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The Prominent Gladiators of Ancient Rome

When talking about gladiators, the first image that comes into mind is the gruesome wars and battles they did in ancient Rome. Gladiators are so famous that you can find many movies based on them, such as The Fall of the Roman Empire, Barabbas, and Demetrius and the Gladiators, to name a few.

While you may think gladiators’ names were made up or never existed, that is where you are wrong. You have many well-known gladiator names that have a significant history tied to them.


You can ask most people, and they may have heard the name Spartacus from somewhere. He was a Thracian soldier that was caught and sold into slavery. Lentulus Batiatus of Capua ultimately bought Spartacus, and he was transformed into a great warrior. But little did Lentulus Batiatus know that Spartacus was planning to revolt along with seventy other gladiators. He succeeded in the revolt, where he freed many slaves in Mount Vesuvius. Several Roman armies pursued Spartacus, and his army made up of 70,000 freed slaves. Unfortunately, Marcus Licinius Crassus trapped and killed Spartacus in Southern Italy in 71 B.C.


Another gladiator name that is well-known worldwide is Mevia. She is one of the many female gladiators that existed in Rome back then. While male gladiators fought with other male gladiators, she was only used as a novelty and displayed to fight wild animals using a spear. What made people like her was that she did everything topless, making it a great spectacle during the gladiator battles.


He is not usually known by many, but Tetraites was a force to be reckoned with back then. He was widely famous across the Roman Empire. Historians even discovered accounts of his battles within Pompeii’s ruins’ graffiti and on different pottery discovered all around the empire. The images portrayed Tetraites as a gladiator fighting using only a shield, sword, and minimal armor covering his body.

A picture depicting how gladiators dressed during their fights in the gladiator ring.

Emperor Claudius

Emperor Claudius is one gladiator that started as a cruel and violent ruler. Rome’s people only knew him as a vain ruler, but he wanted to prove them wrong that he is more than that, and he did it by entering the ring and fighting other gladiators. Unlike the other highly-skilled gladiators, he was not a prominent fighter, so the only way he could win was to fight in fixed match-ups.


Crixus was never fond of Lanista, the head of a gladiator school and his owner. Soon afterward, he escaped the school where Lanista was in and battled in a slave rebellion versus the Roman Senate. He continued being rebellious, even towards the rebellion leader. He got fed up with them, so he decided to start a rebellion group of his own. His group traveled to Southern Italy and planned to destroy everything, but the Roman armies killed him before arriving.


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