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            The culture of Ancient Rome had a distinct way to entertain its citizens. Besides spending times at the baths, Romans found pleasure and delight in the "games" held at the local coliseum. These games were among the bloodiest displays of public amusement in the history of man. Professional wrestling and boxing today, do not come close to the disgusting horrors that the people of Rome took so much pleasure in observing. Although the games were very bloody and extremely brutal, often killing many men and animals, the Romans enjoyed the scenery of life and death being very near. Watching men fight and eventually die a dreadful death, is what fascinated the Roman population in great degree as the games were one of their favorite ways to spend their leisure time. The ancient Romans had a very bloodthirsty taste for entertainment exhibited in the form of gladitorial combat. The essence of the bloodthirsty entertainment was in the form of the gladiator. The word gladiator comes from the Latin for swordsman, from gladius or sword. The first gladiators were part of a sacrificial rite adopted from the Etruscans in 264, BC, nearly 500 years after the founding of Rome (Johnston 238). The sons of Junius Brutus first displayed gladiatorial combat when they honored their father at his funeral by matching three pairs of gladiators. Gladiatorial combat was originally part of a religious ceremony that was intended to insure that the dead would be accompanied to the "next world" by armed attendants and that the spirits of the dead would be appeased with his offering of blood (Johnston 286). Gladiators were generally condemned criminals, prisoners of war or slaves bought for this purpose. By the end of the empire, even free men volunteered to fight in hopes of receiving the great glory of a gladiator (Corbishley 44). The gladiators fought in various styles, depending on their background and training. Gladiatorial combat was so important to ancient Romans that they had gladiator schools to train men to be machines of slaughter for the scheduled entertainment (Johnston 287).

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