Gladiator combat has evolved into one of the defining symbols of ancient Roman culture. Immortalized by films, gladiators locked in mortal combat for the entertainment of the crowds in Rome’s Colosseum are larger-than-life figures in our mind. However, what went on behind the scenes? The exhibit, Gladiators: Heroes of the Colosseum, provides answers in two arenas: that of the gladiators and that of the Colosseum. The exhibit takes us through time and through the Roman Empire. Featuring original artifacts from the Colosseum never before exhibited outside of Italy, this large international exhibit illustrates the compelling and fascinating world of the gladiators.
This exhibit also explores the behind-the-scenes lives of the gladiators and the colossal stage upon which their fate was determined, the Colosseum. Theirs was a world of specialized training, discipline, regulation, and peril, but also of hope of fame, redemption and even wealth and freedom. Original armor and related archaeological artifacts from the Colosseum and other Italian museums are included.