WOMEN GLADIATORS. I was taken aback to see in the Lidz article that there were women gladiators. I checked the statement out, and there is a lot of evidence for it. This article cites mentions of female gladiators by Dio Cassius, Tacitus (Annales 15.32.3), Petronius (Satyricon XLV) which were documented during the reign of the Emperor Nero (r.54-68 AD) and the writings of Martial (Liber De Spectaculis 6 and 6b), Suetonius (Vita Domitiani 4.1) and Statius (Silvae 1.6.51-56) during the reign of the Emperor Domitian (81-96 AD).
And in 2012, this article by James Owen for the National Geographic told about the identification by Alfonso Manas of the University of Granada of a bronze statue which is the second known depiction of a woman gladiator. The photograph in the article shows the statue with the lady gladiator holding up her weapon, a “sica”, a short, curved sword used by a type of gladiator known as a “thraex”, or “Thracian”. The figure’s lowered head and raised arm are “a typical victory gesture of gladiators” in Roman art, says Professor Manas.