(A Bit of History According to Strongblade)
In ancient Rome, the Legionnaires may have gathered the triumphs, but it was the gladiators who captured the hearts and imaginations of the denizens of Rome.
They were the super sports star of the Roman world. Only, they didn't get paid. And most of them were prisoners. And they didn't get any endorsement contracts. And if they didn't play well, they tended to die. (Hmm... this analogy seems to be falling apart on me). They were, however, given zealous respect for their athletic ability, martial prowess and Rugged good looks. In fact, it is said that the greatest prize for a noble woman was to bed a gladiator (even if it wasn't deemed socially acceptable). In even more fact, some noble women are said to have purposely been impregnated by gladiators so that they would have strong children (Emperor Commodus is said to have been conceived in this manner, although that has been disputed). It's funny that some of the oldest examples graffiti in history, found scrawled on Roman walls, said things like "Celadus, suspirium puellarum" ('Celadus makes the girls swoon.' Celadus being a famous gladiator in Rome). (Credit goes to the BBC for that tidbit of historical trivia). One last similarity between gladiators modern athletes; Like super star sports figures of today, many gladiators were criminals (hehe).
Gladiators usually were trained in one particular school of combat or another. Often, the region from which they came determined what type of gladiator they would become. Below is a short list of some of the popular types of gladiators:
Inspired by Model SBH-GLADIATOR