The gladiator’s fights were very similar to today’s shows. The program was standard - first there were animal-on-animal fights, animal hunts. During lunchtime there were public executions of condemned criminals. The upper classes would usually leave, because it was considered of bad taste.
Some of the criminals were sometimes required to fight against each other. These fights were presented as plays and the criminals represented fictional characters. Before the actual fights, a procession took place, during witch the weapons were presented and verified. Spectators entered the arena, using a ticket that sometimes was rather expensive. The fights were accompanied by musicians, similar to today’s action movies.
Not all the emperors loved gladiator games. Augustus, Caligula, and Nero cultivated the shows, but Tiberius, Cicero, Seneca, and Tertullian did not approve with them. This and also the economic problems generated the decline of the interest for the fights. By 440 AD 440 the gladiator games were no longer practiced.