He advanced into Italy at the head of a licentious and ruffianly soldiery, and Rome became the scene of riot and massacre, gladiatorial shows and extravagant feasting.
He is also to be credited with the abolition of the gladiatorial shows in 404 (although there is said to be evidence of their existence later), a reduction of the taxes, improvements in criminal law, and the reorganization of the defensores civitatum, municipal officers whose duty it was to defend the rights of the people and set forth their grievances.
Among contemporaries he passed for one of the most formidable polemical or gladiatorial rhetoricians; and a considerable section of his extant works are invectives.
The sale of slaves (male and female) for immoral and gladiatorial purposes was forbidden; the custom of putting all the household to death when their master was murdered was modified.
They protested against the multiplication of slaves from motives of vanity in the houses of the great, against the gladiatorial combats (ultimately abolished by the noble self-devotion of a monk) and against the consignment of slaves to the theatrical profession, which was often a school of corruption.
The treasury was exhausted by lavish expenditure on gladiatorial and wild beast combats and on the soldiery, and the property of the wealthy was confiscated.
There also might be seen the flat circular temalacatl or " spindle-stone," where captives armed with wooden weapons were allowed the mockery of a gladiatorial fight against well-armed champions.
Inscriptions show that the inhabitants of Praeneste were especially fond of gladiatorial shows.
SPARTACUS, leader in the Slave or Gladiatorial War against Rome (73-7171 B.C.), a Thracian by birth.
Titus here exhibited gladiatorial shows to celebrate the capture of Jerusalem.
In all the emperor was a prominent figure, but these revels at least involved no bloodshed, and were civilized compared with the gladiatorial shows.
The two volumes of his speeches, as edited by James Redpath, were fortunately made from verbatim reports, and they wisely enclose in parentheses those indications of favour or dissent from the audience which transformed so many of his speeches into exhibitions of gladiatorial skill.
He revelled in bloody gladiatorial displays, and the sharpest swords used on such occasions were called "Drusine."
At a later time the festival extended over five days, the last four being chiefly occupied with gladiatorial shows - because Minerva was the goddess of war (Ovid, Fasti, iii.
The ancient Greeks and Romans kept in captivity large numbers of such animals as leopards, lions, bears, elephants, antelopes, giraffes, camels, rhinoceroses and hippopotamuses, as well as ostriches and crocodiles, but these were destined for slaughter at the gladiatorial shows.
A tall funnel-shaped vase of this class, of which a considerable part has been preserved, is divided into zones showing bull-hunting scenes, wrestlers and pugilists in gladiatorial costume, the whole executed in a most masterly manner.
The registry of the citizens, the suppression of litigation, the elevation of public morals, the care of minors, the retrenchment of public expenses, the limitation of gladiatorial games and shows, the care of roads, the restoration of senatorial privileges, the appointment of none but worthy magistrates, even the regulation of street traffic, these and numberless other duties so completely absorbed his attention that, in spite of indifferent health, they often kept him at severe labour from early morning till long after midnight.
In 106, the Roman Emperor Trajan celebrated his defeat over the Dacians by ordering 123 consecutive days of gladiatorial games in the Roman Coliseum.