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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…

Gladiator Mosaic, Villa Dar Buc Ammera, Zliten.

Gladiator mosaic floor, 3rd century AD, Römerhalle, Bad Kreuznach, Germany. Gladiators (named after the Roman sword called the gladius) were mostly unfree individuals (condemned criminals, prisoners of war, slaves). All gladiators swore a solemn oath (sacramentum gladiatorium), similar to that sworn by the legionary but much more dire: “I will endure to be burned, to be bound, to be beaten, and to be killed by the sword” (uri, vinciri, verberari, ferroque necari, Petronius Satyricon 117).

Caesar Undressing: Ancient Romans Wore Leather Panties And Loincloths

Detail of gladiators from the Villa Borghese mosaic. All are wearing armor or weapons, but some have short tunics and others are wearing only loincloths.

Secutor vs retiarius, Roman gladiator mosaic at Bignor Roman Villa in West Sussex, England.