Actually, the gladiators were also known as hordearii or "barley-men" because they were fed a grain-heavy, almost entirely vegetarian diet in order to fatten them up so they would be less likely to die from a surface wound. Isotopic analysis of gladiator bones seems to back this up.
Originally Posted by DarthFriendly
It's kind of a shame, because the mythology just isn't as attractive when you know it's actually a bunch of fat vegans slashing at one another.
"To shed all the illusory rights & hesitations of history demands the economy of some legendary Stone Age--shamans not priests, bards not lords, hunters not police, gatherers of paleolithic laziness, gentle as blood, going naked for a sign or painted as birds, poised on the wave of explicit presence, the clockless nowever." --Hakim Bey, TAZ