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It is a big myth…

It is a big myth that gladiators were forced into it. Most were volunteers who wanted the chance of becoming heroes by risking their lives, or, when failing, show off in front of the largest crowd in the world how they were able to die honorably, without cowering. And spectators did not care for nonvolunteers as these did not have their soul into the fight.

http://www.persee.fr/web/revues/home/prescript/article/mefr_0223-5102_1999_num_111_2_2101legacy.persee.fr

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