The gladiatoria sagina, the gladiators’ diet
Within the familiae managed by “ludisti”, the gladiators followed the gladiatoria sagina: a satisfactory diet, evidently aimed at improving their physical performance.
This diet included many plants such as legumes, grains, onions, garlic, fennel seeds, fruit and dried figs, and was poor in meat but rich in dairy products, oil, honey and watered-down wine.
The evening before the arena battles, the gladiators took part in a rich banquet, a free dinner, which could even be attended by the most avid “fans”.
During this meal, to gain energy, gladiators usually ate spiced barley flat breads sprinkled with honey and drank fenugreek infusions with strengthening properties.