), persons who fought with wild beasts in the games of
the circus. They were either persons who fought for the sake of pay
), and who were allowed arms,
or they were criminals, who were usually permitted to have no means of
defence against the wild beasts. (Cic. pro
64; Sen. de Benef.
70. 17; Tertull. Apol.
9.) The former class, who were more
correctly called venatores,
and of whom there
were great numbers in the latter days of the republic and under the empire,
are always spoken of as distinct from and inferior to the gladiators, who
fought with one another. (Cic. in
; ad Qu. Fr.
2.6.5.) There were
schools in Rome for their training (scholae
35). Such were called ludi
from the fact that in the public games the combats
with beasts always preceded the fights of the gladiators. (Cf.
vol. ii.3, pp. 366 ff.)