Gladiators used a wide range of weapons, including swords, tridents, spears, nets, arrows and shields. Many types of each weapon were used, such as half-swords, broadswords and curved swords.
Gladiators were fighters who competed in armed combat. While not always fatal, many contests ended in death. Gladiator fights took place in Roman arenas between professional gladiators, prisoners, criminals and animals. All gladiators were armed, and were usually offered some sort of armor or shield as well. While the games were at the peak of their popularity in 1 and 2 A.D., they slowly declined in popularity and died out around 5 A.D.