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The main difference between a male and a female gladiator was the fact that a woman fighting in the arena was not a slave. Probably in later Roman period, gladiatrices were also people from slavery. Originally, however, women voluntarily took part in gladiatorial battles, seeking adventures.

They were usually Roman women from rich homes that liked to fight and treated rivalry in the arena as entertainment, sport or just a way to play an important role in society. Women did not look for money because they were rich. The most important thing was to convince the person organizing the fight to accept a willing Roman woman to the school of gladiators.

According to the account from Tacitus (56-117 CE), fights between gladiatrices were reluctantly viewed by noblemen, however, willingly by the general public. Senators thought watching women in the arena was dishonor.


  • Grant Michael, Gladiatorzy, 1980

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