Women gladiators were rare
They first appeared in around ad55 when they performed in Rome as a novelty act. The women fought only other women or took part in fights against animals. Women gladiators were more popular in the eastern parts of the Empire. They were banned in ad200 by the emperor Septimius Severus.
The andabatae gladiators fought blindfolded
The Romans loved anything new or bizarre. The andabatae gladiators were specially trained men who wore helmets with no eye holes at all. They listened carefully for sounds of their opponent, then attacked with two swords. Sometimes the andabatae fought on horseback.
from "100 Facts You Should Know about Gladiators" by Rupert Matthews.
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