By: Sean Halko & Darren Rimlinger

Where Ancient Roman Gladiators Heroes or Victims

This question raises a good argument. There are many great points to argue over. In this project we will explain what we think about this question.

Our Questions

  • Who could become a gladiator?
  • Was being a gladiator a punishment or an honor?
  • Did people volunteer to be gladiators?
  • Could women be gladiators?
  • When you became a gladiator was there a way to become free again?
  • How did the Citizens view them?
  • What did the Gladiators wear?
  • Were the Gladiators trained?
  • How were they trained?
  • What did the Gladiators fight?
  • What did the Gladiators fight with?

Article One

“Who were the Ancient Roman Gladiators?”

- Most gladiators were recruited from the ranks of criminals who had lost their citizenship rights, as well as slaves and prisoners of war, who had no rights whatsoever.

-They did not receive the choice of choosing that position.

-However, some men, who did have their citizenship rights and were considered free-born, gave themselves up to be Gladiators.

-This was done by swearing an oath to their master and gladiatorial troupe.

-Doing this would ensure that they are willing to endure the punishment and other things that would come along with the job. This may have included death.

Article Two

-The Gladitorial games and the institution of the arena was one of the defining features of the Roman civilisation.

-To be a Gladiator was one of the most reaspected positions to be put in. Hardly any people ever even that that this was crule and unusual and even the Gladiators them selves did not think of shame to be a Gladiator.

-Gladiators were subjected to a rigorous training, fed on a high-energy diet,and given expert medical attention.

-It was costly for the sponsors to supply the blood shed the audience often demanded, if they did allow a gladiator to be slain it was seen as a sign of thier generosity.

- Some emperors with a odd sense of humour made upper-class Romans (of both sexes) fight in the arena.

Article Three

-Gladiators weremainly slaves, captured during the numerous wars Rome fought to expand its territory.

-The games began early, lasted all day and were usually divided into three presentations. Morning, a lunch break, then afternoon.

-The primary purpose of a gladitorial game was to entertain the spectators.

-Music provided a pairing with the event as the band varyed the tempo of its play according to the action in the arena. The crowd would ultimately decide whether the loser would live or die.

-Much like a modern boxing match, the duels were governed by strict rules and overseen by a referee to make sure these rules were followed.

Article Four

-Little is known about the women who joined in the violent spectacle, but tantalizing clues to their existence can be found throughout ancient Roman literature, history and art.

-Death was not always assured in gladiatorial combat.

-Women are known to have served as specialty performers in the amphitheater as well.

-They ate a special diet and were kept in top condition by doctors and masseurs.

-Gladiators embodied danger and excitement, so it’s little wonder that many Romans citizens were attracted to the arena.

Article Five

-One of the most famous buildings in Rome is the Colosseum.

-The events staged at the Colosseum were many.

-All sorts of animals were kept in cages below the Colosseum.

-These shows were usually free to the public.

-Many people will know of the Roman gladiators, chariot racing, the Colosseum in Rome as we have a great deal of writing and other evidence about these things from the times of the Romans themselves.

Movie Article

· A lot of times the animals would be afrade of the crowd so they would not attack. If that happend it would be the beast masters reasponsibility. Some punishments would be death.

· The audience chose the outcome they liked best.

· The only fight recorded in deatal was against two famous Gladiators.

· The audience loved to watch grusome events.

· After winning, the gladiator was granted his freedom.


We think Gladiators were both heroes and victims. It depends upon the fighter. If he volunteered he was honored and a hero. If he was enslaved he was a victim to be slaughtered.