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Lecture 19

Classical Studies 2300 Lecture Notes - Lecture 19: Roman Senate, Chariot Racing, Naumachia

Classical Studies
Course Code
CS 2300
David Lamari

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Mar. 26, 2013
Equites (Horsemen)
Started being the norm for gladiatorial combat
2 gladiators would enter the arena in the same equipment
o Colorful tunic
o Manica
o No greaves
o 2 feathers
o Round shield
o Spear
o Identical!! they fight each other
EXAM: identify the gladiator visually be equipment
Thraex (Thracian)
Region of north Greece
Former enemy of Rome
They would dress up in costume
Textbook says this dies out
Once the Thracians become part of the empire, this becomes insulting
One of the oldest categories of gladiators
Why don’t we put the Thraex against another type of gladiator
Equipment (picture):
o Leg wrappings
o High greaves
o Helmet with griffin (described below, picture on next slide)
o Small shield
o Gladius slang term in Rome for your penis
Actually a small sword
Gladiators were sexual beings
Picture look at the protection in the helmet
Entire face is encased in iron
Mythical picture on top (griffin) half eagle, half lion (hybrid animal)
Only gladiator with animal on top Thraex
This mascot is of the goddess Nemisis
o Goddess of Justice
o Shrines to her in the amphitheater this is where you get what is
coming for you
It is the place of fairness
This is the one place in the Roman world that emphasizes that things happen
as they are supposed to happen the stadium for the Greeks, the
amphitheater for the Romans
o Everyone gets treated fairly, gets what they deserve
o Emphasis that you will die

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Mar. 26, 2013
Next slide, picture: Thracian on the right (helmet!)
Soldier with small round shield
Doesn’t fight against his own category
Often fights against the Thracian
Has a small shield, so to compensate he gets a spear
Similar to Thraex
Long dagger
NO griffin on his helmet
Next slide, picture: small, circular shield
Next picture: Thracian has just given up
Helmet has a long fin (some identify this as a fish)
Category that most frequently fought the Hoplomachus and the Thracian
o This was the most common fight
Opponenents: thraex, hoplomachus
Oblong shield by far the biggest shiled
He has heavy armour, but goes up against someone with less armour but
more offensive capability
Will never fight an equites
This fixed match ups were determined in the Imperial Era
Before, in the Republican Era, they would throw any 2 gladiators together
No shield and little armour
Special Manica on his left arm, he has a very large arm protection all the
way down the left arm
o All the other fighters have it on their left arm, because they have a
shield protecting their left (they don’t have a shield)
Net and trident
Long dagger
7-8kg weight
Opponent: secutor
Next slide, picture: see most of this depiction on tombstones, etc.
o Half naked man
o Using his net and trident carefully, he has a good chance to oppose his
Two pictures later? Has a weighted net (below)

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Mar. 26, 2013
Weight Net: 3m in Diameter (picture)
Astranax = defender of the city
Kalavinus = death
o He is going to die
The hand is up is he calling for a break?
Next slide, picture:
o It is reversed and Astranax is now doing and ends up dying in this
Sometimes called the counter Retiarius (opponent of the Retiarius)
Means the pursuer
o He is the one being pursued, he is being illusive
Exactly the same as the Murmillo, except for the helmet
Helmet: put a refiner on the helmet no metal grating (good against a
sword, but not against a trident)
o Small helmet with small eye holes it is sinister
Next slide, picture: secutor is down and the retiarius is winning?
Often hard to differentiate the suctor and the murmillo
o As soon as you see the retiarius, you know he is fighting the secutor
Know the charioteer, etc., but only know about their existence, not their looks
Gladiatorial Names
If you’re a volunteer, you keep your own name
Named a lot after mythological creatures
Some nicknames: shiny, whitey, a lot after jewelry (emerald)
The suspicious amongst the writers is because a lot of people are sexually
attracted to gladiators
o Lots of bastard children with gladiators that husbands don’t know
o They are brave and the bare skin adds to the sexual excitement
This was the belief
Survival Rates
Scholar collected 200 combatants
o Of the 200 people that fought, 19 of them died
o We don’t know how they died – wound after a fight, because the
audience wanted them to die or in battle
o This is all the evidence we have
Not a good sample (all from the same region)
We routinely see gladiators that fought 20-30 times
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