At the peak of gladiator fighting in ancient Rome, during the Late Republic, gladiator combat was at its highest. It was believed this was mainly due to sponsors looking for self-promotion. It should be noted the sponsors were people of power and who needed some type of political gain from these gladiatorial fights and entertainment. An example of this would be an emperor of Rome holding 100 days of games to get the citizens satisfied with his rule or a wealthy private citizen holding these games until Election Day to influence votes. The list is endless with how corrupt ancient Rome was. The sponsors, emperor, and wealthy used any tactic to get what they wanted. As a consequence, many of them paid a heavy price for their corruption and were assassinated. This was a vicious cycle as people craved power, wealth, and ultimate control. With this said, gladiators became big business for trainers, owners, and was an industry within Rome.
Because gladiator fights were used as a form of inducement and political gain, anti-corruption laws were created in 65 and 63 BCE in an attempt to curb all the corruption. However, this did not curb the corruption as most Romans found a way around the laws. Furthermore, they were not willing to give up their barbaric forms of entertainment as they were used to it.
Click on the below topics to explore and learn more about the Ancient Roman gladiators and how influenced Roman culture!
- Gladiator: Animals Were Also Part of Gladiatorial Games
- Gladiator: Female Gladiators also known as Gladiatrix
- Gladiator: The Decline of Gladiators
- Gladiator: What was a Gladiator?
- Gladiator: Where did Gladiators Come From?