The first recorded gladiator contest was a privately held event in 264 BCE.

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.

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The first recorded gladiator contest was a privately held event in 264 BCE.

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