Gladiators: Heroes of the Colosseum

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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.

Organized by Contemporanea Progetti, srl and Expona in collaboration with the Colosseum, Rome. Local support provided by HMW Entertainment.
Curator: Dirk Van Tuerenhout Ph.D.

Dr. Van Tuerenhout joined the Museum staff full-time in 1999. Dirk Van Tuerenhout, Ph.D., Curator of Anthropology Dr. Van Tuerenhout is an expert in human cultures, especially those of Latin America, and is well versed in archaeology and anthropology. He took part in excavations of Late Roman ruins in his….

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