Monday, April 29, 2013

Young Gladiator: Stereoviews A-Z




A parent's imagination no doubt helped title this picture of their son. There has long been a fascination in our culture with Rome and its gladiators.


"The Young Gladiator" (ca. 1890)

History shows that most gladiators were slaves. The first written record of gladiator combat dates back to a religious ceremony in Rome in 264 BC. Later, gladiators were used in the military for combat training. However, some gladiators were free men and became heroes in the arena, earning great fame and wealth. 

Books and movies have recorded their times and legends with gusto. In 1925, the silent film hit, Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ, put gladiators on the screen. The movie was based on a popular novel of the same title by Lew Wallace, written in 1907. It cost the film industry $3.9 million to make and was the second most expensive silent film ever made. 



[Gravseth family archive; ca. 1890] Copyright 2013 © Sharon Himsl
 [source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/dna/ptop/A46178445; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ben-Hur_(1925_film)]

8 comments:

  1. I haven't seen that silent film, but I'm definitely going to try. I love those. The history of gladiators is very interesting - and sometimes a bit hard to comprehend.

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  2. Ben Hur is my favourite film of all time. I watch it every Easter. On the topic of gladiators, the modern version is UFC. Blood sports are still popular.

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  3. I love gladiator shows! I've really loved the series Spartacus that's just finished its third and final series. It's so well done, but incredibly gory.

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  4. Hard to think that's what they (back in the day) thought was entertainment, way too much gore!

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  5. He's such a cute little gladiator.

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  6. Doesn't look much like a gladiator yet, except for those boots!

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  7. Shouldn't he have a sword or shield or something?

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  8. The above two comments are right - a bit too cute to be a gladiator. Never realised there was silent version of Ben Hur. I only remember the colour version. Did that star Charlton Heston or am I confusing my epic movies?

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