Feeding a Roman Gladiator

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Subtitles: Jose Mendoza

Relief depicting two gladiators: Carole Raddato from FRANKFURT, Germany, CC BY-SA 2.0 by the use of Wikimedia Commons
Vibia Sabina: By Flickr: Vibia. Author: Iessi, 10 October 2006., CC BY 2.0,

#tastinghistory #ancientrome #gladiator

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46 thoughts on “Feeding a Roman Gladiator”

  1. 11:00 the thumb was the "sword". so if it was "hidden" it was "sheathed". and my understanding is the thumb would be hidden in the opposite hand (as though one hand his the sheath and the other the sword). this is just what i have seen explained.

  2. If you make this with a stock (a light chicken stock would be ideal) it will be genuinely tasty. Serve it with some greens (buttery kale with freshly grated nutmeg, for example) it will be even better, and this can serve as a base for something else such as a pan-roast chicken breast. 🙂

  3. This food would defently not make the gladiators fat. It's low in calories, not to mention all the training they would of done. The idea being flabby to put on a better show is ridiculous. You need to be as fast and powerful as possible to win a fight, if someone gets hit there dead regardless of how much fat they have on them

  4. hi Max – very interesting history. the thumb thing is a change.
    i can’t quite believe though that’s all they got to eat. yes, there’s protein, but no green vegetables and no B12. many vitamins and minerals would be missing and, unless they all died pretty quickly, this would begin to tell on their bodies. Vit C – scurvy. Vit B’s – beriberi, etc. vitamins in general – fatigue, dizziness, shortness of breath, depression. i don’t see how they’d be very good fighters with these symptoms. so somethin’s not right in Rome. – alexa – new york 🙂 🌷🌱

  5. Fava beans and a nice chianti…OK Hannibal was a gladiator…lived his life in a cell and was pitched against…well…he ate his kills lol
    Anybody remember that 90ies show American gladiator where they were padded to the max and went at it on pedestals with oversized Q tips ?

  6. This food is very interesting, because it represents probably the most common dish in human history (aside from bread). A combination of cheap grains, made even cheaper by not having to grind them, with some sort of legumes was very common throughout most of human history for being cheap and available and also for providing a good combination of proteins. Grains themselves do contain a lot of protein but not of the essential ones in sufficient quantities, while legumes can very well compensate for it by having the right amino-acids in abundance.

    This combination of proteins in grains and legumes allowed people to survive even without access to meat or milk. In Europe people ate a lot of barley, rye, or oats with peas, lentils or beans, Chinese ate a lot of rice and millet with soy beans and native Americans ate corn with beans as well.

    Thanks for your video and, by the way, this food is greatly improved by garum you introduced as well.

  7. The remark about gladiators' being fat, was correct. Most of the weapons they used, were designed to create spectacular, but relatively superficial wounds that bled and gaped. Much like modern MMA.

  8. A gruesome sidenote: From what I recall the death blow for finishing a downed opponent was a stab between the neck and collar bone not a slit throat:
    The defeated gladiator would kneel and tilt his head to one side allowing the victor and executioner to place the point of their gladious between the neck and the clavicle. The victor would then swiftly stab downward with great force severing the artery that runs along the clavicle and penetrating all the way down to the heart. 
    almost an instant death

  9. If the quire etc brought in as much $ for the school as football then it would've got more funding. People tend to overlook the fact that even if your schools team doesn't win state the $ their games bring in pays for a lot of stuff folks take for granted.

  10. Gladiators were slaves whose sole purpose was to die a gruesome death for the entertainment of the audience. There were not fed the best. Look at what the upper class ate.

  11. Not sure if you're putting down the porridge – it looks and sounds delightful, costs about $2 a portion even at today's prices, and gives off energy, which is basically the purpose behind eating in the first place – I'll keep this recipe in mind – thanks

  12. This year this has become one of my favorite recipes. I'm just not a huge fan of fava beans in my puls. I prefer extra onions & bacon, zucchini & kielbasa, plums & kielbasa & raisins. For sure I'll be trying other ingredients as well. It's such a cheap, healthy, delicious, versatile food and I can make great quantities of it on my wok. It lasts me and my gf 2-3 days. Romans sure knew what's up. Thank you, Max. I'm learning a lot from your channel.

  13. Check out “the Gladiator’s cookbook”. Written by a friend of mine Christian Eckert. He was involved in a recreation of a gladiator school and while there they worked out meal plans based on historical writings. He claims less wind was broken than people expected during their summer of training the local college students and body odor was much less than people think. He’s got a presentation available on their findings. Much faster recovery time after hard training and much reduced muscle aches and pains were a side effect. Energy levels were higher even with no coffee for the student gladiators

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