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Roman Executions: Gladiators

In The Deadliest Lie, Miriam and Binyamin’s father warns him not to volunteer as a gladiator:

Once you sign a contract and take the oath, you relinquish everything: your citizenship, your freedom, the ownership of your very life. You’ll be branded like the lowliest animal and subject to every humiliation. You’ll long for the days when your body belonged only to you. And you’ll be corralled to breathe the stench and share the lice of the empire’s most wretched criminals, slaves, and prisoners of war.

Emma Southon, author of A Fatal Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, explains Roman views on homicide: Some people count, and others don’t. It’s all about your family’s wealth and influence. Certainly, slaves, prisoners of war, criminals, and gladiators—even volunteers like Binyamin—were regarded as too low for their life to have any value. So, the most horrific methods of torture were saved for killing them.

To get an authentic view of Roman values during the first century CE, read any of the Miriam bat Isaac Mysteries. The Deadliest Lie, having been selected as one of the nine most riveting mysteries set in the distant past, is a good place to start. Just click here.


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