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Page history last edited by PBworks 17 years, 1 month ago
     Gladiator combat was one of the most common events to occur in the Colosseum. Romans would not be happy with just people fighting each other; they wanted different types of people fighting each other. There were many different types of gladiators; each had a unique style of fighting or a variation of in weaponry. These differentiations were put in place to make the fights more exciting for the viewers.
     There were many different gladiators symbolizing different things. A Thracian wears ocrea, also called greaves. Thracian’s also carried a small square shield and wore either a full visored or open faces helmet with a wide brim. This type of gladiator also carried a sword with and angled bend in the blade. Thracian’s were one of the most common types of gladiators.
     Another common gladiator type is a Secutor, which is the term for pursuer. A Secutor fought virtually naked. Secutor’s carried a large oval or rectangular shield and a sword or a dagger. These gladiators wore an ocrea on the left leg, manicae or leather bands at the elbows, and wrists. Secutor’s generally wore a round or high-visored helmet. Secutor’s were unique gladiators because of their clothing and weaponry.
     Retiarius’ are another type of gladiator that fought in the Colosseum. Retiarius’ wore only a subligaculum or loincloth and a metal shoulder piece called a galerus on the left arm. Gladiators of this kind represented fisherman and carried a net called an iaculum, as well as a dagger and a trident or tunny-fish harpoon known as a fascina. Laquearii are a variation of the Retiarius that uses a lasso instead of a net. Other than that Laquearii are exactly the same as a Retiarius. Retiarius were one of the major categories of gladiators, which often fought in the Colosseum.
     Along with the major gladiator types there were also many different types that were less used. An Andabutus wears a helmet with no eyeholes, but has the ability to ride horseback. Essedarius’ have a chariot to use during combat. Myrmillo are somewhat common and carry a dagger and a shield, they also wear a wide leather belt and leg bands. Gladiators called Samnite’s wear visored helmets with a crest and carry a sword and a large shield. Dimachaerius fight has two swords to fight with, and wears little armor. The Velitus was another minor gladiator, but unlike all other types he was allowed to carry a spear. Velitus’ also wore armor like many of the other types of gladiators. These gladiators were less common in the arena than the Retiarius, Secutor, and Thracian but people still enjoyed seeing them fight.
     Gladiators are commonly portrayed as men in armor with swords fighting each other to the death. This stereotype is not always true; in fact there were some female gladiators that fought in the Colosseum. Female gladiators were uncommon but did fight sometimes. Gladiators were generally slaves or prisoners that were taught at gladiator schools. The schools were connected to the arena’s where the gladiators would fight. Some gladiators were paid to fight as a job. Victorious gladiators would often get a crown and money, and after many victories they would get a wooden sword representing freedom. Once they got the wooden sword they became trainers at gladiator schools. Gladiators as we think of them today have some similarities but many differences to what they really were.
“I will endure to be burned, to be bound, to be beaten, and to be killed by the sword” ~Gladiator’s Oath, as recorded by Petronius

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