Barbaric: Life and Death of Gladiators in Ancient Rome

Gladiators. Mosaic

Gladiators. Mosaic. Source: Wikimedia

We’ve come to imagine gladiators as oiled-up sexy warriors in armour that left little to the imagination, who fought each other to the death for the entertainment of rich people. Life and death of Roman gladiators was quite fascinating, actually. Keep reading to find out more.


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Slaves and Free Men

Traditionally, we believe all the gladiators were slaves. However, this wasn’t the case. While the slaves were the only ones who initially participated in the games, the members of nobility and other social classes also got involved after the Coliseum opened in 80 AD. The gladiator schools invited free men to get involved, promising a lucrative career, money and glory, as well as a sex symbol status. It is believed, however, that the thrill and the glory was what really mattered to the free men who enlisted.

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