Going through tough, rough, sometimes to-the-death battles in ancient Rome, the gladiators were the superstars of the day. The battles brought in thousands of fans to the arenas; even powerful patriarchs graced these spectacles with their presence. Gladiators were traditionally purchased as slaves and given fancy gifts, even freedom, if they won enough victories. Given these crude circumstances the gladiators had many supporters who acknowledged their glory and fame outside of the arena as well as inside. Many of these names are still well-known today.
Top 7 Famous Gladiator Names
A Thracian soldier, captured and sold into slavery, known as Spartacus is the most famous of the gladiators. The man who purchased him, Lentulus Batiatus of Capua had the intention of transforming Spartacus into a great gladiator. He did not know that Spartacus was not going to give up his freedom so easily.
In 73 B.C. Spartacus led a revolt with seventy other gladiators, including Crixus. Lentulus Batiatus did not survive the revolt and the escaped gladiators went to Mount Vesuvius, setting many other slaves free along the way.
Many Roman armies went after Spartacus and his new army of 70,000 freed slaves. In 71 B.C. Marcus Licinius Crassus was finally able to trap and kill Spartacus in Southern Italy.
Flamma lived to fight in thirty-four battles, twenty-one of which he won. Although he only lived until thirty, he was offered the rudis four times. When a gladiator received the rudis, they were free to live as a normal Roman citizen. Flamma, the Syrian gladiator, chose to continue fighting and refused the rudis.
One of the gladiator names known around the world is Mevia, one of the few female gladiators. Rather than being on equal ground as the male gladiators, Mevia was used as a novelty and was known for fighting wild animals with a spear. Having to do all this topless made her quite the spectacle during the gladiator battles.
Known as an extremely vain ruler, Emperor Claudius took the ring to obtain even more glory. He was known as a violent and cruel ruler. Although he did not receive lavish praise for his wins, Claudius continued to take the gladiatorial ring to fight in unfair match ups.
Unknown by many, Tetraites was renowned across the Roman Empire. Historians found his battle accounts within graffiti in the ruins of Pompeii and on pottery found throughout the empire. These images tell of him fighting only with a sword, shield, and simple armor.
Specializing in Bestiarii, Carpophorus was the best gladiator who combated beasts. Most of the time, he would fight many creatures at one time. Carpophorus is known for taking down a bear, leopard, and lion during the same battle at the opening of the Flavian Amphitheatre. This is one of the most popular gladiator names.
Crixus was a Gallic gladiator who greatly disliked his Lanista (his owner and head at the gladiator school). Crixus soon escaped the school and fought in a slave rebellion against the Roman Senate. Crixus continued to rebel, even against the rebellion leader, and created his own rebellion group. He and his group set out to destroy Southern Italy. However, the Roman armies killed Crixus before he could get revenge on his oppressors.