Like sporting events in many ancient cultures, Roman gladiatorial combat originated as a religious event. The Romans claimed that their tradition of gladiatorial games was adopted from the Etruscans. The Roman historian Livy wrote about the first known gladiatorial games, held in 310 BCE by the Campanians. These games symbolized the re-enactment of the Campanians' military success over the Samnites, in which they were aided by the Romans.
The first Roman gladiatorial games were held in 246 BCE by Marcus and Decimus Brutus in honor of their father, Junius Brutus, as a funeral gift for the…
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