Roman gladiators vase

A bigger picture

The main forms of large-scale public entertainment in the Roman world were gladiatorial combat, chariot racing and theatre. Evidence for all three can be found in the monumental buildings in which they took place and in thousands of smaller objects, including expensive finely carved sculptures, elements of interior decoration such as mosaics and paintings, figurines and cheap clay lamps, which may have been sold as souvenirs outside the venues. Here is a selection.

Coin from Rome showing the Colosseum

17-bigpic-01 See more See more: https://www.google.com/culturalinstitute/beta/asset/brass-sestertius-of-titus-showing-the-colosseum/YAGt2yw-1ZLJiA

Marble relief with lion and gladiator


A marble sculpture from Ephesus, in present-day Turkey, showing an animal fight.

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Marble relief with female gladiators


A marble sculpture from Halikarnassos, in present-day Turkey, showing two women gladiators.

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Ivory figure of a gladiator


From Colchester, England.

See more See more: https://www.google.com/culturalinstitute/beta/asset/gladiator-figurine-of-bone-or-ivory/uAHoA-abiJP-bw

Lamp showing a chariot race


A clay lamp from Italy showing crowds watching a chariot race in the Circus Maximus in Rome. The only circus in Britain has been found at Colchester.

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Mosaic pavement


Part of a mosaic floor from Italy showing a comic theatre mask.

See more See more: http://www.britishmuseum.org/research/collection_online/collection_object_details.aspx?objectId=446618&partId=1&searchText=roman+theatre+mask&images=true&page=1
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Roman gladiators vase