- For seven centuries Rome celebrated its aggressive martial legacy of the gladiator. The gladiator was an armed fighter who entertained crowds in the Roman Republic and the Roman Empire. The word ‘gladiator’ comes from the Latin word for swordsman. The gladiator’s sword was called a gladius.
Rome’s gladiatorial games publicly memorialized the art of ‘dying well’ throughout the Republic and Empire. Gladiatorial games were held between gladiators, wild animals, and condemned criminals.
Roman emperors performed in the gladiatorial arenas with minimum risk. They included Caligula, Claudius, Caligula, Caracalla, and Commodus. Three gold coins of emperor “gladiators” are include in this set. These are an gold aureii of Caligula, struck in Lugubrious in 37 B.C. (Sear 1813); Claudius, struck in Lugnumum I A.D. 51. (Sear 1885); and Commodus, struck in Rome in A.D. 192 (Sear 5604).
Two hundred thirty amphitheaters and 60 circuses were built for gladiatorial games during the Republic and Roman Empire.
Two Roman coins, sestertii, show pictures of two gladiatorial game venues. First, is the greatest the Amphitheater Flavium or Roman Colosseum. Emperor Vespasian began construction in A.D. 64. The Colosseum was inaugurated by Emperor Titus in A.D. 80 as a gift to the Roman people. The building seated 50,000 people. This coin reverse shows the Colosseum with part of interior, gangways, arch, and obelisk. The obverse shows gladiator-emperor Titus seated left on a chair. Struck in Rome in A.D. 80. (Sear 2536).
Rome’s Circus Maximus held gladiatorial games, chariot races, and reenactments of naval battles. The sesterius reverse shows the Circus from the Forum Boarium. The obverse shows the emperor-gladiator Caracalla facing right. Struck in Rome in A.D. 213. (Sear 6929).
- - Card set is in a plastic sleeve: 5" x 7"
- Item #: DM228