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Gladiators were slaves, prisoners of war, or criminals, and sometimes ordinary citizens.

These comrades, not old and well-developed, ended up in gladiator schools, where they underwent military training under the guidance of the manager. Gladiators worked every day with trainers and teachers who taught them how to use a variety of weapons. Also chefs, doctors and getters were at the gladiators' service.

Gladiators lived much better than ordinary slaves, but this advantage was nothing more than an ordinary investment. The better the gladiator lived, the better he fought, won, therefore, he brought more profit.

Some gladiators could achieve liberation from slavery , but there were few .

These fighters received a rudis - a wooden sword, a sign of liberation from slavery. Often they became paid trainers in their own people (gladiator schools).

Гладиаторские бои

Gladiator fights usually ended with the death of one of the opponents or the defeat of a group of gladiators, if it was a group duel. If one of the losers survived, then their fate was decided by the audience.

Interesting Facts:

The life of a gladiator was highly valued. It took a lot of time, effort and money to educate an excellent fighter, and such a fighter brought a huge income to its owner.

Gladiators were considered the lowest "caste" even among slaves, and becoming a gladiator is a huge shame for a Roman citizen. But it was not uncommon for an ordinary citizen of Rome to become a gladiator - sometimes from complete despair, sometimes from his own whim.

In all the films, the gladiator looks like a bodybuilder, but this was not the case. Two to three months before the battles, the gladiators were fed abundantly and fatty foods, since a thick layer of fat protected the internal organs.

Related ... Revolt of Spartacus The uprising of Spartacus is the greatest in antiquity and the third (after the first and second Sicilian uprisings) slave uprisings.

There is a myth that gladiators are the best fighters in Rome. Fighters - yes, but not soldiers. They did not know how to fight in an organized formation, like legionnaires, did not know the tactics of formations, etc. This was Spartak's trouble. Gladiators could be good bodyguards, which was often the case, but soldiers were not.

Gladiator fights were originally part of funeral ceremonies

Despite the fact that many ancient chroniclers wrote about gladiatorial battles as a cultural planting of the Etruscans, most modern historians associate this phenomenon with funeral traditions. Initially, the battles of gladiators accompanied the burial ceremonies of wealthy nobles. It was a kind of posthumous recognition of the deceased's virtues, which he displayed during his lifetime.

According to the ancient Roman writers Tertullian and Festus, the Romans believed that human blood helped to cleanse the soul of the deceased. That is, gladiatorial battles in this sense were something like human sacrifices. The tradition of funeral games took on even greater proportions during the reign of Julius Caesar, who organized duels involving hundreds of gladiators in honor of his deceased father and daughter.

Gladiators didn't always fight to the death.

In movies and TV series, gladiatorial fights are often portrayed as an uncompromising battle with rivers of blood, severed limbs and a pile of corpses. This, of course, also happened.

But many battles were fought according to the rules: rivals were selected equal in strength and sometimes even attended referee who could to terminate fight if one of the participants was badly injured. And sometimes both warriors left the arena alive and honorably, if they managed to show the crowd a spectacular and exciting battle. In addition, gladiators cost their masters dearly so that they could be disposed of with such ease.

Therefore, coaches often taught fighters to strike in such a way as not to kill an opponent, but only to injure. Some fights were even like sports, in which death was not initially assumed. Nevertheless, the gladiator's life was still not long. Most of them lived to a maximum of 25 years, and according to historians, at least one gladiator died in about every fifth duel.

The famous “thumb” gesture did not mean mercy.

If a gladiator was injured or disarmed in battle, his fate remained in the hands of the audience. At tournaments held in the Colosseum, for example, the emperor had the final say in saving the life of a fighter. But the organizers of the games, and sometimes the rulers themselves, often allowed the crowd to decide the fate of the gladiator.

At the same time, in films and other works, we are accustomed to seeing the “thumb” gesture, which determined the opinion of the audience or the monarch: a thumbs up - will live, down - death. In fact, as historians say, a protruding thumb (no matter which way) meant a naked sword and, accordingly, death for a gladiator ... Whereas the finger hidden in the fist, on the contrary, symbolized a weapon in a sheath and promised mercy for the fighter.

Although sometimes the crowd dispensed with gestures and determined the fate of the gladiator with the usual shouts: "Mercy!" or "Kill him!"

Gladiators had their own classification By the time of the Colosseum (circa 80 AD), gladiatorial tournaments were transformed from regular bloody combat to full-scale battles with high organization like real sports. The fighters had their own classification depending on their combat experience, possession of a certain fighting style or weapon. The most popular were the Goplomakhs and Murmillons.

The former were armed with a spear, dagger and shield, the latter had a gladius (sword 40-50 cm long) and a large rectangular shield of Roman legionnaires. There were also equits who entered the arena on horseback, as well as the Essedarii - warriors on chariots.

The Dimachers fought with two swords at the same time, holding one in each hand. But the most unusual among the popular types of gladiators were the retiarii, who were armed only with a net and a trident. On the one hand, this fighter could confuse an opponent with his net and stab him at a distance with the help of a trident, but as soon as he lost this advantage and ended up in close combat, the retiarius faced difficulties.

There were women among the gladiators. Historians are not sure when exactly a woman first entered the arena as a gladiator, but by the 1st century AD. e. this became common in Rome. Although often female warriors were not taken seriously by the audience of the games, Emperor Domitian, for example, liked the battles with their participation, and he often encouraged the battles of women against dwarfs. Women also took part in battles against animals, but in general, their appearance in the arena ceased by the end of 200 AD. e.

The gladiators had their own unions Although gladiators had to kill each other in the arena, there was a kind of brotherhood within their community. And some even organized themselves into unions or "collegia" with their elected chairmen. If a fighter died in battle, his comrades made sure that he was buried with honors commensurate with his achievements in the arena. And if the deceased had a wife and children, the brotherhood also controlled the payment of monetary compensation to them for the loss of the head of the family.

Sometimes Roman emperors participated in gladiatorial battles Organizing gladiatorial games was considered an easy way for emperors to win the love of the crowd. But some went even further and took part in the battles themselves. Several Roman rulers, including Caligula, Titus and Hadrian, performed in the arena.

Although this was done, of course, with maximum security for the emperor: the blades of rivals, for example, could have blunt blades. Emperor Commodus, in order to quench the thirst for blood of the crowd, killed with a spear bears or panthers, which were kept on a chain.

He also participated in several duels against gladiators.

But, as a rule, a very inexperienced fighter or a weakly armed man from the crowd was put up against him. Naturally, he always won such battles, in contrast to the final battle in the famous film "Gladiator", where Commodus is killed by Maximus in the arena of the Colosseum. But this fight is nothing more than a fictional fiction that is often found in historical films.

Gladiators were often the sex symbols of their era. Despite the fact that some ancient historians described gladiators as crude and uncouth slaves, many of them enjoyed great fame among the lower classes. Their portraits were adorned with the walls of many public places; children played war games, pretending to be gladiators; and the most successful fighters had a reputation akin to the popularity of modern athletes. Gladiators were also a kind of sex symbols for women of that era.

One of the frescoes in Pompeii depicts a fighter who catches a group of girls in his nets, and on the other, they are delighted with one of his views. Many women in ancient Rome wore jewelry dipped in gladiator's blood, and some even mixed their sweat with their cosmetics, believing that it could act as an aphrodisiac.

Near the gladiatorial arenas in ancient Rome in special kiosks one could buy animal fat and gladiator sweat. Women have used these substances as cosmetics.

It became fashionable among Roman aristocrats to have personal gladiators who could be good guards. Julius Caesar, for example, maintained 2,000 gladiator bodyguards.

Musicians were invited to the battles, who provided musical accompaniment to the battle, depending on its development.

The bloodshed that often took place in the arena was so great that the fights had to be stopped in order to sprinkle fresh sand on the area, which was slippery with blood.

The half-insane emperor Commodus was very fond of taking part in such battles, which, of course, always ended in his victory. He fought 735 battles as a gladiator! According to legend, he was stabbed to death in the arena. But in fact, he was strangled the day before entering the arena. The film "Gladiator" is dedicated to this story.

Almost all gladiators were slaves. Nevertheless, they received extensive training, a high-calorie diet, and timely medical attention. They tried to treat them with care, without injuring or injuring in vain.

Gladiators received decent rewards for participating in battles. The biggest payment for the performance can be considered the whole palace, which the emperor Nero presented to the gladiator Spikula.

Gladiators were the object of a very solid investment. If the gladiator died, the loss of the sponsor was enormous. Therefore, tickets to shows, where the fight was fought to death, were very expensive: sponsors tried to somehow justify their costs.

The most expensive were the naval battles of gladiators, which were called navmachia. The largest was organized by order of the Emperor Claudius. 50 warships were launched on Lake Fucino near Rome, the number of gladiators was 20 thousand people. The number of spectators was about half a million people.

The arena was often used to punish or execute those sentenced. Once a jeweler who was selling fake jewelry was sentenced to the arena.

When he was brought to the cage, from which the lion was to leave, and the unfortunate man was already preparing for death, a CHICKEN came out of the cage!

The jeweler fainted from the tension.

Spectators at the fights were seated strictly according to their status. The bottom row, or podium (Latin podium), was assigned exclusively to the emperor, his family, senators and vestals.

Few people know that even free gladiators had no civil rights. After a free man at least once tried himself in a battle of gladiators, he was treated with disdain.

The deceased was cauterized with a red-hot iron to make sure that he was dead and not pretending, after which the body was dragged from the arena with hooks.

In 63 AD, Emperor Nero issued a decree allowing free women to participate in gladiatorial tournaments.

In 66, Nero puts on an expensive performance in the city of Puteoli in honor of the Armenian king Tiridates, which was attended by Ethiopians, including women.

Gladiator fights in the Western Roman Empire were banned in 404 AD, when Christianity prevailed in the Roman Empire.

After the prohibition of fights between gladiators, they fought only with animals, their art has survived to this day in the form of a bullfight .

When it comes to the brutal and bloody world of gladiators, we think we know almost everything. The two men fight to the death with swords and minimal armor. Or a team of gladiators fighting wild animals. Whatever the script, the male gladiators were the stars of the show.

But did you know that there were female gladiators who also fought?

In some cases, the battle of gladiators was like modern TV shows or movies. The organizers have always thought of new ways to provide the audience with something extra and stand out from the crowd. One of the results of this was the introduction of women. They were originally presented as an unusual approach to mainstream male action and to give impatient crowds a new thrill.

Much of their original function was to defuse the atmosphere with comical combat before intense male battles. Many female fighters started fighting dwarfs to make the crowd laugh or small animals.

In ancient times, women did not always have the same freedoms as men in some aspects of life. In Roman times, this boiled down to the fact that they were not allowed to visit official gladiator camps to learn how to fight. Instead, it is believed that many female gladiatresses have instead used their own money to hire personal teachers to prepare for their new careers.

One interesting note about female gladiators is how they were perceived by Roman society. Male gladiators were classified as heroes if they survived to gain freedom. They not only received the status of citizens, but could then marry or return to their families.

But not female fighters.

Female gladiators were considered a disgrace to Roman society and were effectively classified in the same group as sex workers. It basically boiled down to the fact that they fought almost naked and sold their bodies for fun. When they finished fighting, they were social outcasts and were considered taboo for any Roman man as wives.

As you can see from the above, becoming a woman gladiator was actually very rebellious and courageous deed ... Women who chose to fight of their own free will did it for fame, fortune and celebrity.

One of the most famous records of female gladiators was found in Turkey. It was a key part of the Roman Empire, and there were amphitheaters for fighting. A plaque found in one of them showed two female fighters named Amazon and Achilles. It was erected in honor of a fierce fight that they ended in a draw, and both won prize money. Many believe that the tie was actually staged to strike an alternative, a happier demise to the historical story of Achilles killing the warrior queen Amazon he loved.

Ancient gladiator competitions were wildly popular throughout the Roman Empire and were like attending a modern soccer game (but with a lot of kills). Many ordinary citizens loved to go to the Colosseum or their local amphitheater to see their favorite fighters in action.

Not missing out on the benefits, crowd gift shops were soon set up to buy merchandise with the gladiators they liked the most. This also included female fighters, who also had doll toys and statues honoring them in these gift shops.

In 2000, archaeologists discovered the grave of a young woman near the site of the old amphitheater in London. When they looked into the grave, they found it filled with valuable trinkets and gladiatorial items. They also found leftovers from expensive food that they believed was eaten at a funeral in her honor. Putting it all together, they are confident that the tomb was one of the famous female gladiators who must have been well known and loved.

As soon as women were given permission to compete, it was immediately taken away.

In 200 A.D. Emperor Septimius Severus attended the Olympic Games in Greece, and after that he forbade all women to fight as gladiators.

But what happened in Greece that made him do it? Many believe that he was influenced by the decision of the Greeks to ban women from entering the Olympics.

It is also believed that they were concerned about the influence of women who decided to pursue careers, and how this influenced the views on marriage in Roman society.

Many of the women we talked about above were free citizens who chose to fight of their own free will. However, like the men, there were also slaves captured by the Roman troops and they were forced to fight. Emperor Nero loved to make them hunt wild animals in the arena, having only a small pocket knife to protect themselves.

The stories of gladiatorial battles have enthralled people for millennia. These warriors with swords and shields were forced to fight for their lives; their imagery has relentlessly inspired the creators of books, paintings, films and television shows. However, as the fighting became more popular, the crowd craved more spectacle.

From now on there was sword and shield not enough .

Types of gladiators


Unlike other gladiators, bestiaries fought for their lives with animals, not their own kind. Especially for these battles, Roman emperors and senators brought exotic and strong animals (for example, lions, tigers, elephants and bears) from Africa and Asia. They served as a symbol of wealth, and were also part of the spectacles that they staged for the crowd in the Colosseum and amphitheaters.


Certain types of animals (for example, elephants) were designed to shock and entertain viewers who had never seen them before. Other animals were supposed to hunt people, and also acted as prey themselves.

There were two types of bestiaries: "damnatio ad bestias" (literally from the Latin "legend to the beasts"; given up to be torn apart by wild animals) and "venatio" ("hunters"). The first type included those who were sentenced to death. They were not considered gladiators and were generally of the lower class in ancient Rome. Their deaths were the entertainment of the crowd. Sometimes one wild animal could kill several hundred people at a time.

The "hunters" trained and hunted animals. This was an integral part of their performances. We know very little about "venatio" because historians and chroniclers did not like to describe them. Unlike other gladiators, "hunters" were despised in ancient Rome. The most famous "venatio" was Karpophorus, who, according to history, killed over twenty animals with his bare hands in the Circus Maximus. Karpophorus also trained animals to kill, hunt, and even rape humans.

Some emperors also demonstrated their prowess in killing animals, however, instead of recognition, they received only the contempt of the crowd. Nero fought animals in the arena, while Commodus “heroically” killed injured and sedentary animals while safe on a raised platform. The latter drew extreme disapproval from the Senate.


The Noxias were the lowest class in Roman society. They were not even considered human. These included Christians, Jews, deserters, murderers, and traitors. Noxius was not taken to the school of gladiators, and their appearance in the arenas, where they died in the most terrible ways, was a kind of punishment for the crimes committed.

Noxias could be killed in several ways: first, they were torn to pieces by wild animals; the second - they were tortured to death by gladiators who were blindfolded and received instructions from the crowd; third, they acted as a target for which real gladiators hunted. The Noxii were generally dressed in a loincloth and had no armor. A simple gladius (short sword) or a stick served as a weapon. The Romans took pleasure in killing Noxias. This served as a reminder that everyone should know their place in the social hierarchy.


Which is better: speed or strength? Death by a thousand cuts or one blow? In ancient Roman times, the answer was unambiguous: the more strength and armor, the better. That is why the retiarii were initially treated as a lower type of gladiator. They had very little armor, so they had to fight using agility, speed, and cunning, as well as a net, a trident, and - in extreme cases - a small blade.


The Retiarii trained separately from the gladiators, who had swords and shields. They were considered effeminate and often ridiculed. The satirist and poet Decimus Junius Juvenal told the story of the petty aristocrat Gracchus, who not only caused general disfavor by becoming a gladiator, but also disgraced society by fighting as a retiary. However, over the centuries, the Retiarii gained mercy and became one of the main in the arena.


Gladiators, who were of the Sector type, had to pursue and defeat the Retiarii. The Sector had powerful armor: a huge shield, a sword, and a round helmet that covered his entire face and had two tiny holes for his eyes.


A typical fight between a secutor and a retiarius began with the latter retreating to a safe distance or, in some cases, climbing onto an elevated platform above the water, where a pre-prepared supply of stones lay. Sector (lat. Secutor - persecutor) pursued the retiarius and tried not to fall into his network or under the hail of stones. He was also afraid of the retiarius trident, which was used to keep the sector from getting too close. The Sekutor was well armed, but he quickly grew tired under the weight of his armor.

Emperor Commodus fought as a sector during the games; he had excellent armor and weapons, which guaranteed him victory. Another famous sector was named Flamm, he was from Syria and fought in the arena in clothes typical for the inhabitants of the territory of Gaul. He took part in 34 battles and won 21 of them. Surprisingly, he was offered freedom four times, but he refused each time.


Equites were similar to the Roman cavalry, but should not be confused. The Roman cavalry were mainly represented by petty aristocrats who held good positions in the Senate and could even become emperors.


Equits, in turn, were renowned organizers of public shows. Performances at the Colosseum typically began with equit battles to revive the crowd with the agility and speed that these gladiators displayed. Sitting on horseback, they attacked each other with spears, and then jumped to the ground and fought with swords. They wore light armor, which made them more agile and athletic.


As we now know, in ancient Rome, different types of gladiators could fight each other in the arena. Provocateurs, however, engaged only with provocateurs.

Бой гладиаторов

The reason was that they did not choose an opponent for them - they themselves challenged him to battle. They fought to settle feuds between the rival gladiatorial schools, or to raise their status by defeating a well-known rival. Each provocateur was armed like a Roman legionnaire: he had a rectangular shield, breastplate and helmet.

Female gladiators

Female gladiators generally wore very little armor, and they almost always had a bare torso. In most cases, they didn’t even wear a helmet so that everyone would know that a woman was fighting in the arena.


Fights between female gladiators, who, incidentally, were armed with a short sword and shield, were rare and perceived as an innovation. Women could fight not only among themselves, but also with dwarfs to cause resentment and shock among the crowd. In some cases, women who had a high status in society could take part in gladiatorial battles. Their appearance in the arena was accompanied by loud scandals .

Ultimately, female gladiator fights were banned in AD 200.

Gall / Murmillon

The Gauls were among the first gladiators to descend from a Gaulish tribe living in Central and Western Europe. Most of them were prisoners who were forced to enter the arena to fight.

Галл - гладиатор

The Gauls were well armed and looked like typical gladiators: they had a long sword, shield and helmet, but wore traditional Gaulish clothing. The Gauls were less agile than other gladiators, so they relied on their strength to attack opponents. They often fought prisoners from enemy tribes.

After the Gauls made peace and became part of the Roman Empire, they began to be attributed to another type of gladiators, who were called Murmillons. Murmillons still used their heavy sword and shield, however they dressed as Roman soldiers and fought other Murmillons, gladiators from enemy regions, and retiarii.

One of the most famous murmillons was named Marcus Attilius, who during his first battle defeated the gladiator from Nero's personal army, Hilarus, and Lucius Felix. Both had more than a dozen victories on their account.


The Samnites are also some of the first gladiators, and they have a lot in common with the Gauls. They were also prisoners of war, but the Samnium region (southern Italy) was considered their homeland.


After the Romans defeated the Samnites, they forced them to participate in mocking ceremonial combat, which later turned into gladiatorial competitions. The Samnites wore traditional military clothing and fought with a sword and rectangular shield. Their opponents, as a rule, were captured soldiers from tribes at war with Rome.

When Samnius became one of the provinces of the Roman Empire, the Samnites ceased to belong to a separate category. They joined the Goplomachs or Murmillons, who wore the same clothes and had similar weapons.


The most popular and well-known gladiator is Spartacus.

He was a prisoner of war from a Thracian tribe living in Southeast Europe. He rebelled against his enslavers, who forced him to fight in the gladiatorial arena. Ultimately, Spartacus was defeated, but the legend of him lives on to this day.

Гладиатор - фркакиец

The Thracians, who had a round shield, curved blade and wide helmet with the emblem of a griffin, were perhaps the most popular of the early gladiators. They often fought the Gauls and Samnites.

Just as we root for different sports teams today, emperors and senators had their favorites among the gladiators. Caligula, in particular, supported the Thracians and even killed a gladiator who defeated his beloved Thracian warrior. Another emperor, Domitian, had such contempt for the Thracians that one day he threw one of the spectators to be torn apart by dogs. What has this poor fellow done? He suggested that the Thracian would most likely win the gladiatorial battle.

Remember in Ridley Scott's film "Gladiator" Proximo brings his fighters to Rome and is housed in a gladiatorial school adjacent to the Colosseum itself? At the bottom of the page, you can take a look at this very moment in the film. So, this school really existed and was called Ludus Magnus ("Big School"). It was founded by Emperor Domitian at the end of the 1st century. AD and completed during the reign of Hadrian (117-138). The location of Ludus Magnus was known to archaeologists thanks to the preserved marble plan of Rome of the Severian era (Forma Urbis Romae), but excavations at the school itself began only in 1937 and proceeded with long interruptions from 1957 to 1961. Thanks to the excavations, the northern part of the school was discovered, including part of the amphitheater that belonged to it, the rest is easy to imagine according to the same marble plan.

Colosseum and Ludus Magnus
Colosseum and Ludus Magnus

The building is constructed of concrete, facing with brickwork on the outside. During its construction, a whole quarter of the August period was demolished, traces of which, incl. the remains of a mosaic floor can be seen in the southern part of the school ruins. In the open to the public view of the site overlooking Labikanskaya Street, you can see the fairly well-preserved remains of small chambers in which the fighters trained at the school lived. The remains of stairs leading to the 2nd floor were also found. Most likely, the building was 3-storey and included up to 145 rooms and two more of their inhabitants. Perhaps their number was even greater, since we do not know how the gladiators lived in the school.

Самая большая гладиаторская школа в Риме (Ludus magnus)
Самая большая гладиаторская школа в Риме (Ludus magnus)

The courtyard of the school had the shape of an elliptical arena with a 62 m long axis and a short 45 m axis. It was here that the gladiators conducted their training. The main entrance to the arena was on the long axis, and on the short one there were boxes for honorary spectators invited to watch the trainings of the gladiators. The spectator stands were large enough with 9 rows of seats. It could accommodate up to 2500 spectators.

On the left - the gladiator's barracks - on the right, the edge of the arena at the school
On the left - the gladiator's barracks - on the right, the edge of the arena at the school
Reconstruction of the arena of the gladiatorial school
Reconstruction of the arena of the gladiatorial school

In addition to the gladiatorial barracks and the amphitheater, the school included a number of auxiliary premises also associated with the games: the spoliary, where the corpses of the soldiers who died in the arena were taken down, samarium, where the wounded gladiators were taken, and the arsenal in which weapons were kept. Probably further to the north was the Mizen camp (Сastra Misenatium), where the sailors in charge of the canopy over the Colosseum lived, and the Summum Choragium, which kept the machines used for the games.

A source

I wrote earlier about a magnificent fresco depicting a duel of heavily armed gladiators, found last fall in Pompeii; and about a mosaic with the image of the sector from Libya.

Learn more about gladiators and their equipment. here и here

Gladiator weapon

Gladiator equipment

Gladiator helmets

The origin of gladiators

Question for connoisseurs: Where were the gladiatorial battles held?

Regards, Nata P

Best Answers

Lady in Red:


Gladiators (Latin gladiator, from gladius - sword) - in ancient Rome - prisoners of war, convicted criminals and slaves, specially trained for armed struggle among themselves in the arenas of amphitheaters. The gladiators of ancient Rome usually fought in public to the death. The duels of Roman gladiators were first organized on the days of the most significant religious holidays, and then turned into the most popular entertainment of ordinary citizens. The tradition of gladiator fights has been maintained for over 700 years.

Gladiatorial battles were adopted by the Romans from the Greeks, Etruscans and Egyptians and took on the religious character of a sacrifice to the god of war Mars. In the beginning, prisoners of war and those sentenced to death were gladiators. The laws of ancient Rome allowed them to participate in gladiatorial battles. In case of victory (with the money received), you could redeem your life. There were cases when citizens, abandoning their freedom, joined gladiators in the pursuit of fame and money.

In order to become gladiators, one had to take an oath and declare oneself "legally dead". From that moment, the fighters entered another world, where cruel laws of honor reigned. The first was silence. Gladiators explained themselves in the arena with gestures. The second law is full observance of the rules of honor. So, for example, a gladiator who fell to the ground and conscious of his complete defeat was obliged to take off his protective helmet and substitute his throat under the enemy's sword, or to thrust his knife into his own throat. Of course, the audience could always grant clemency to those gladiators who fought bravely and were liked by the public, but such clemency was extremely rare.

«Мы жертвуем живыми, чтобы накормить мертвых» — так император Каракалла в III веке нашей эры сформулировал идейную основу гладиаторских боев, вместе со звериными травлями ставших самым кровавым и жестоким зрелищем в истории человечества. Согласно римским верованиям, которые они, в свою очередь, заимствовали у этрусков, зверства должны были умиротворить души умерших. В древности это было высшей честью, которую могли воздать знатному предку благодарные наследники.

Впрочем, поначалу этот этрусский обычай достаточно медленно укоренялся в жизни римлян времен ранней Республики, может быть, потому что им приходилось много работать и много воевать, и в качестве развлечений они предпочитали атлетические состязания, конные скачки, а также театральные представления, разыгрывающиеся непосредственно в толпе отдыхающих. Тогда римлян никак нельзя было назвать любителями созерцания предсмертных конвульсий и стонов раненых, так как этого более чем хватало в их повседневной полувоенной жизни.

Но энтузиасты находятся в любом деле, и в 264 году до н. э. на Коровьем рынке Рима во время поминок по Бруту Пере, устроенных его сыновьями Марком и Децимом, состоялся поединок трех пар гладиаторов (от латинского слова «gladius» — меч) . Но лишь спустя еще почти 50 лет это зрелище получило определенный размах: уже 22 пары гладиаторов на протяжении 3 дней услаждали взоры жителей на погребальных играх, устроенных в память о дважды консуле Марке Эмилии Лепиде тремя его сыновьями. И только в 105 году до н. э. благодаря неустанным заботам народных трибунов об увеселении римской черни, уже начавшей формироваться как социальный класс, гладиаторские бои были введены в число официальных публичных зрелищ. Так джинн был выпущен из бутылки.. .

К исходу II века до н. э. бои, длившиеся несколько дней подряд при участии не одной сотни гладиаторов, не удивляли уже никого. Появились и люди, для которых содержание и обучение гладиаторов стало профессией. Они назывались ланистами. Суть их деятельности заключалась в том, что они находили на невольничьих рынках физически крепких рабов, причем желательно военнопленных и даже преступников, выкупали их, обучали всем премудростям, необходимым для выступлений на арене, а затем сдавали в аренду всем желающим устроить гладиаторские бои.

И все же основную массу профессиональных бойцов арены сос

elena m:


Наталья Усачева:

☜♡☞ Михайловна ☜ღ☞:

Законы Древнего Рима позволяли им участие в гладиаторских боях. В случае победы (на полученные деньги) можно было выкупить свою жизнь. Гладиаторские бои проводились в театрах, на аренах и площадях.

Егор Есин:



Гладиаторские бои проводились в Древнем Риме на площадках амфитеатров и Колизее.


Антон Гущин:



В древнем Риме, даже фильм есть такой Гладиатор


Это видео поможет разобраться

Ответы знатоков


ЕвГений Косперский:

Лентул Батиат — хозяин школы гладиаторов в которой был Спартак.

Alexey Khoroshev:

Гладиаторы (лат. gladiator, от gladius — меч) — в Древнем Риме — военнопленные, осуждённые преступники и рабы, специально обученные для вооруженной борьбы между собой на аренах амфитеатров. Гладиаторы Древнего Рима обычно сражались на публике до смерти. Поединки римских гладиаторов устраивались сначала в дни наиболее значительных религиозных праздников, а затем превратились в наиболее популярное увеселение простых граждан. Традиция боёв гладиаторов сохранялась на протяжении более чем 700 лет. Гладиаторские бои были переняты римлянами у греков, этруссков и египтян и приняли религиозный характер жертвоприношения богу войны Марсу. В начале гладиаторами являлись военнопленные и приговорённые к смертной казни. Законы древнего Рима позволяли им участие в гладиаторских боях. В случае победы (на полученные деньги) можно было выкупить свою жизнь. Были случаи, когда граждане, отказавшись от имеющейся у них свободы, вступали в гладиаторы в погоне за славой и деньгами. Для того чтобы стать гладиаторами, необходимо было принять присягу и объявить себя «юридически мёртвыми». С этого момента бойцы вступали в другой мир, где царили жестокие законы чести. Первым из них — было молчание. Гладиаторы объяснялись на арене жестами. Второй закон — полное соблюдение правил чести. Например, гладиатор, упавший на землю и сознающий своё полное поражение, был обязан снять защитный шлем и подставить горло под меч противника или же вонзить свой нож в собственное горло. Аудитория могла всегда предоставлять милосердие тем гладиаторам, которые отважно сражались и нравились публике, однако такое помилование случалось крайне редко. Впрочем, поначалу этот этрусский обычай медленно укоренялся в жизни римлян времен ранней Республики, потому что им приходилось много работать и много воевать, и в качестве развлечений они предпочитали атлетические состязания, конные скачки, а также театральные представления, разыгрывающиеся непосредственно в толпе отдыхающих. Тогда римлян никак нельзя было назвать любителями созерцания предсмертных конвульсий и стонов раненых, так как этого более чем хватало в их повседневной полувоенной жизни. В 264 году до н. э. на Коровьем рынке Рима во время поминок по Бруту Пере, устроенных его сыновьями Марком и Децимом, состоялся поединок трех пар гладиаторов (от латинского слова «gladius» — меч) . Но лишь спустя еще почти 50 лет это зрелище получило определенный размах: уже 22 пары гладиаторов на протяжении 3 дней услаждали взоры жителей на погребальных играх, устроенных в память о дважды консуле Марке Эмилии Лепиде тремя его сыновьями. И только в 105 году до н. э. благодаря неустанным заботам народных трибунов об увеселении римской черни, уже начавшей формироваться как социальный класс, гладиаторские бои были введены в число официальных публичных зрелищ. К исходу II века до н. э. бои, длившиеся несколько дней подряд при участии не одной сотни гладиаторов, не удивляли уже никого. Появились люди, для которых содержание и обучение гладиаторов стало профессией. Они назывались ланистами. Они находили на невольничьих рынках физически крепких рабов, причем желательно военнопленных и даже преступников, выкупали их, обучали премудростям, необходимым для выступлений на арене, а затем сдавали в аренду желающим устроить гладиаторские бои. Основную массу профессиональных бойцов арены составляли выходцы из гладиаторских школ. Во времена правления Октавиана Августа (около 10 года до н. э. ) в Риме существовало 4 императорские школы: Большая, Утренняя, где готовили бестиариев – гладиаторов, сражавшихся с дикими зверями, школа Галлов и школа Даков. Во время обучения в школе всех гладиаторов сытно кормили и квалифицированно лечили. Гладиаторские бои проходили по-разному. Бывали поединки единичных пар, а иногда несколько десятков, а то и сот пар сражались одновременно. В 8г. Август устроил игры, в которых участвовало 10 000 гладиаторов. Порой на арене разыгрывались целые представления, введенные в практику массовых развлечений Юлием Цезарем.

Schools and gladiator training

Школы гладиаторов

Model-reconstruction of the Big School (Ludus Magnus). Museum of Ancient Roman Civilization, Rome (Museo della Civiltà Romana, Roma), inv. M.C.R. n. 1788.

Gladiator schools ( people ) were private and imperial. The first were run by private entrepreneurs. The owners of the gladiatorial schools, as a rule, belonged to the class of senators, while the governing ( Lanists ) could be freeborn, freedmen, or even slaves. Lanista bought or hired suitable people, trained them appropriately, and then sold or rented out to the organizers of the games. During the period of the Empire, imperial gladiator schools (ludi imperiali) appeared. They existed along with private ones. Imperial people ruled by officials-procurators.

Gladiator schools probably arose soon after the spread of gladiatorial games. However, the first mention of the school of gladiators refers only to the end of the 2nd century BC: in 105 BC. consul Publius Rutilius Rufus used fencing teachers ( doctors ) from the school of Guy Aurelius Scaurus to teach his soldiers the art of swordsmanship. This school was probably located in Capua. In Capua, there was also the school of Gn., Known thanks to the uprising of Spartacus. Lentula Batiatus. Caesar also owned a school of gladiators in Capua, but preferred to send gladiators to study "in the houses of Roman horsemen and even senators who were good at weapons." In letters, he insistently asked to follow the training of each gladiator and often personally supervised their studies. Later, he also built a gladiatorial school in Ravenna. Gladiators from the schools he founded were later famous for their training throughout the Empire and were called "Julians".

The existence of gladiatorial schools in Rome can be traced back to at least the middle of the 1st century BC, when the organizers of the conspiracy against Caesar wanted to use the services of gladiators from a nearby school. From the end of the 1st century A.D. there were already four imperial schools in Rome. The most significant was the Great School (Ludus Magnus), located next to the Flavian Amphitheater (Colosseum). All types of gladiators trained here. An underground passageway connected this school to the Colosseum. Thus, gladiators could appear in the arena unnoticed by the people.

Other schools had a specific specialization: The Morning School (Ludus Matutinus) was designed to prepare venators и bestiaries (hence the name, because venazio was part of the morning program); in the Gallic school (Ludus Gallicus) prepared myrmillons ; and the Dacian school (Ludus Dacicus) accepted prisoners of war destined for the arena after Domitian's war with the Dacians.

The building of only one of these schools (Ludus Magnus) has survived to this day, the ruins of which can be seen next to the Colosseum. The brick building was probably three stories high. Inside there was a courtyard with a portico and four fountains in the corners. The courtyard looked like a small amphitheater, on 9 steps of its stands about 1200 spectators could be accommodated. In the center of the north and south sides were stands for special guests. Two entrances led to the arena, located along the main axes of the amphitheater. The central part of the east side was occupied by a large, pillared chamber believed to be the sanctuary of the cult of the emperor. Gladiators lived in cubicles on the other sides. Presumably, it could accommodate up to 1000 gladiators.

In addition to Rome, Capua and Ravenna, are known people and in other cities of Italy: Pompeii, Nole, Este, Preneste. There were many gladiatorial schools outside Italy, for example, in Britain, Galatia, Cappadocia, Lycia, Pamphylia, Cilicia, Cyprus, Ponte, Paphlagonia, Gaul, Brittany, Spain, Germany and Rezia, as well as in Alexandria in Egypt.

The structure known as the school (or barracks) of gladiators in Pompeii is not really a classic example. This building, located next to the Bolshoi Theater and surrounded on four sides by porticoes with columns, was intended for spectators to walk during the intervals between performances in the theater. A special passage connected it to the theater. In general, this is the oldest building of this type in Italy. It dates back to the 1st century BC. In 62 AD, after an earthquake destroyed the real Pompeian school of gladiators, this building was converted into a gladiatorial school. The passage connecting it to the theater was laid, and two-storey living quarters were built around the courtyard behind the colonnade. On the first floor there were cells of gladiators, on the second - apartments Lanists ... We did not forget to build a large dining room and kitchen. The courtyard was set aside for training gladiators. During excavations, a large number of gladiator's weapons were found here, as well as 18 corpses of adults and one skeleton of a baby in a basket - a consequence of the tragic death of the city during the eruption of Vesuvius in 79 AD.

Members of one school of gladiators formed the "familia gladiatoria", usually named after the host. Representatives of only one gladiatorial school often performed in modest performances. Accordingly, the battle took place between the comrades of the same "family". Only in the games held on a large scale did several gladiator schools take part.

The training of gladiators consisted of strenuous training, a well-balanced diet, massage, and constant medical examinations. Basically, gladiators were fed barley products, which were considered the most beneficial for a healthy and strong body. Because of this, gladiators were often called a derisive nickname. hordearia , that is, "eating barley."

Gladiator training was conducted the doctors , most of whom were gladiators themselves in the past. Usually each such instructor was a specialist in the training of only one type of gladiator, for example retiaries or secutors ... But there were also professionals in two or three disciplines.

Gladiators trained in a small arena usually located in the center of the gladiatorial school. The training weapon was blunt and usually wooden, at least in the initial stages. A training shield (possibly woven from rods) and a wooden sword weighed twice as much as a real combat specimen. The training began with working with a wooden mannequin pole ( palus ). A similar approach was used in the Roman army. Only then did they move on to training battles between one gladiator and another.

The training included mastering not only the technical skills of fencing, but also psychological training. For example, many gladiators from the Caligula school were considered bad fighters, as they could not look at the sword attacking them without reflexively closing their eyes.

From palusa the name of the four ranks of gladiators comes from: primus palus, secundus palus, tertius palus and quartus palus. However, the fame and, accordingly, the market value of gladiators was determined primarily by victories in real battles. Therefore, for each gladiator there was a detailed archive of records, which noted the number of his victories, defeats and, most importantly, how many times he received the highest award - a laurel wreath. This information was indicated in the program of the games and on the gravestones of gladiators. In addition, after his first battle, each gladiator was given a tablet (tessera gladiatoria), which indicated his name, owner, as well as the number of battles and victories.

Gladiator schools

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