Heroes or Victoms
Why did they fight?
They fought because they had to. Gladiators were slaves and did not have any rights
What the Gladiators used to fight with
Would use to protect themselves. Uncommon.
Where they fought and where all the spectators sat.
They were victims!
Why were they victims?
They are forced to fight. They are trained for long periods of time so that they could get themselves killed. Most fights are rigged so that one person has the advantage and the chances of you getting armor are very slim. They are basically peoples property. You are under the command of a lanista and you must do what they say.
They were also heroes!
Why were they heroes?
If they won their match then they would be gain fame and respect instantly. People would look up to them. They would be treated well. Slaves and prisoners of wars will actually have some respect.
That is why gladiators are both heroes and victims. Heroes because of all the respect they would get but victims because if they lose then they die basically. It all depends on how you look at it and when you look at it.