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The enemy, besides their other warlike preparation, had made their battle-line to glitter with new and splendid arms.There were two corps: the shields of the one were inlaid with gold, of the other with silver ..."I'm going to miss all his jokes he tells because he's really funny, and he likes doing stuff with me," said Kira Hilton, the soldier's daughter. "I'll miss her first crawl, her walking for the first time probably," Hilton said.

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Their Campanian allies stage a dinner entertainment using gladiators who may not be Samnites, but play the Samnite role.So the Romans made use of the splendid armour of their enemies to do honour to their gods; while the Campanians, in consequence of their pride and in hatred of the Samnites, equipped after this fashion the gladiators who furnished them entertainment at their feasts, and bestowed on them the name Samnites.(Livy 9.40) Livy's account skirts the funereal, sacrificial function of early Roman gladiator combats and reflects the later theatrical ethos of the Roman gladiator show: splendidly, exotically armed and armoured barbarians, treacherous and degenerate, are dominated by Roman iron and native courage.They were celebrated in high and low art, and their value as entertainers was commemorated in precious and commonplace objects throughout the Roman world.

The origin of gladiatorial combat is open to debate.

There is evidence of it in funeral rites during the Punic Wars of the 3rd century BC, and thereafter it rapidly became an essential feature of politics and social life in the Roman world.