T Nation

Roman Gladiators Fat Vegetarians

http://www.abc.net.au/science/news/ancient/AncientRepublish_1081439.htm

Pathetic the once Mighty Roman Empire was invaded by the Northeren Tribes…waiting
for them patiently to invade as they imploded from within via increased immorality with
freakish entertainment, bread and circuses, orgies…the PERFECT recipe to soften them
up so they can be taken over easily.
Kinda like america soon?..NAW, we don’t have those same latter-day Roman Empire issues
they did…:wink:

And their diets, eh…not a big revelation there, that was the diet of the middle easterners
and Asia as well during that time period.

Article was written in 2004.

Also, I don’t remember Russel Crowe being “muscle-bound”, maybe the author is like 5’9", 140?

[quote]77 Style wrote:
http://www.abc.net.au/science/news/ancient/AncientRepublish_1081439.htm[/quote]
This (old) news comes up every once in a while. Kinda makes sense, if most gladiators were slaves they’d be fed some of the cheapest food sources (barley, beans, fruit) in bulk.

But based on the above piece of mosaic from the 4th century, it’s not as if gladiators were sumo-sized. Some did have to fit into armor, after all. If anything, it sounds like they might’ve been built more like an average “husky” football player rather than a lean, mean, MMA fightin’ machine.

[quote]Chris Colucci wrote:

[quote]77 Style wrote:
http://www.abc.net.au/science/news/ancient/AncientRepublish_1081439.htm[/quote]
This (old) news comes up every once in a while. Kinda makes sense, if most gladiators were slaves they’d be fed some of the cheapest food sources (barley, beans, fruit) in bulk.

But based on the above piece of mosaic from the 4th century, it’s not as if gladiators were sumo-sized. Some did have to fit into armor, after all. If anything, it sounds like they might’ve been built more like an average “husky” football player rather than a lean, mean, MMA fightin’ machine.[/quote]

Yep. Pretty much everybody from the poorer classes would have had very limited access to fresh meat and produce and so mostly ate a grain/legume based diet back then. Gladiators were very near the bottom rung of society, so it’s no surprise really.

Actually, in terms of cinematic representations I think Crowe’s physique in Gladiator was probably much more accurate than Whitfield’s was in Spartacus.

Of course Spartacus looks way cooler.

[quote]Chris Colucci wrote:

[quote]77 Style wrote:
http://www.abc.net.au/science/news/ancient/AncientRepublish_1081439.htm[/quote]
This (old) news comes up every once in a while. Kinda makes sense, if most gladiators were slaves they’d be fed some of the cheapest food sources (barley, beans, fruit) in bulk.

But based on the above piece of mosaic from the 4th century, it’s not as if gladiators were sumo-sized. Some did have to fit into armor, after all. If anything, it sounds like they might’ve been built more like an average “husky” football player rather than a lean, mean, MMA fightin’ machine.[/quote]

Their sizes were probably dependent on the weapons/armor they trained with. All things being equal, I would imagine that training resistance played more of a role to their size than diet.

[quote]Chris Colucci wrote:

[quote]77 Style wrote:
http://www.abc.net.au/science/news/ancient/AncientRepublish_1081439.htm[/quote]
This (old) news comes up every once in a while. Kinda makes sense, if most gladiators were slaves they’d be fed some of the cheapest food sources (barley, beans, fruit) in bulk.

But based on the above piece of mosaic from the 4th century, it’s not as if gladiators were sumo-sized. Some did have to fit into armor, after all. If anything, it sounds like they might’ve been built more like an average “husky” football player rather than a lean, mean, MMA fightin’ machine.[/quote]
Are those gladiators or soldiers?

They Called Russell Crowe “Spaniard”… I know it was a movie, but Damn those Spaniards were Badasses!
Later on Historically If it wasn’t for the pain in ass British, the Spain would have thrown
their weight around the Globe a lot more than they did…Thats ok, the Spaniards were a pain
in the ass to the Brits just the same.

Also, there were no weightclasses back then. Extra fat, would mean extra weight - thus extra power.

Theirs was to do and die. Not bodybuild.

They were fed for slaughter.

people used to call me Spaniard because I looked kind of like Crowe in the movie

from what I’ve heard the fat helped them live even after sustaining injuries. I’ve never fought in the Colloseum so idk

[quote]browndisaster wrote:

from what I’ve heard the fat helped them live even after sustaining injuries. [/quote]

I heard that as well. Makes sense to make them as durable as possible.

Also, it is believed that gladiators would partake in a feast the night before a fight, held in their honor, where they would be allowed meat.

[quote]Michael Crehan wrote:

[quote]Chris Colucci wrote:

[quote]77 Style wrote:
http://www.abc.net.au/science/news/ancient/AncientRepublish_1081439.htm[/quote]
This (old) news comes up every once in a while. Kinda makes sense, if most gladiators were slaves they’d be fed some of the cheapest food sources (barley, beans, fruit) in bulk.

But based on the above piece of mosaic from the 4th century, it’s not as if gladiators were sumo-sized. Some did have to fit into armor, after all. If anything, it sounds like they might’ve been built more like an average “husky” football player rather than a lean, mean, MMA fightin’ machine.[/quote]
Are those gladiators or soldiers?[/quote]
Gladiators.

Gladiators were investments and the diet was just as much by design as it was due to cost… Large amounts of subcutaneous fat gave more protection to vital organs, so the gladiators were put on a carb-heavy bulking diet. They were also fed (bone) ash as a calcium supplement.

[quote]Kardash wrote:
Also, there were no weightclasses back then. Extra fat, would mean extra weight - thus extra power.[/quote]

SOMEONE GET ME A TIME MACHINE!

This article does not tell the whole story.

Ancient Romans were masters of irrigation, they could move water, thus adding to their ability to cultivate crops.

Vegetarian foods were cheap and abundant, especially grain, you can see huge grain mills in Lido Di Ostia (where I spent some time as a young kid).

A sign of an empire’s wealth was how well the people were fed, and Romans were the best at flaunting their stuff.

My people were large and well built, I am almost 6’2 and can carry 225 lbs on my frame with ease. Most of the men in my family are like this, the shortest being 5’11.

We be some bad mother fuckers.