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Lecture 19

Lecture 19 - Equites (Horsemen).docx

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Classical Studies
Classical Studies 2300
David Lamari

Mar. 26, 2013 Equites (Horsemen)  Started being the norm for gladiatorial combat  2 gladiators would enter the arena in the same equipment  Equites: 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 Griffin  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 Mar. 26, 2013  Next slide, picture: Thracian – on the right (helmet!) Hoplomachus  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  Spear  Long dagger  NO griffin on his helmet  Next slide, picture: small, circular shield  Next picture: Thracian has just given up Murmillo  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  Gladius  Manica/greaves  He has heavy armour, but goes up against someone with less armour but more offensive capability  Will never fight an equites Retiarius  This fixed match ups were determined in the Imperial Era  Before, in the Republican Era, they would throw any 2 gladiators together  ‘Net-fighter’  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 opponent  Two pictures later? – Has a weighted net (below) 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 match Secutor  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 about 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 Mar. 26, 2013  Some very famous gladiators won 60-100 times o This isn’t possible – you can’t fight 100 times – this is remotely possible  Some gladiators, obviously, had a much lower risk when they went into the amphitheater  Didn’t have a long career – most gladiators start in the late teens (17-18) and are done by 25 o Takes about 6 matches to be able to buy your way out of slavery  Seems they fought twice per year  If you are sentenced to fight as a gladiator, you have to fight for 3 years o If you were a slave, you had to win 6-7 matches  Why stay in if you had a 10% mortality rate? o They were taught to “split” the opponent – stab them in a way that they juice blood  Don’t run them through  It is in your best interest not to lunge heavily  Also, the lanistae doesn’t want you to kill the other gladiator  So they only have to pay the rental cost  You expect that since gladiators most often fought against people from your own school, they wouldn’t want to kill each other o The main threat to gladiators was from the crowd  Maybe after you win a few matches, you have the crowd in your favour o How much risk do you really put yourself through when your fighting th for the 25 time?  The audience recognizes you – you’re a legend  You know all the tricks  There probably was minimal risk at this point  The biggest risk is to rookies  Veteran gladiators hated going up against rookie gladiators o He is a loose canon – rather go up against an expert who won’t put your lives at risk  In this period, this high point of gladiatorial combat, it was viewed as a sport with technique, an art form o Later it was seen as a fight to the death Fighting Techniques  Were the matches fixed? o Lets for the love of god not piss off the audience  Lets make sure the audience is entertained o Not I’m going to win, you’re going to lose o Do we emphasize the possibility of death and not actually have that danger  Tight-rope walker example Mar. 26, 2013 Gladiatorial Beginnings  4 recorded munera: o 264BC, 3 pairs o 215 BC, 22 pairs o 200 BC, 25 pairs o 183 BC, 60 pairs  We are only getting the four munera that were worth recording o There were more that four matches over 80 years  How immensely popular were these contests? o So rare o There was a play where an author of the play was complaining about one o There was a rumor that after the play ended, there was going to be gladiatorial combat in that theatre shortly after o A bunch of people came pouring into the theatre not because they wanted to see the play, but because they wanted the best seating for the fight  It was cripplingly expensive to hold one of these  Politician – pour everything into it and hope you get elected  Part of a guys will was to put how much money he gave everyone on his tomb  If they didn’t advertise it, everyone was going to have to give a munus The Munus and Late Republican Politics  How great was the benefit of being an editor? o They thought it was beneficial o They created a law that a munus couldn’t be held two years before or two years after you were running for office  One guy tried to get around it – tried to say it wasn’t gladiators  At the end of the Republican Era, before expensive really started to spiral out of control  One philosopher says you don’t get any benefit o People applaud – they applaud the pleasure they get, not for you o Everything else says there were benefits  Curio – went bankrupt o Developed an amphitheater that could be split in half like an egg into two theatres o Had them back to back with plays going on and then rotated them to make the amphitheater o He lost – didn’t have the money to pay back o Caesar bought it  How great was the danger from gladiators? o We begi
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