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Occasionally, fights between gladiators and exotic animals were organized. In Lex Arena, you fight with animals such as the lion, elephant and bul.

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Gladiator By Eric Durante? I'm not a fighter and have no one to wear armor around me, so this isn't really garb inspiration...but umm... Hot damn.

Gladiator By Eric Durante? I'm not a fighter and have no one to wear armor around me, so this isn't really garb inspiration...but umm... Hot damn.

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Battle between Gladiators, detail of a gladiator fighting and a victorious gladiator, 320 AD (mosaic), Roman, (4th century AD) / Galleria Borghese, Rome, Italy / Alinari / The Bridgeman Art Library

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Among the cognoscenti, bravado and skill in combat were esteemed over mere bloodshed; some gladiators made their careers and reputation from bloodless victories. Suetonius describes an exceptional munus by Nero, in which no-one was killed, "not even noxii (enemies of the state)."

In the 1st century AD, the idea originated that human blood (particularly gladiator's blood) worked as a cure for epilepsy. Epileptics would congregate around the exit gates of public arenas to consume the blood of the fallen as they were dragged out. Later on, the blood of the executed became the blood of choice for sufferers of epilepsy. Rags or cups were used to collect the blood of the dead. This belief carried on throughout history with the last recorded use of blood as a treatment in…

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Roman gladiators are some of the most iconic characters in world history. The majority of gladiators weren’t actually slaves, but free men who volunteered for a slice of glory and winnings, which makes gladiator fighting seem all the more barbaric. Women also fought in gladiator fights for over 200 years until Emperor Septimius Severus banned their participation. Gladiator fighting lasted for over 650 years of history, until this brutal form of entertainment finally came to an end in 404 AD.

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How to Make Roman Sandals for a Costume

Gladiators fight in an arena, in an ancient Roman mosaic from a villa in Saarland, Germany.

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