In 62 CE, many buildings in Pompeii were damaged or destroyed by an earthquake. Many of them still had not been repaired by79 CE, when Mount Vesuvius erupted. Among those buildings was the gladiators’ barracks.
The gladiators’ barracks was moved to the Quadriportico dei Teatri. This four-sided colonnade located near the Gran Teatro and the smaller, covered Odeon, had a large grassy area in the middle to serve as palaestra, or training field, and several small rooms that served as living quarters. Artifacts found upon excavation included gladiatorial arms and armor.
The building was not open on the day I visited, unfortunately, but the 3D view on Google Earth has given me an excellent idea of the area’s overall scale and layout. Aren’t we fortunate to have such tools at our disposal?
Two of the characters in my current work-in-progress, Pompeii Fire, are based on remains found in the barracks. One was a well-dressed woman (based on her jewelry) and the other a man shackled to the wall. No one knows who they were, in reality, but I hope to give them life through my words.