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If Gladiator Fights were Televised Today

Imagine if Romans could televise Gladiator battles with one of today’s top sports commentators covering the fight...


The Following is an Excerpt from Gladiator 2.0 -Behind the Battles - 2000 Facts, Fights and Tales of Triumph in the Colosseum.



11 am. Garius Linekerus Commentating for Colosseum TV Inc


As the sun ascends over the majestic Colosseum, ladies and gentlemen, the air fills with the vibrant cacophony of Rome’s eager citizens, a mix of anticipation and the unmistakable thirst for spectacle. 


Today, the arena's sands will witness a clash whispered about in every shadowed alley and sunlit plaza throughout Rome.


As we pan the camera high above the arena floor, folks, you can see the notable senators and members of the patrician class settled into their reserved seats, their robes shimmering in a riot of colours—a vibrant tapestry of wealth and power. 

There, in the thick of it, is Senator Gaius Marcellus, the esteemed nobleman and sponsor of today's games. He's in deep conversation with Flavius Honorius, the mastermind behind the famed Lupus Gladiatorial School.

 

There, in a position of honour, sits the Emperor himself, draped in purple and gold robes, a vivid symbol of imperial authority. The Emperor’s presence elevates the significance of today's events, promising a spectacle no Roman citizen would want to miss. The Colosseum looks excellent today, and everyone appreciates the new canopy above, shielding them from this damn sun.

Murmillo and Retiarius Gladiator  Fight in the Colosseum
Drusus and Aelius Fight in the Colosseum

The Gladiators Enter


Listen to that crowd! As befits his status, Drusus strides into the arena. The ‘Scourge of Rome’ is clad in full traditional Murmillo armour.

 

The massive shield covers most of his left side, and in his right hand, he wields a gladius, sharp and ready. This is Drusus’ tenth battle, a milestone that, if he survives, promises freedom as per the sacred laws of the arena. Who wouldn’t want that for the great master of the Colosseum?

 

The seasoned warrior who has entertained us through nine battles of blood and bravery looks undefeatable. What a proud man he must be in front of his Emperor.

 

Aelius, the new gladiator, is here. He looks fresh and young, but you can’t ignore that physique. He isn't big, but surely, this young man, fresh from the Island of Capri, is set to make a mark today, even if it is in blood.

 

They say he had a choice, but who would have chosen to be a Retiarius against Drusus? Is he mad? He only has a trident and a net, his left arm protected by a chainmail sleeve. A handsome new Gladiator is what everyone wants if you know what I mean! His face, he doesn’t have a helmet, shows resolve but he is clearly nervous.


The Duel Begins


And here we are, folks, the moment you’ve all been waiting for. Drusus, the veteran, versus Aelius, the fleet-footed newcomer. Can youth and speed trump experience and brute strength?


Silence falls over the Colosseum as the two gladiators warily circling each other. Notice that? Even the Emperor is focusing on these two brave gladiators.

 

Drusus, confident in his armour, advances steadily. Aelius, agile and alert, darts around, his trident poised. Come on, men, stop dancing around. The crowd won’t stand for this. The Emperor won’t like this at all.


Drusus swings his gladius. He is trying to work out this young Gladiator’s grit and will. Look at that. Did you see the speed of that Aelius’ trident? Folks, I can tell you, we can all hear the sound of metal clanging, echoing through the arena. Even the poor folks right in the highest seats must be able to hear the weapons in action.

 

Drusus First


Watch closely now. Drusus retakes the initiative, and we’ve all come to expect this from this huge man. Aelius is wise to Drusus. Hey, I can’t believe this. Drusus has charged forward, but … oh, the gods - Aelius tries to pivot at the last moment, but Drusus is there swinging his heavy shield with all the force of a battering ram. This could be a short fight. Aelius, caught off-balance, staggers backwards, clearly wrong-footed by the veteran's swift manoeuvre.

 

And there it is! Drusus sees his opening and doesn’t hesitate.

 

Drusus lands a slicing cut across Aelius’ leg. Not too deep, but enough to mark his first victory in this duel. Look at the blood spurting out from that young man. Wow, that must hurt. The sand has already turned black with Aelius’s blood. It’s a textbook move by Drusus! This seasoned warrior knows his arena craft well. I’ve seen him do this before. Now, the real test begins for our young contender, Aelius. He'll need to dig deep and rally if he hopes to turn the tide here!

 

Come on, men. Yes, you're hurt. Aelius, I don’t mind you drawing back, but Drusus! Why are you circling around him like a timid cat? Fans, I’ve just noticed the face of Flavius Honorius of the Lupus Gladiatorial School. He is not a happy man. He’s almost ignoring the Emperor and shouting at one of them. I think he is angry with Drusus, his star gladiator. I thought I’d never see that!


Aelius – The Panther


I'm sorry, folks. I almost missed something. Look at that recovery! The young gladiator isn't ready to concede just yet. He’s light on his feet, folks, dancing back into the fray with the grace of a panther.

logo of Senator Marcellus who paid for the Games
Senator Marcellus - Sponsor of the Games


Gaius Marcellus

Remember, Senator Gaius Marcellus bought you this thrilling spectacle today. The lucky spectators will be treated to some Roman culinary delights and, of course, wine to move the day along smoothly.


This is the Senator’s third games, and it is surely a special which will be remembered for years to come. Gaius Marcellus has spared no expense in holding the Games today. Don’t forget, the noble Senator also brings you fresh, cold, water through his new Aqueduct opened just a year ago.


Back to the action. Drusus must surely win this epic contest. He summons the power of the gods, or maybe he is frightened of what will happen when he returns to the Lupus. He’s swinging his weapon wildly, but … Aelius is ready! Can you believe this? He ducks under the sweeping blade and counters with a swift jab of his trident. Drusus can’t do anything but step back and retreat.


Ah, what a comeback from the young gladiator! Aelius is not just here to survive; he’s here to win. This battle is far from over, ladies and gentlemen. Aelius is proving himself a formidable opponent. Let’s see how Drusus responds.


Aelius is not just standing his ground but pushing Drusus back! His incredible agility… I haven’t seen that in all my games. Again and again, the man from Capri strikes. Drusus looks like he is trying to swat flies.

 

The crowds have noticed, too. I can feel it. They are turning against their beloved Drusus. No one wants to back a loser. This is going to be a fast fight. I can’t believe what I am seeing. Aelius is the better man today. His energy! Drusus looks disorientated and confused. I can hear his heavy breathing over the crowd.

 

Look at that blood … who’s is it? Folks, Drusus is wounded. That last strike of the trident sunk hard into his left thigh, my gods, can I see bone? It’s the champion's blood; look at the close-up; see the blood spurt from his arm as well!

 

The old battle master looks fixed on the spot, but Aelius continues to dodge anything Drusus has left to give. The younger man looks 100% more confident than when he entered the Colosseum’s arena, the world's most impressive theatre. 


Drusus Falls


Can you still hear me? The crowd is going crazy. Aelius just cast his net, ensnaring Drusus’ sword arm.

 

Drusus stumbles; he’s failing. Now Aelius stands over him.

 

Everyone in this huge Colosseum, all 50,000, are waiting … Aelius takes his time, certain Drusus can’t get up. Aelius drives the trident forward hard, pinning the veteran to the ground.


It is magnificent, a spectacle, a sight no one, certainly not me, expected.

 

We were all in Drusus’ corner, but now everyone is chanting Aelius’ name.

 

This great Colosseum is literally alive; I hope its massive walls are strong enough to contain us. The sheer drama and display of valour and skill surely make Aelius our new champion.

 

The Emperor knows everyone is looking at him now. Confidence radiates from this man who has been instrumental in increasing the size of our beloved Roman Empire. He waits for the crowd to go silent. Still, he waits. He uses the silence once again to assert his undoubted authority.

 

Roman Emperor on a throne at the colosseum surrounded by senators and noble men
The Emperor Decides

The Emperor Decides

Silence sweeps over the crowd. You can hear a pin drop. Sorry, I’m whispering, but I don’t want the emperor to notice me! He stretches out his arm. I’ve seen this before: he’ll make us wait; he wants the crowd to shout, bae, stamp their feet; he wants their support for what he is about to do.


Everyone stands now as if by command, and you can hear them, “Aelius, Aelius.”  The Emperor looks around the arena, almost looking at each of us, and eventually back to Aelius.  

He turns his thumb down/.

 

“Aelius!”


Aelius raises his bloody trident above Drusus, and now, in one forceful move, he plunges it down into Drusus’ neck.  


Goodbye, Drusus, and welcome, Aelius; the Colosseum is yours.

 

The Games today were bought to you by Senator Gaius Marcellus, the brilliant engineer, writer, mathematician and arts sponsor.

 

Thanks, folks; join us next week for the Mediterain battle when they fill the arena with water from Senator Marcellis’ own aqueduct. This is Garius Linekerus, commenting for Colosseum TV.


Gladiator 2.0 - Behind the Battles - 2000 Facts, Fights and Tales of Triumph in the Colosseum





Dive into the vibrant and brutal world of ancient Rome with 'Gladiator 2.0,' a comprehensive exploration of gladiatorial life. This book brings history to life with over 2000 meticulously researched facts and stunning full-color illustrations. Readers will gain insights into the diverse origins of gladiators, their rigorous training routines, and the deadly arsenal of weapons tailored to each fighter type. 'Gladiator 2.0' also delves into the personal lives and societal roles of these famed warriors, presenting a detailed narrative that spans from the sands of the Colosseum to the wider cultural implications of their existence. A captivating read for anyone fascinated by the intricacies of Roman history.

 

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