The word gladiator means Prize Fighter. Ancient Rome used gladiators during war. Rome's government needed many soldiers to fight in the army; so many slaves and prisoners were used to entertain the Romans during gladiator games.This kept the people of Rome used to fighting and used to the sight of people being killed.
Most gladiators were slaves or soldiers taken prisoner during war and were sentenced to death. Gladiators were from so many different parts of Rome that many of them spoke different languages.
Gladiators were trained to fight in special camps.There were many different kinds of gladiators. A Staminate was slow and heavily armed with a curved sword and shield. The faster gladiators were called Retiarus and Thraex. These gladiators were armed with nets and and a trident, which was a three-pronged spear. To make the fights fair, each type of gladiator fought against each other.
The Collosseum was the most important building in Rome. Most gladiator events were held here.The Collosseum held 55,000 people. It contained four separate arenas: three of these floors had huge arched entranceways; the fourth had rectangular entranceways.The Collosseum was 144 feet high and was made of wood, sand and huge marble blocks.
Gladiator games lasted ten days and were considered official holidays in Rome.The people of Rome thought that these games were glamorous and very exciting. Gladiators fought to death. If a gladiator killed his opponent, he would be able to live until he fought the next fight. If a gladiator was wounded during a fight, he could beg the crowd for mercy. If the crowd thought that he had fought as hard as he could and showed courage, they would give thumps-up. If they thought that he didn’t fight a good fight, they would give the thumbs-down. If this happened, his opponent would kill him on the spot. Many times a gladiator who won many fights would become a crowd favorite,


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