Gladiators: Heroes of the Colosseum



Where? Queensland Museum, Cnr Grey St and Melbourne St
When? Until 28 January 2018

I loved studying Ancient Rome in history class – it was one of my favourite subjects, but I still learned a lot of new things from Queensland Museum’s current exhibition Gladiators: Heroes of the Colosseum. It displays over 110 original artefacts from seven Italian museums and institutions, including pieces of the Colosseum and original helmets and weapons that were preserved in the ashes of Pompeii. 



The exhibition is very interactive and has a bit of a “Horrible Histories” vibe – you can run your hands over pieces of the Colosseum, try on the unexpectedly heavy helmets and wrangle with the weapons (in the designated area, of course), and there are lots of interesting short videos that show the different types of gladiatorial combat, who the gladiators were and how they lived and trained, as well as interviews with experts in the field against the backdrop of modern-day Rome.


Gladiators gives a brief overview of the Romans as a culture; the founding, rise, and fall of their empire; the nature and often political purposes of gladiatorial combats as public spectacles, and the reality of gladiators as elite athletes who could gain fame, influence, and freedom; and the role of the Colosseum itself in this incredibly powerful culture of the ancient world. A fascinating day out, for sure!


Tickets are available online here, or from the ticket desk at the Museum. Adult, child, concession, and family rates are available and members receive a 10% discount. More information is also available on the museum website.