Gladiators are often portrayed in film and television addressing the Emperor before battle with a salute, inspired by an episode in Suetonius. But scholars question how wide spread this practice actually was.
We are used to the idea of men fighting as gladiators in the Roman arena. But did women fight in a similar manner? In other words, did female gladiators exist in ancient Rome?
Gladiatorial contests are often depicted as bloody and brutal battles to the death, with only the most valiant fighters allowed to survive. But how true is this?
Popular portrayals of the gladiatorial games always present the Emperor presiding over them, gesturing with his thumb to offer his judgement: thumbs-up, the defeated gladiator may live; thumbs-down, he should die. But is there any actual evidence to support this image?