The gladiator is a well-known and intriguing figure from ancient Rome. This book describes and classifies the main types of fighters and the combat techniques that characterised one of the most important forms of entertainment in the Roman Empire.
This richly illustrated book gives a brief outline of the history of gladiatorial games and the figures associated with them, such as the referee and the lanista. It then goes on to describe the opening processions, the oaths that introduced these events and the gladiators’ barracks where the fighters were trained. Training was, in fact, a key component of the gladiator’s life and a trainer was allocated to each group of men purchased – most gladiators were, in fact, criminals or slaves, rarely volunteers. Each gladiator was assigned a category: lightweight or heavyweight, and, based on that, the fighters were classified as Thraex, Retiarius, Murmillo, Hoplomachus, Provocator and other minor categories. The book closes with the fight’s exciting final moment, in which the public decided the fate – life or death – of the defeated gladiator.