It took at least half a year before a tiro (recruit)
could appear publicly in the arena. If he survived his first
bout, he was considered a veteranus. All victories
and defeats were noted and mentioned in the libellus munerarius
(a kind of program leaflet) as well as on the tabella
(a panel carried before the gladiator at the pompa).
The gladiators did not pay any rent to the ludus and were
catered for free. Most probably two men shared one cella
(chamber). Inscriptions prove that gladiators could marry
and have children, so it is assumed that the auctorati
(volunteers) and those who resigned to the gladiatura
after being freed could leave the ludus after the training
sessions were finished and lived outside, because there was
not enough space for a family at the ludus.
Cooks were responsible for the food of these professional
athletes and supplied them mainly with barley porridge (hordeum)
which was supposed to enhance the build up of muscles. Hence
gladiators were also called hordearii (barley eaters).
Other aspects of gladiator care seem also very modern: After
training they took hot baths and got massages. Injuries were
treated by ludus-owned physicians. The training of
gladiators was very expensive and thus everything was done
to keep them healthy.