Weird History

Insane Facts You Didn't Know About What It Was Like Being a Roman Gladiator

Gladiators were the rock stars of the Roman Empire. But what was gladiator combat like? How did the slaves of the arena fight and survive over centuries worth of matches? Gladiator combat was a little different than movies would have you believe. Since myth is often more entertaining than reality, it can be hard to differentiate between fact and fiction, especially with history as distant as that of Ancient Rome. Lucky for you, here's a list explaining the real deal with what went on in the arena. It's pretty crazy.

Gladiators weren't just slaves who fought one another other. They were financial investments, religious instruments, and a way for rich Roman nobles to gain favor with the masses. So ingrained in Roman culture were the ways of the arena, several Roman emperors infamously took to the sands themselves. Nero even competed in a chariot race. Even today, thousands of years later, we romanticize the events that took place in the Colosseum. Read on if you've ever asked, "what were gladiator fights really like?" or "how did gladiators fight?"