Roman Gladiator


A Roman gladiator was an ancient professional fighter who usually specialised with particular weapons and types of armour. They fought before the public in hugely popular organised games held in large purpose-built arenas throughout the Roman Empire from 105 BCE to 404 CE (official contests).

More about: Roman Gladiator


  • 264 BCE
    First recorded Roman gladiator games organised by two sons to commemorate the death of their father.
  • 105 BCE
    First official Roman gladiator games.
  • 73 BCE - 71 BCE
    Gladiator Spartacus leads a slave revolt in southern Italy and wins several victories against the Roman army.
  • 71 BCE
    Marcus Licinius Crassus crushes the Spartacus slave revolt in southern Italy.
  • 59 CE
    A riot in the arena of Pompeii between locals and citizens of Nuceria results in a ten-year ban on gladiator games in Pompeii.
  • 72 CE
    Vespasian begins construction of the Colosseum in Rome.
  • 80 CE
    The Colosseum in Rome is officially opened by Titus with a 100 day gladiator spectacular.
  • 81 CE - 96 CE
    Construction is finally completed on the Colosseum of Rome in the reign of Domitian.
  • 200 CE
    Roman Emperor Septimius Severus bans women fighting in gladiator contests.
  • c. 404 CE
    Roman Emperor Honorius outlaws gladiator games.