The spectacle remained a threat to burgeoning Christian movement until the time of Eusebius. The ancient Christian rigorists, Tertullian in de Spectaculis and Novatian in a work by the same name, condemned the Spectacle as unchristian, citing the pagan influences, idol worshipping, and even death by magical rites (Tert., de Spect., 2). Further, they saw it as a battleground between God and the powers opposing God and his creation. When the ritual gratification of the games waned due to the Christian triumph of Roman society, the stadiums, theaters, and arenas of the Empire shifted to leisurely pursuits, with gladiatorial combat shows becoming little more than chariot races even until the sixth century.

Donald G. Kyle, Sport and Spectacle in the Ancient World. 2 ed., Wiley-Blackwell, 2014, 334–35.