Any gladiator who had beaten his opponent in the arena could call himself a veteranus. The top veteranus within each gladiator school was the one who had won the most contests and would therefore be honoured with the title primus palus ...
Author: Ben Hubbard
Publisher: Amber Books Ltd
A 'fascinating, well-produced guide to the world of the gladiator' History Revealed magazine, Visual Book of the Month 'When everyone had had plenty to eat and drink they called for the gladiators. The moment anyone’s throat was cut, they clapped their hands in pleasure. And it sometimes even turned out that someone had specified in their will that the most beautiful women he had purchased were to fight each other....' – Athenaeus, The Learned Banqueters With their origins as blood rites staged at the funerals of rich aristocrats, gladiatorial combat is one of the defining images of ancient Rome. For more than 600 years, people flocked to arenas to watch these highly-trained warriors participate in a blood-soaked spectacle that was part sport, part theatre, and part cold-blooded murder. On a single day at Rome’s famous Colosseum, 3000 men fought; on another, 9000 animals were slaughtered. Gladiatorial contests were a spectacular dramatization of the Roman emperor’s formidable power. Gladiator looks at life and service in the Roman arenas from the origins of the games in the third century BCE through to the demise of the games in the fifth century CE. It explores the lives of the prisoners of war, criminals, slaves, and volunteers who became gladiators, their training, and the more than 20 types of gladiator they could become, fighting with different types of weapons. From Spartacus’s slave revolt to the real Emperor Commodius who liked to play at being a gladiator, from female gladiators to the great combats involving hundreds of expensively acquired exotic animals, Gladiator is a colourful, accessible study of the ancient world’s famous warrior entertainers.