We're learning about gladiators because Emperor got his very own action figure. These are better than Barbies. You can outfit your gladiator in one of three different styles before sending him to fight in the arena. Emperor loves hearing about the shields and weapons and the strange animals the Romans imported. He's even blogged a little about it and posted his picture. You *know* he wants comments...
Elf, meanwhile, is just amazed at the entire idea. I think I need to allow "outrage" or "horror" time during all social studies lessons with this child. The slave thing got him upset when he was littler, though it took a while to convince him that it wasn't something I made up. Even then, he thought perhaps just as HE needs someone to look after him, and HE needs to work... is that how it was? No, the slavemasters didn't exactly love and care for the slaves while they grew up or anything like that. And then... oh, I had to explain a little to him. It isn't fun to bust a kid's "the world is fair" bubble.
Recently, Elf cried about the babies that died on the Trail of Tears. He thought about it for quite some time before deciding that they should have fought back and WORSE, he was mad that the white people wanted the land so they could run plantations.
Now he is horrified by the idea that people would be entertained by watching people fighting to the death in the arena. This is probably because he doesn't watch television except for a few carefully-screened movies. Perhaps the most violent thing he has seen in the last few months was Tinky-Winky falling down or Noo-Noo spilling custard. (Woodjie is constantly watching Teletubbies, and we only have one disk. This is not a series I want a whole collection of... but... I might have to rethink that thought soon enough if this keeps up. "Uh ohhh... Naughty Noo noo.")
The boys did get a bit livened by the idea of what the Romans would think if all their Pokemon characters could go into the arena and which Pokemon would best fight a gladiator in full gear. I think they've decided on "Palkia" for the time being. My very favourite is Jigglypuff. He's so cute. Apparently the little Pokemon characters don't quite die... they "faint" and get captured. I find little Pokemon guys about near their playskool castle and little swords and shields left lying about. I think little one-square Legos and tiny swords are about the male equivalent of Barbie shoes. I think, to use their term, it's "super-effective" in tripping parents.