That was the notorious oath of the gladiator. Documentaries such as this offering always provide such a mind-opening window into a subject of acquired taste, they're severely valuable. As a matter of fact, programs like this, and also its like-minded brethren, continually air on the Discovery network of monopolized channels up to this late day, eliminating any reason to still buy this dvd and/or vhs.
Firstly, the unqualified and skewed perspective of the purported Amazon.com reviewer's editorial is plainly incorrect, and needs to be righted. The original roots of Gladiatorism actually stem from Etruscan origins, directly contrary to Amazon.com's self-righteous reviewer's, disrespectable and disappointing claim of it coming from "casual attractions in town squares". The Etruscans, whose name is derived from the ancient geographical region of Etruria, produced the same-named people who would be the forefathers, and then stewards of all things Roman, seeing as how at the start of their civilization, Romans stole excessive aspects of Etrurian life, after deposing of them by the catalyst for their revolution, which was the murder of Lucretia. But, with my additional, free-of-charge information, I've digressed. At the funeral of some important, societal figure in Etruscan life, the Etruscans would perversely stage sadistic "gladiatorial" games--consisting of only 2 participants at the gladiatorial concept's infancy--in their bloodthirsty distortion of values, which was common in the ancient world. This was done to allegedly "celebrate" the accomplishments of the deceased; i.e. that meant that the more blood that was shed at these games for that deceased person, the more honor was being done to his life.
There's a particularly telling part in this program, one that specifically uses the archaeological evidence of skeletons found in definitively curious positions to establish just one of the many rattling and arcane innuendos surrounding the gladiator. That being, that there apparently was the body of a harshly wealthy noblewoman found--thanks to the preservative pumice of Vesuvius--being shielded under the arm of a preserved gladiator, inside the gladiators' quarters, surrounded by as much as up to 18 gladiators, inside of the building in Pompeii that would serve as their training grounds/housing. Speculation is the one avenue left for one to determine her exact purpose in that suspiciously scandalous association. Reason being, for said scandal, is that in the Roman world, gladiators had a specially stigmatizing libel hung on to them, called infamy. This dictated that in society, they were spat on and outcast as the lowest of the lowest scourges, represented in how they didn't even have citizen status, wherein they couldn't even vote, one of their many disenfranchisements. However, this notoriety had excessive and really unequal perks, as an unfair side effect of how they were labeled as "forbidden". In layman's terms, they were homicidally embellished to "sex god" status, and their sweat was in fact errantly considered as an aphrodisiacal substance. This was the contention of the woman's presence, that the program makes, for her being exclusively interred in the quarters of 18 robust men.
Another disturbing facet of information is the decidedly bloodlusting rage that all Romans, from all walks of Roman life (which, realistically, included only 2 definite divisions: 5% rich, the crushing rest of the populus 95% ghoulishly impoverished) barbarically lusted for. This was the brutal relentlessness of the frequency with which that the fated Death Matches were put on, and also the genocidally beastly number of the casualties. Since in Ancient Rome every other day was a state-oppressed "holiday", this half of the time in the year was unscrupulously misused to stage the most sensationalistic, propaganda-based games, whose exclusive, planned function was to, cunningly, dupe the masses of Rome into feeling "alleviated" of their everyday worries. Worries that stemmed from living in a conclusively brutal ancient world where people's life expectancy was seriously low, and, adding insult to injury, where the majority were living in the poorest of squalor. This was the callous and unrighteous irony of what the morally twisted early civilizations misappropriated to feel better about themselves: to simply punish worse atrocities on others.
These are only some of the exorbitant, educational enlightenments that this hour-long window into this subject offers. These programs that are produced, from the Discovery monopoly of like channels all taken over by one managing group, are so vibrant and lush that they bring alive the theme being documented.