Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Gladiators, Funerals, and Roman Schadenfreude

Yesterday I was teaching on Gladiators in my Religion and Sports class.  I had two good questions that generated a lot of discussion in both sections of my class and I thought I would share them here.  The first is in the context of the traditional origins of gladiatorial combat in funeral games:

"Why honor the dead with more death?"

The second question is more about the general Roman psyche:

"Why did they enjoy this so much?"

The discussion following both questions, by the way, at some point touched upon gladiatorial combat as a form of human sacrifice.

So, how would you answer these questions?

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