If you went to watch the fights in the morning then you would see they would throw gladiators in with animals for an entertaining breakfast and they had to kill the animal or they wouldn't come out at all.
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Gladiator (1/8) Movie CLIP 1. There was a lot of fire. 2. When Gladiators battled they wore helmets, chest protectors, bow and arrows, axes, and shields. When Gladiators fought it was hand on combat, no guns or anything.