The Ancient Library

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On this page: Gladiatores (continued)



a free man, and could accordingly claim a named after the figure of a fish (mormylfis),

did not make him an absolutely free man; bat if he chose to fight again, he did so as

high remuneration.

Gladiators were armed in various styles, as the pairs of combatants were usually armed, not with the same, but with different

against the retiarius, was armed in Gallic fashion with helmet, sword and shield, and

which adorned his helmet. The Samnis, or Samnite, was so called after his Samnite equipment. This consisted of a large shield (scutum), a sleeve of leather or metal on


(From Pompeii.)

weapons. The weapons of gladiators, and the notably their helmets, were quite different in form from the arms of soldiers (see fig. 1). Gladiators were classed according to their equipment. Thus the retMrtus


(2) 6ECUTOR, RETIARIUS, AND LANISTA. (Mosaic in Madrid Library.)

was armed with a net, was bareheaded, and had nothing on but a short tunic and a girdle; his left arm was in a sleeve; his arms were a net (iacfdum), a trident (fuscind), and a dagger. The net he tried to throw over his pursuing adversary, and to despatch him with dagger or trident, if successful. The slcutor, or pursuer, was so called, because he was generally set to fight with the retiarius, who retired before him (fig. 2). He was as lightly equipped as his adversary, but armed with helmet, sword, and shield. The myr-millo (fig. 3), who was also often matched

(3) MYRMILLO. (Rome, Palazzo Doria.)

right arm, with a shoulder piece (c/dlerus) rising above the shoulder, a girdle, a greave on the left foot, a visored helmet with crest and plume, and a short sword. The Thrax, or Thracian, wore, like his countrymen, a small round shield (parma) and a dagger (slca) curved in the form of a sickle, or bent at right angles. In other respects his equipment was more complete than the _________ Samnite's, for he ( "•\-'_JgjL-; Jli;^. had greaves on both legs. The hoplO-machus, or heavily armed gladiator, wore a breastplate, as well as visored helmet, and greaves. In later times the place of the retiarius was sometimes taken by the Idyuldrlus, who wore the same light armour, but carried a short sword and a noose (Idqueus), which he threw over his adver­sary and pulled him to the ground. The Mm&chcp.ri, or men who fought with two swords, are also apparently the produc­tion of a later time. The essedaril (from essSdum, a Bi itish war-car with two horses) fought in chariots. The anddb&tai (fig. 4) fought on horseback, armed with small

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