The gladiatorial games of the Roman world comprised battle for entertainment and slaughter for profit. Although notorious for the use of prisoners of war, conquered slaves and condemned criminals as dispensable 'extras', some did volunteer for the gladiatorial profession. Spectacle was everything: combatants were encouraged to draw their opponents' blood and prolong death. For citizen and caesar, the gladiators created drama through their violence - and the public loved them for it. This title relates how men, and women too, came to find themselves in the arena. As well as detailing the various types of gladiator, their weaponry and equipment, it reveals what training and daily life was like for each - and how this culminated in their stepping into the arena.
Read an extract of Gladiators
Table of Contents
Introduction · Chronology · Historical background · Recruitment · The Revolt of Spartacus, 73-71 BC · We who are about to die - the condemned criminals · Acquisition of fighters · Danaos - a new recruit · Daily life · Accommodation · Social life and daily routine · Organisation of the schools throughout the empire · Training · Appearance and dress · Undergarments · Fabric body protection · Metal leg and arm defence · Parade armour · Helmets and headgear · The Thracian · The myrmillo · The retiarius · The secutor · Other types of gladiator · Stage hands and arena equipment · Weapons and shields · Gladiator psychology · The rudius · The gladiator in combat · The build-up · The parade in the arena: early morning · The venation: beast hunting · The afternoon show: the noxii · The familia gladiatoria · Retirement · Chances of survival · Colour plate commentary · Re-enactment · Glossary · Bibliography · Index