Gladiators were fighters in ancient Rome who fought among themselves for the amusement of the public. Gladiator games have been considered a public spectacle since 106 BC.
In Rome itself and throughout the country, it becomes the most beloved sight. We still remember the names of the best gladiators.
Spartacus. Who is the most famous gladiator in history is not worth guessing for a long time. This is Spartak, after which children, ships and football teams are named. Although this person is very famous, it is still not clear who he really was in terms of his origin. The classic version is that Spartacus was a Thracian captured by the Romans. But there are suggestions that the famous gladiator was still a Roman who rebelled and escaped from his legion. Just in those years, Rome waged fierce wars with Thrace and Macedonia, so Spartacus could well have been captured. The attribution to Spartacus of Thracian origin is understandable, because in those days all gladiators were divided, taking into account the type of combat, into Gauls and Thracians, regardless of where the fighters were from at all. And judging by the grammar of the Latin language, the name Spartacus means that he was related to Sparta. Historians have unearthed that the gladiator studied at the school of Lentula Batiatus, where he studied the philosophy of Guy Blossius. There are many interesting moments in it, one of the slogans generally reads: "The latter will be the first and vice versa." In 73 BC. an event well-known in the history of Rome happened - the gladiator Spartacus rebelled together with his 70 comrades. At first it was just a group of fugitive slaves with four strong leaders - in addition to Spartacus, there are Crixus, Cast and Guy Gannicus, the rebels simply robbed their own school and fled with weapons in their hands to the outskirts of Naples. The rebels began to trade in robbery and murder, their army grew at the expense of other fugitive slaves. After a couple of years, the company already numbered more than 120 thousand people who were quietly moving around the country. There was a slave system in the country, and such an uprising endangered the existence of the state. That is why the best military forces were sent to pacify Spartak and his comrades. Gradually, the forces of the slaves were defeated, Spartacus himself was allegedly killed near the Silari River. The last remnants of the mighty army of the rebels tried to flee to the north, but were defeated by Pompey. It was he who received the laurels of the main suppressor of the revolt.
Commodus. Who said that a slave must have been a gladiator? Many free people chose this profession for themselves. There is a historical fact that there was a gladiator and an imperial origin. Commodus, already from an early age, had excellent oratory skills, having learned to make vivid speeches. But the older he got, the less interesting state affairs and caring for his subjects were for him. Commodus was much more interested in entertainment, including sexual ones. The emperor began to show cruelty - the time of his reign was marked by numerous executions and murders. It is no coincidence that Commodus is compared on this indicator with Nero himself. After all, Commodus was not inferior to him either in cruelty or in his depravity. The young emperor had his own harem, in which there were more than a hundred young concubines, and there were even more boys. The emperor himself adored wearing women's clothes and flirted with his subordinates, playing different roles. Among the favorite games of Commodus was the dissection of living people. And it was Commodus who became the first emperor to enter the battlefield as a gladiator. But for a person of royal blood, this was considered an incredible shame. Contemporaries recalled that Commodus was actually an excellent fighter - he skillfully killed dangerous animals. At the same time, he was not at all shy about his entertainment inappropriate for a dignity, and even loved to demonstrate his fighting skills to subordinates. Commodus was also famous for his pedantry - everywhere a clerk followed him, who recorded all the actions and speeches of the emperor. But thanks to this, we know today that the gladiator-emperor took part in 735 battles. Commodus is also known for his belief in various cruel pagan cults, sometimes he even reincarnated in the clothes of the god Anubis. The emperor demanded that his subjects deify themselves, idealize themselves, and for disobedience he simply killed. The death of the tyrant was classic - he was killed as a result of a conspiracy by disgruntled fellow citizens.
Spikul. According to historians, Spikul belonged to such a type of gladiators as murmillons. They were also called myrmillons. The basis of the weapons of such fighters was a half-meter rectangular shield, a gladius. The head of the gladiator was protected by a Boeotian helmet in the form of a fish and with a wavy crest. Spikula's right hand was protected by a mannika. Before the start of the battle, this famous gladiator always wore a bandage on his thigh and was tied with a belt. The upper part of his feet was wrapped in thick windings. The classic murmillon was also equipped with short armor. Spikul went down in history as Nero's favorite. Not without reason, after one of his battles, the gladiator even received a palace, several houses and a land allotment not far from Rome from the all-powerful emperor. Nero himself repeatedly mentioned that in his army of gladiators it was Spikul who eliminated his rivals in the most skillful way. Historians say that the emperor's favorite was also the most experienced fighter. Most likely, he also taught beginners in the art of combat. There are legends that Spikul gained fame as a great lover. In his company, even Nero himself often visited brothels and other similar places of entertainment. And the legendary gladiator died at about the same time as his patron. They say that in the last minutes of his life, Nero even wanted Spikul to kill him. But that, as luck would have it, was not in the palace at that moment. And after the death of the despot, his entourage was mercilessly persecuted. In June 68, Spikula was thrown under the statues of Nero, which people dragged around the forum. So it was not Nero who died at the hands of his favorite, but rather the opposite.
Tumelik. It is believed that this gladiator comes from a noble family. His father was the famous German leader Arminius. And he became famous for the fact that in the depths of the Teutoburg forest he managed to defeat three Roman legions at once. They were commanded by the governor Var. And Tumelik's mother was Tusnelda. That defeat became so humiliating that the Roman Empire could not ignore it. Soon the emperor Tiberius ordered his nephew Germanicus to march and defeat the obstinate Germans. Three times the Romans entered the lands east of the Rhine. They destroyed the fortifications of the tribes, liberated the city of Segest, besieged by Arminius. But most importantly, Tusnelda was captured with her little son Tumelik. Germanicus was just about ready to capture Arminius himself, but then Tiberius called him back to Rome. During the celebration of the triumph in honor of the victory over the Germans, the main witnesses of his success, Tusnelda and Tumelik, walked in front of the chariot of Germanicus. Even Tusnelda's father saw this, being next to Germanicus. So the mother of the young prisoner and his grandfather lived out their lives in a foreign land. Tusnelda became a servant in one of the wealthy houses, she could even outlive her son. Tumelik himself ended up in the gladiator school. When he was eighteen years old, the new emperor was the son of Germanicus - Caligula. Today everyone admits that he was simply an insane ruler. So, he ordered to bring Tumelik into battle. The brave German put on an iron mask on which his rebellious father Arminius was depicted. The gladiator was holding a sword. But against him, Caligula decided not to put other fighters, but ordered to release the hungry lions. It is difficult to judge Tumelik's age, according to some sources he was generally fifteen or sixteen years old at that time.
Enomai. This gladiator went down in history as one of the leaders of the Spartacus uprising, with his right hand. And Enomai commanded the slaves. He was captured by the Romans during the conquest of Gaul by the empire. Enomai was one of those gladiators who studied at the famous school of Lentula Batiatus. This establishment was located in Capua. There is evidence that the conditions for training and living were unbearable in this school. That is why Enomai, without hesitation, spoke in support of his fellow countryman Krix and Spartacus, who was born, as they said, in Thrace. These gladiators took the lead in the uprising. But of the whole trinity, it was Enomai who was destined to die first. Historians are inclined to believe that he died between 73 and 72 BC. And the gladiator died not in the arena and not even on the battlefield, but during the robbery of one of the towns of southern Italy. Historians believe that Enomai was a gladiator for over ten years. Such a long career took place thanks to the enormous strength of the fighter and his literally superhuman endurance. It is reported that in one of the battles, Enomai's nose was injured. It did not grow together very well, which is why it twisted. On the bridge of the nose, a small hump formed. But although the gladiator had a formidable appearance, his disposition remained calm. Enomai even had a sweetheart named Embolaria. There is evidence that Enomai was not the real name of the gladiator, but his nickname, which he received for performances in the arena. After all, Enomai was the name of the son of the god Ares, who was distinguished by a warlike and cruel disposition. In those days, the names of gladiators often became part of their "stage" image. Their own, "barbarian" names, the Romans did not even want to hear, considering them simply ugly.
Batiatus. We have already mentioned the name of this gladiator in connection with his school. But initially he also performed in the arena. After completing an active career, Lentul Batiata founded his own school, which became the largest in the country. There is reason to believe that it was Batiatus who was the mentor of Spartacus himself. And the school opened in Capua became a model for an institution of this type, which soon began to appear throughout the Roman Empire. And Cornelius Lentulus Batiatus lived in Rome. His views were based on materialistic beliefs. And although he called his wards-gladiators only as monsters, Batiatus did it in a playful and affectionate form. The founder of the school himself stated that it is essentially a farm where experimental creatures are raised. Such radical lives had a right to life, gladiators from Capua were really popular. People from the most remote places of the empire came to watch their battles. It was not easy for Batiate to work with gladiators. In addition, it was enough to organize only a couple of fights that were not interesting to the public, as competitors would have removed the school of Batiatus from performances in the Colosseum. The former gladiator himself was well aware of the growing competition from other schools. To increase the motivation of his fighters, Batiatus introduced an interesting motivation system. The owner instilled in his gladiators that life is in fact an ordinary dream that comes to man by the will of the gods. In total, more than two hundred fighters studied at the school. Most are prisoners from Thrace and Gaul. Historians believe that it was the master's cruel attitude towards his gladiators that resulted in a rebellion.
Guy Ganick. It is not known exactly when this gladiator was born and died. Some encyclopedists believe that Gaius Ganik died in 71 BC. And this man went down in history as an ally of Spartacus. He led a large detachment of slaves who rebelled at that time. Gaius Gannik was born in Gaul. But in one of the life stories of Spartacus there is information that his companion belonged to the ancient people of Italy, the Samnites. It was also said that the gladiator had Celtic roots. Most likely, Guy Gannicus ended up in Rome, being captured during the conquests of Gaul. Together with Spartacus, Gaius Gannik studied gladiatorial skills at the Capua school of Lentula Batitat. In Capua, many believed that he was in fact the best gladiator. During the Spartacus uprising, the former gladiator became commander, defeating the regular units of the Romans. In 71 BC. Spartacus, together with Guy Gannik, decided to lead the rebels to Gaul and Thrace. But in the last phase of the uprising, after Spartacus decided to capture the city of Brundisium, an army of twelve thousand people broke away from the main forces. It was headed by Gai Ganik and Kast. But this time the gladiators failed to resist the trained and superior troops of the Romans. In the last battle, Gaius Ganik was brave, as befits a real gladiator. The legendary warrior died near the city of Regia, which is located in the Jurassic of modern Italy. In his Comparative Biography, Plutarch found a place for Guy Gannicus, whom the historian called Guy Kannitius.
Crixus. This gladiator was a Gaul and was in slavery for several years. Crixus fell into captivity, fighting the Romans on the side of the Alloborgs. Crixus, like Spartacus, was a gladiator at the school of Lental Batiatus in Capua. Crixus, along with other fugitives from this school, began to plunder the vicinity of Naples and collect other fugitive slaves. Crixus was one of Spartacus's most important assistants. But after the first military successes, Crixus separated from his leader, remaining in southern Italy. The main forces of the slaves moved north. Plutarch said that the reason for this separation was Krix's arrogance and arrogance. Gauls and Germans, the leader's tribesmen, remained in his army. In the spring of 72 BC. the Roman consul Publicula began to actively fight the army of Crixus. A decisive battle took place near Mount Gargan in Puglia. In the course of it, Crixus was killed. He fought with great courage, killing at least ten legionnaires and centurions. But in the end, Crixus was stabbed with a spear and beheaded. The 30-thousandth army of slaves was defeated. Spartacus honored the memory of his comrades-in-arms by arranging games of gladiators, as was the custom in Rome. Only this time, more than three hundred noble Roman prisoners of war were forced to take part in such events.
Gerardesca Manutius. Speaking about the greatest gladiators, it is worth mentioning the most famous woman who mastered this profession. Gerardesca Manutius is arguably the greatest warrior in history. She killed more than two hundred opponents of different genders in the arena, meeting her death in battle. She was a beauty, with black resin hair and a perfect body. The Roman fans adored her. And Manutius got into the arena just a year before her death. In such a short period, she managed to become a celebrity. The fugitive slave was 28 years old when she fell into a group of tens of thousands of slaves who united under the leadership of Spartacus. In the rebel army, the woman first played the unenviable role of a prostitute.With Spartak, she went all over Italy, in her free time the woman took lessons in working with a sword. This allowed her to become an excellent hand-to-hand combatant with experience in martial arts. In the battle of Lucania in 71 BC, when Spartacus was killed, Gerardescu was captured by Mark Lucinius Crassus. Without thinking twice, he ordered the woman to be crucified along with six thousand other fugitive slaves. But already at the moment when the Amazon was chained to the cross, the Roman suddenly changed his mind. The beautiful Gerardesca liked her bronze skin and spent the night in Crassus's tent. The next day, the commander sent the woman to Capua, to the gladiatorial school. He hoped that this craft would help her become free one day. The basics of gladiatorial combat were given to Gerardesca without much difficulty. Within a few weeks, the first battle of the Amazon took place. The excitement was explained by the fact that Crassus's protégé entered the arena. But it only took the female gladiator five minutes to finish off the muscular and tattooed Greek Tracian. The audience watched with delight as two bodies topless, sweaty from the sun, moved in an attempt to kill each other. As a result, the sword entered the Greek's groin, and thunderous applause shook the amphitheater. The winner used a trick. But the bloody career could not last long. For 11 months, Gerardesca destroyed all its rivals, including the already famous fighters. And the gladiator died in a battle with two dwarfs. During the duel, one of them managed to sneak behind the woman's back and stick a trident right into the kidneys. The former favorite of the public suddenly lost all sympathy at once, which passed to the dwarfs. The entire Colosseum pointed its fingers downward, passing judgment on Gherardesca. According to the rules, the wounded woman is light on her back, in pain. She raised her left finger and at that moment the dwarfs drove their tridents into her stomach and chest, ending the fight. The wounded body of the gladiator was carried away from the arena and simply thrown on a pile of other victims of the battles. So the idol of Rome, the famous female fighter, did not receive the last worthy honors.