Facts about Gladiators

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Facts about Gladiators

Fact 1: The first recorded gladiatorial fight was staged in 264AD when three pairs of slaves who were selected to fight at the funeral of a prominent Roman

Fact 2: The word 'Gladiator' was derived from Gladius which was the Latin word for sword

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Facts about Gladiators

Fact 3: Gladiator games were seen as a method to appease the Roman gods and avert Rome from disaster

Fact 4: Gladiatorial combats were first fought in wooden arenas. The first stone built amphitheatre in Ancient Rome was called the Amphitheater of Statilius Taurus was built in 29 BC. The Roman Colosseum was built in 80AD

Fact 5: Nearly 30 types of gladiators have been identified

Fact 6: The role of the Gladiator became big business in the Roman Empire. Political careers could be launched on the back of spectacular games. Large sums of money could be won by gambling on the outcome of gladiator fights

Fact 7: The games organised by Julius Caesar, on the death of his daughter Julia, featured 320 matched pairs

Fact 8: Roman courts were given the authority to sentence criminals to death fighting as gladiators

Fact 9: Slaves, criminals and prisoners of war were forced into the roles of the first gladiators

Fact 10: By the period of the Roman Empire free men started to enrol as gladiators. Some were ex- soldiers, some wanted the adulation and the glory and some needed money to pay their debts. A Free gladiator was called Auctorati

Fact 11: Gladiators were allowed to keep any prizes or gifts they were given during gladiatorial games

Fact 12: Entrance to the gladiator games was free but spectators, between 50,000 - 80,000 were issued with tickets

Fact 13: Trainee gladiators were called Tirones or Tiro

Fact 14: Female Gladiators, some noble and wealthy, appeared in the arena

Fact 15: 42 different Roman Emperors witnessed the carnage at the Roman Colosseum

Fact 16: Catervarii was the name given to gladiators when they did not fight in pairs, but when several fought together

Fact 17: Bestiarii (Beast Fighters) were the gladiators who fought wild animals

Fact 18: The Praegenarii were the 'opening act gladiator'. This type of gladiator only used wooden swords, accompanied to festive music.

Fact 19: Elite types of Gladiators were the Rudiarius who were gladiators who had obtained their freedom but chose to continue fighting in gladiatorial combats

Fact 20: Gladiatorial schools "Ludi Gladiatorium". The gladiator schools also served as barracks, or in some cases prisons, for gladiators between their fights.

Fact 21: New Gladiators were formed into troupes called 'Familia gladiatorium' which were under the overall control of a manager (lanista)

Fact 22: At the end of the day the gladiators who had been killed were dragged through the Porta Libitinensis (Gate of Death) to the Spoliarium where the body was stripped and the weapons and armor given to the dead gladiatorís lanista.

Fact 23: Prospective gladiators (novicius) had to swear an oath (sacramentum gladiatorium) and enter a legal agreement (auctoramentum) agreeing to submit to beating, burning, and death by the sword if they did not perform as required .

Fact 24: Gladiators often had tattoos (stigma, from where the English word stigmatised derives) applied as an identifying mark on the face, legs and hands.

Fact 25: Trained gladiators joined formal associations, called collegia, to ensure that they were provided with proper burials and that compensation was given to their families. 

Fact 26: The early enemies of Rome included the Samnites, the Thracians and the Gauls (Gallus) and gladiators were named according to their ethnic roots

Fact 27: Gladiators were always clothed and armed to resemble barbarians with unusual and exotic weapons and their fights depicted famous victories over barbarians and the power of the Roman Empire
Fact 28: One of the most famous gladiators was the Emperor Commodus (177-192 AD) who boasted that he was the victor of a thousand matches. The Roman Emperors Caligula, Titus, Hadrian , Cracalla, Geta and Didius Julianus were all said to have performed in the arena.

Fact 29: The Emperor Honorius, decreed the end of gladiatorial contests in 399 AD

Fact 30: The last known gladiator fight in the city of Rome occurred on January 1, 404 AD.

Facts about Gladiators
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History, Facts and information about Facts about Gladiators *** Facts about the times and people of Ancient Rome *** The society, culture and life of the Romans *** Facts about Gladiators *** Facts about life in Ancient Rome and the arena *** Facts about Gladiators *** Ancient history, facts and interesting information about the Romans *** Interesting Roman facts and info

Facts about Gladiators

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Facts about Gladiators