What Were Some Ancient Roman Sports?

Sports like boxing and gladiator battles were an important part of ancient Roman culture. Sports events were popular entertainment events full of masculinity and violence.

Roman sporting events were very differently than modern-day sports as they were filled with brutality and great boasts of strength. Entertainment for the citizens was important to the Roman government, so they established different venues around the empire with the sports Colosseum being one of the most popular and heavily visited. The main sporting events that took place at this venue were gladiator battles.

The gladiator battles were fought by men who had been deemed criminals or prisoners of war. These ferocious battles had very few rules, one being that the competitors had to fight until at least one person could no longer fight back. Punching, kicking, choking and all other acts were allowed and often, the battle ended with the death of a gladiator.

Boxing was also popular in Roman times and this sport had more rules in place than the gladiator battles. Boxers typically wore ox-hide gloves and the two fought until one surrendered since there were no time limits set. Although there were more restrictions for the competitors of this sport, death and severe injuries were common.