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What Was the Biggest Gladiator Fight in Roman History?

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Mosaic of gladiators fighting at Bad Kreuznach.

Mosaic of gladiators fighting at Bad Kreuznach.

Irene Hahn
Question: What Was the Biggest Gladiator Fight in Roman History?
How many animals died and gladiators fought to celebrate Trajan's Dacian campaign?
Answer: In A.D. 107, the Roman Emperor Trajan entertained the people of Rome with an extravaganza (a munus in the Colosseum) lasting 123 days, to celebrate his Dacian conquest and victory over King Decebalus. During these 123 days, 11,000 animals died and 5000 pairs of gladiators fought, according to Dio Cassius 68.15.1.
Dio 68.15.1 Upon Trajan's return to Rome ever so many embassies came to him from various barbarians, including the Indi. And he gave spectacles on one hundred and twenty-three days, in the course of which some eleven thousand animals, both wild and tame, were slain, and ten thousand gladiators fought.
In Julian Bennett's Trajan: Optimus Princeps, the figures given are 117 days, 11,000 animals, and 4941.5 gladiatorial pairs.

This was the largest contest of gladiators in Rome.

The event's from Trajan's Dacian campaigns are sculpted on Trajan's Column, a 100' high monument from Trajan's Forum.

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