Female gladiators and the cult of the gladiatrix

Origins of gladiatorial combat: The notion of gladiators originated with the Etruscans, who preceded the Romans in central Italy.

A fight to the death: A clash between gladiators was a bloody duel to the death between armed men.

To live or die: Gladiators fought before the public in organized games held in large purpose-built amphitheaters.

A banned sport: Female gladiators in ancient Rome were scarce. But evidence uncovered in art, laws.

Set in stone: The most tangible proof that women participated in the brutal sport during the late Roman Republic.

Female gladiator burial site: In 1996, archaeologists from the Museum of London discovered fragments of a charred female pelvic bone.

Grave concerns: The assumption that they'd stumbled upon a female gladiator burial site was based on the decorative items.

A fighting female: Another intriguing work of art said to depict a gladiatrix is the 2,000-year-old.

A novelty attraction: Gladiatrices who fought and died in the arena were often marketed as a novelty attraction.

Not for women: Furthermore, the gladiatrix deviated from the norms of Roman womanhood.

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