From the high-walls and cheering crowds of the Coliseum to the dark dungeons where prisoners spent their last peaceful moments, Konstantin Nossov brings the world of the Roman gladiator to life. Using the latest research, Konstantin reconstructs the history of these men who battled for the entertainment of the masses, covering the evolution of gladiatorial combat, the types of gladiator, their equipment, their way of life, and their social status. Although most gladiators were slaves, who fought and died at the whims of the crowd, many were able to elevate their status and their lives through victories in the arena to become as popular as today's superstar athletes. Gladiators came from almost every walk of Roman life, from slaves and prisoners forced to fight to volunteers and even nobles who relished the opportunity to test their martial skills. This book covers all aspects of these warriors and paints an intimate portrait of their complex, dangerous and often deadly lives.