Gladiator Barracks

Gladiator Barracks

Episode 27

We know that Gladiators fought in games held in the Circus Maximus but where did the Gladiators live?
They lived in barracks, as soldiers still do today.

We based the design of the gladiator barracks that you see in Episode 27 on the ones which were found in a town called Pompeii. Pompeii was an Italian town which was buried under 18 metres of ash when the volcano, Mount Vesuvius, erupted in 79AD. This meant that when archaeologists excavated the town over a thousand years later, they found that many buildings had been preserved (kept safe) in quite good condition.

Photographs that we found on the internet showed that the barracks were built around a courtyard and we know that the courtyard was surrounded by rooms where helmets and armour were stored. The gladiators practised in the courtyard area so they both trained and lived in the barracks.

Gladiators trained hard like today’s athletes. They had to know how to use various weapons including chains, swords, daggers, tridents and nets – like the ones we see Macky using in Episode 28. Many weapons were found well preserved in Pompeii and are now kept in the museum there.

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