Gladiators were a big part of Ancient Roman culture. As people needed some entertainment as well as food, gladiator fights were one of the most popular events along with theater and parties. While men fighting between themselves and against animals is well known and often depicted in films, female gladiators or gladiatrix were something very exotic; as a result very little is known about them. Let’s see if you’ve heard of any of these facts before.
Gladiatrix is the modern name that is used to describe female gladiators. The evidence of their existence is very scarce so the name was added recently. Still “female gladiator” is mainly used to name these warriors.
Female gladiators were a novelty so in the beginning all the attention was drawn to them. They had special audiences and performed in front noble citizens and foreign visitors.
It was illegal
Due to such popularity of this form of entertainment, gladiators were under particular legal regulation. The children of influential citizens were not allowed to be gladiators. This was later extended to children and citizen women. This, however, didn’t prevent low class women joining in. Gladiators’ wives, partners or followers could fight equally against men.