave
approached a free man, the more useful he was.? This realization helped slaves invariably.
Although much of the evidence portrays the Romans as brutal, unforgiving and
obsessed with violence, we must look at exactly why this is though. When writers try to
prove that the Roman were obsessed with violence, they often refer to the gladiator fights,
chariot races, wild beast hunts, and mostly the keeping of slaves. However, when you
look at this list of ?enertainments?, you see that they are all similar to things that are being
isn?t all that different from gladiator fights! Chariot racing is very similar to NASCAR
racing. As for the wild beast hunts, at least those animals had a sporting chance. Today
hunters are paying fees to hunt drugged animals in confined parks. Needless to say that
slavery continued well into the 19th Century. Although the Romans watch these events to
automobile accident to see if you can see any blood.
Therefor, the Romans were no more violent as a society than our own. We have
the same sort of entertainment and enjoy the same violent things. I think that is unfair to
say that the Romans were obsessed with violence when the American people do the same
P Mantin & R Pulley, The Roman World: From Republic to Empire, Cambridge
Bloomington, Indiana, USA, 1989
Longman Dictionary if the English Languages, WM Clowes Ltd., Beccles & London,
REC Burrell, The Romans and Their World, A. Wheaton & Co., Exeter, England, 1976
RH Barrow, The Romans, Penguin Books, Ltd., Harmondsworth, Middlesex, England,
Maryland, USA, 1991