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Roman Gladiators

            Many have wondered, why the Roman Empire was so great. Rome was so great because it was the first village that grew into an empire, entertained every one with a vast variety of events, a functional law system, and several advances in technology.
             Rulers such as Julius Caesar gained popularity by providing entertainment. These entertainment events were free to the public and were paid and sponsored by the emperors to gain popularity. One of the most popular entertainment events was held at the Colosseum, located in Rome. Some people gathered at the Coliseum from hundreds of miles to see the glorious gladiator battles. Rome was not the only city to have an arena, every city that could afford one had it.
             Gladiators were usually slaves, condemned criminals, prisoners of war, or even on occasion women who were sentenced to fight, knowing that eventually they would be killed. Since the gladiators were from different places and parts of the Rome empire many of them spoke various languages. If a gladiator has had a successful career, he would be granted freedom.
             The gladiators were trained to fight in special camps. Not all gladiators fought in the same way: there were many kinds of armor and weapons. Gladiators were ranked in categories according to their fighting style and the type of weapon they used. Samnites wore the heavy, magnificent armor of soldiers. It included a large shield, a leather or partly metal greave on the left leg, and a visored helmet with huge crests and plumes. To these were added sword or lance, and the sleeve on the right arm, which was part of a gladiator's general equipment. Sectores were armed with a sword and mace loaded with lead. Thraces carried a curved scimitar of varying shape, and a small square or round shield. Myrmilliones carried a shield and a short scythe and wore a distinctive fish ornament on their helmets. The Retiarii were completely uncovered, except sometimes for a headband.

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