Brill’s New Pauly

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(901 words)

[German version]

The Romans took over the custom from the Etruscan Campania of having gladiators fight at funerals in honour of the person who had died. Gladiators first appeared in Rome on the occasion of the burial of Brutus Pera in 264 BC (Val. Max. 2,4,7). The aristocratic gentes outdid each other in the arrangement of their funerals; therefore the number of gladiators in use steadily increased. Sharp competition for offices supported the tendency in the late Republic for separating the gladiatorial combats ( munus, munera ) from the funerals, in order to repeat them at a la…

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Flaig, Egon (Göttingen), “Gladiator”, in: Brill’s New Pauly, Antiquity volumes edited by: Hubert Cancik and , Helmuth Schneider, English Edition by: Christine F. Salazar, Classical Tradition volumes edited by: Manfred Landfester, English Edition by: Francis G. Gentry. Consulted online on 27 October 2021 <>
First published online: 2006
First print edition: 9789004122598, 20110510

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