Gladiators were fighters who risked their lives facing each other or various animals in the arenas for the entertainment of the masses in Ancient Rome. You probably already know a thing or two about them, but the following facts still might surprise you.
Not All Gladiators Were Slaves
While it’s true that most gladiators were slaves, free people also took part in the fights. They were lured by the fame and prize money or just wanted to demonstrate their fighting skills.
Gladiator Games Were Well Organized
Gladiator games were better organized than you might think. There was a whole system that included ranking the gladiators based on their previous success as well as their fight style.
Gladiators Didn’t Always Fight to Death
The movies and books might lead you to believe that gladiators would always fight to death. However, that wasn’t the case. Fights would often end if one of the gladiators was seriously wounded or if they weren’t entertaining for the crowd.
Women Were Gladiators As Well
There is various historical evidence that women participated in gladiator games as well. Female gladiator fights were believed to be less brutal than those of their male counterparts but still popular among the audience. According to some accounts, being a gladiator was particularly popular among upper-class women, who expressed their rebellion that way.