The Silk Road mentions the violence of Rome, so I spent a little time reading/learning about gladiators. The first recorded event was a private affair organized by two sons at their father’s funeral in 264 BCE. 150 years later — in 105 BCE — Rome began holding official gladiator battles, which were immensely popular. They ran for over 500 years, until 404 AD. In the final contest, a monk who intervened to stop the battle was killed by the crowd. It has been estimated that 8.000 people died every year in the gladiator ring through various means.