Gladiators

Types of Gladiators

Gladiators fights were an important part of the entertainment Romans loved to watch. Although gladiators were made up mainly of defeated enemy soldiers, criminals and slaves they were greatly admired and appreciated by the public. The most successful and therefore famous gladiators were hailed as heroes and achieved the kind of status afforded today to modern celebrity sporting personalities. Of course gladiators were not free and only the lucky ones survived. The brutality of their existence meant that many were killed in the arena to the delight of the blood thirsty Roman audiences.

There were various types of gladiator. Each had a specific set of arms and equipment and was trained in the gladiator school to fight in a certain way. Sometimes two gladiators of the same type fought each other. Alternatively different types could be paired up to fight. In this case each tried to outwit the other using his specialist  fighting style.

Although there are no specific records about gladiator types it has been possible to work out what they were from evidence in mosaics, inscriptions on gravestones, texts by writers of the ancient world, ancient paintings and through armour and equipment found in places like Pompeii.

A retiarius gladiator stabs at his secutor opp...

A retiarius gladiator stabs at his secutor opponent with his trident. Mosaic from the villa at Nennig. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Here are the main types:

  • Thraeces
  • Murmillones
  • Hoplomachi
  • Retiarii
  • Secutores
  • Provocatores
  • Essadarii
  • Dimachaeri
  • Velites
  • Paegniarii
  • Equites
  • Andabatae

Thraeces

He carried a small curved sword ( sica ) and a small round or square shield ( parma ). As the shield could only protect his chest and stomach he also wore high leg plates.

Murmillones

The murmillo carried a long shield ( scutum ) and was armed with a narrow sword ( gladius ). Because he had a long shield he wore short leg plates.

Hopolomachii

The hoplomachus had a lance, short sword and a small bronze shield.

Retiarius

He wore no helmet or armour except for a bronze plate over his left shoulder and upper arm. He carried a throwing net and his maim armament was a trident. He sometimes also had a dagger.

Secutor

The secutor ore a helmet with small circular eye holes which meant that he had limited vision and had to get in close to his opponent to have a chance of winning.

Provocatores

Equipped with long shields, leg plates on the left leg only, breast plates and short swords.

Essadarii

Rode in chariots and dismounted to fight on foot.

Dimachaeri

Fought with two swords.

Veles

Fought with a spear.

Paegniarii

Wearing leather armour and with no helmet or shield they were armed with a whip and a stick with a hook on the end. They generally fought each other.

Equites

Wearing multi coloured tunics and with medium sized shields they fought with spears and swords.

Andabatae

These gladiators were either blindfolded or wore helmets with no eye holes. They fought each other with swords.

In addition to the above there were also special gladiators who were trained to fight animals.

Venatores

Animal hunters.

Bestiarii

Men who fight wild beasts.

 

Book  a  ROMAN HISTORY DAY   for your school.

Enhanced by Zemanta

562 thoughts on “Gladiators

  1. Pingback: sildenafil revatio

  2. Pingback: viagra for sale

  3. Pingback: viagra for women

  4. Pingback: get stromectol over counter

  5. Pingback: sildenafil citrate

  6. Pingback: 50 off viagra

  7. Pingback: what do viagra pills do

  8. Pingback: legal online blackjack usa

  9. Pingback: liquid tadalafil how to make pills

  10. Pingback: ego lawn mower review

  11. Pingback: cialis ebay

  12. Pingback: cialis cost walgreens

Leave a Reply