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Gladiator school unearthed in Austria

Posted on Thursday, 27 February, 2014 | Comment icon 14 comments

Gladiators fought to the death in the Colosseum. Image Credit: Jean-Leon Gerome
Archaeologists have uncovered the first gladiator training facility to be found outside of Rome.
The remains of the school were found hidden underneath a pasture near Carnuntum in eastern Austria and are now helping researchers understand what life might have been like for those unfortunate enough to have lived there.

"It was a prison; they were prisoners," said archaeologist Wolfgang Neubauer. "They lived in cells, in a fortress with only one gate out."

The school was believed to have been home to up to 80 gladiators who lived in a large two-story facility and trained in a central courtyard. Despite being unable to leave, the men would have enjoyed at least some luxuries courtesy of Roman engineering such as hot baths and heated floors to enable training during the wintertime.

"The find at Carnuntum gives us a vivid impression of what it was like to live and train as a gladiator on the chilly northern border of the Roman Empire," said gladiator expert Kathleen Coleman.

Source: National Geographic | Comments (14)

Tags: Gladiator, Rome

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #5 Posted by pallidin on 27 February, 2014, 17:00
Wow. Interesting read. I had no idea that there were some "training schools" outside of Rome.
Comment icon #6 Posted by Likely Guy on 27 February, 2014, 17:19
I thought that a training school was found in Britain a few years back.
Comment icon #7 Posted by ancient astronaut on 27 February, 2014, 22:04
I believe you are correct, I remember reading that as well.Did the find Maximus's remains?
Comment icon #8 Posted by :PsYKoTiC:BeHAvIoR: on 28 February, 2014, 17:23
But it kind of explains Arnold Schwarzenegger's lineage.
Comment icon #9 Posted by coolguy on 1 March, 2014, 5:13
Very cool find, did they find weapons
Comment icon #10 Posted by Peter B on 1 March, 2014, 9:22
As far as my (limited) knowledge goes, gladiatorial combat was the entertainment of choice of people across the Roman Empire, not just those lucky enough to live in the Eternal City. As it wouldn't be practical to train gladiators in Rome and export them across the Empire, it makes sense that there'd be schools across the Empire too. Also, don't forget that the gladiator school Spartacus broke out of was in southern Italy, not Rome.
Comment icon #11 Posted by ambelamba on 1 March, 2014, 14:49
I think Roman Empire was whole lot more vast and organized than I thought...
Comment icon #12 Posted by Sir Wearer of Hats on 1 March, 2014, 22:43
am I the only one who repeatedly reads that title as "Gladiator school unearthed in Australia"?
Comment icon #13 Posted by Peter B on 1 March, 2014, 23:55
No. :-)
Comment icon #14 Posted by Peter B on 1 March, 2014, 23:58
Obviously I don't know how organised and vast you thought it was, but consider that in the 2nd century, at the Empire's peak, it probably had a population around 50 million, with Rome containing close to one million of them. At the time it had an army of 25-30 legions, each of 5000 legionaries and 5000 miscellaneous auxiliary troops, a total of about 250,000 soldiers.

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