What did ex-Gladiators do after being freed? Did they stay near to what they knew or chose completely unrelated professions and prospered?
In addition to harper89's answer, some gladiators were in the games to repay debts. Once they were repaid, they would return to whatever life they left before. With some luck, they would have earned a lot more than the debt, and thus be able to live off those earnings or invest them.
Some gladiators stayed near and with their rudis were able to take up training of other gladiators.
Others were even offered coin to return to the arena.
Below is a list of the most common things a retired gladiator would do
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