The Roman Empire expanded rapidly throughout Europe after the Roman republic ended in 27 BC, although Rome itself was founded approximately 500 BC.
The Empire came to and end in 476 AD, and after over 500 years of dominance, an era of blood lust had finally finished.
Rome began to conquer other lands, as in ancient Roman times there were no countries as defined by modern standards. The Romans would take in their harvest and then either begin to steal crops from their neighboring cities or take over the land itself.
Soon, Rome had began on a journey which has changed this world forever. The city of Rome gradually took over the Etruscan cities close to it and then began to take land to the South of the city, all within what we now call Italy.
All people captured were either taken as slaves, concubines, forced into military service, or used as target practice and in the arena for other peoples pleasure in watching them die.
ODD FACT: Slaves were not allowed to vote, but their sons could.
Slaves for the Arena
Captured inhabitants of other cities or areas and sent to the arena would usually face an agonizing death. Many never even made it to fight in the arena but committed suicide or were used as 'killing practice' for the stronger would-be gladiators.
More knowledgeable and useful slaves in the arena would be used to tend horses, clean weaponry, prepare food and remove the bodies of those bludgeoned to death.
Weaker slaves were sent into the arena with little armour and either no weapons or maybe a simple dagger or sword. Once inside the arena itself, their life was very abruptly cut short.
The citizens of Rome demanded entertainment, and the arena was the main form of entertainment within the Roman Empire. Quaking with fear, the slaves were sent to their deaths in as many horrifying ways as possible.
Starving tigers, lions, and even rhinoceroses were used to gorge the slaves and enthrall the bloodthirsty crowd. Each animal brought from exotic continents were starved for days to ensure a spectacular and bloody scene for the spectators.
Other slaves met their pitiful end by arranged scenarios depicting famous Roman victories in battle. The slaves were hunted within the arena by the supposed Roman army and cut to pieces with various sword, flails, daggers and arrows.
Others may of simply been target practice for new weapons which were created to cause as much death as possible.
Slaves could earn their freedom from the arena. Becoming a Gladiator was an option for the fitter and more battle hardened slave. Women and riches would be rewards for Gladiators who performed well and killed many opponents. Death awaited the rest.
Slaves For Military Service
Many of the captured enemy army were given a choice, die, become a slave, or join the Roman army. For many captured soldiers, being a soldier was all they knew, so they opted to fight under the emblem of Rome.
At least by fighting for the winning side meant that they would be fed, well trained, and be free to have women and even earn a salary. By being a slave, they were subject to a life of misery, maybe even working in coal mines or quarries.
Many captured men from the same province were formed into a particular unit with other men from the same province. This allowed them to easily bond and get to be proud of their future accomplishments. But the leaders of each unit were still Romans.
Many of these formed 'militia' type units were used as 'cannon fodder'. When there was unrest in provinces or certain battles to be fought, the units incorporated into the Roman army from various provinces were sent into battle first.
This allowed the Romans to save their own legionaries for when required most.
After serving a 25 year service to Rome, legionaries could retire with a small piece of land and some money, both given by the government. This was the payment for fighting for 25 years in different campaigns across half the globe. Although statistically, the most part of a Roman soldiers life was not spent fighting, as has been depicted.
The Navy did take some slaves as oarsmen, but many of the Roman oarsmen were actually paid conscripts.
Slaves for the Home
Slaves were bought and sold into slavery in the open streets within all boundaries of the Roman Empire. The slaves in the city of Rome outnumbered the citizens of Rome at one stage.
Domestic slaves were used for every domestic chore required. There were slaves for running errands and messages, slaves for cooking and cleaning, and male and female slaves to be used in the bedrooms and the local whore houses.
Many slaves were treated well, fed, clothed, and allowed to take a partner, even have children. Others were beaten daily, starved, and generally mistreated throughout their entire lives.
Slaves were used to help with washing of soldiers and guests feet as they entered a home, and were subjected to humiliating behavior. It was intolerable of a slave not to obey an order, no matter how obscene or horrendous. To do so would mean death or being sold on again.
Many slaves were taken to coal mines and quarries where they would spend the rest of their short lives digging and carrying. Others were bought by tradesmen whom taught them a trade and kept them working for their lives and even paid them a little money.
Slaves For Medical Experiments
Rome was not only a world leader within the ancient construction industry, but also had a fantastic medical background. The world knows that to produce many medicines and to learn about the human body, you need guinea pigs, the Romans allegedly used slaves.
Basic medicines, brain surgery and organ replacements were carried out on live slaves, whom would usually die whilst on the operating table. Other slaves were fortunate to of passed away prior to the medical surgeon cutting them open.
This practice of using helpless humans for medical research continues to the modern day. The Japanese and the Germans during WWII used captive soldiers to experiment on. Many other countries also did the same, but little is known about those countries. Organ or kidney harvesting is a plight which continues today in most cities of the world.
The Romans became adept at amputating limbs after most battles, although the likely hood of the patient surviving were very small. But during the Roman Empire era, medical knowledge and expertise grew at an amazing rate.
The Romans were organized, arguably the most organized oppression in the history of the world. Without the phenomenal futuristic thinking of the Romans, the world would not be as advanced as it is now.
Historians allege than Julius Caesar had over 1 million people executed. Crucifixion was by far one of the most used execution methods in ancient Rome. Noblemen were regularly sawn in half if they fell out with a higher ranking nobleman.
Life was great in ancient Rome.
Brutality & Torture
Tiberius would have the mens urethra's stitched shut so they could not urinate, then force feed them lots of wine. This meant that either they could watch as the men exploded on the inside or used a sword to end their plight.
Apparently under Roman law it was the 'norm' to torture slaves and foreigners. Whether to obtain the truth, for fun, or to indicate a guilty party, whether they were guilty or not.
Public flogging or whipping were common place and creditors were allowed to flog their deters. The rack or equuleus, was traditionally a part of Roman culture. This stretched men, women, and children till their bones broke and severed from the torso.
Hanging victims upside down and scratching their feet and torso till their flesh was burning was another Roman torture. Burning men alive has been used for centuries as punishment or for torture. Under Roman rule, this was also used for entertainment and could also be as a side attraction outside the Gladiators arena.
Most types of torture imaginable were used or developed by the Romans. Specialist torturers were used on special occasions. These were men and women whom had perfected the art of keeping a victim alive for as long as possible whilst under torture
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Erik on November 30, 2016:
Yes, Roman Empire was brutal, devastating, inhumane, barbaric and bad to the bone, I concur. However some of the photos you presented (such as of torture devices) are from the middle ages (Used by the papacy regimen), not Roman...