Q:

What did Roman gladiators eat?

A:

Roman gladiators had a diet that was primarily composed of grains and vegetables. Gladiators were sometimes able to eat meat, but their diet was mostly vegetarian.

Know More

Full Answer

Because they were highly prized commodities and needed to be kept in good shape for their fights, gladiators subsisted off a diet that was high in protein. They were given three square meals every day that consisted of a combination of vegetables, barley, grains and eggs. Gladiators did occasionally get to eat meat, but it was expensive and difficult to keep fresh.

There are few historical records that detail what gladiators ate, but scientists have been able to determine their diets by examining their bones. By using stable carbon and nitrogen isotope ratio analysis, scientists have come to the conclusion that gladiators ate a mostly vegetarian diet. Protein levels differed between the remains of certain gladiators, indicating that some gladiators might have been able to eat more meat than others.

Scientists also found that the bones of gladiators had a high concentration of calcium. Both historians and scientists believe this is because gladiators drank water mixed with the ashes of plants after their fights. This drink gave gladiators the calcium their bones needed to heal after a fight.

Learn more in Ancient Rome

Related Questions

  • Q:

    What did gladiators wear?

    A:

    Gladiators wore armor assigned to them based on a system of classes. The armor complemented the weapons and other equipment they were assigned. Because most gladiators were male slaves sworn to fight to the death if necessary, they did not usually own or wear anything that did not directly serve this purpose.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What animals did gladiators fight?

    A:

    The gladiators that fought animals, known as bestiarii, fought a variety of vicious mammals, including bears, lions, leopards, panthers and bulls. Contrary to popular belief, the bestiarii were distinct from gladiators. There were two types: those who were criminals or prisoners condemned to death by fighting animals, known as damnatio ad bestias, and those who volunteered to combat animals for pay or glory, known as venatio.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What weapons did gladiators use?

    A:

    Gladiators used a wide range of weapons, including swords, tridents, spears, nets, arrows and shields. Many types of each weapon were used, such as half-swords, broadswords and curved swords.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What was Roman money called?

    A:

    The name of Ancient Roman currency depended on the coin's metal, collectively called aes; a bronze coin was an as, a silver coin was a denarius and a gold coin was an aureus. Ancient Romans also used copper alloy coins called dupondius and metal alloy coins called sestertius.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore