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Gladiatorial Armor
#1
Hey folks,

Researching another kit option, this time one that I personally never really entertained the thought of before, but think it may be kinda' cool! A gladiator!

My question is what mix of armor went with what type of fighter? A Thracian would have his characteristic helmet, a small shield, thigh length greaves and a sword, correct? A Secutor a gladius, scutum, manica and helmet? Was there some variety allowed, in general?

Say, could I pose as a Thracian (which has my favorite helmet) and wear thigh-length greaves, a manica and a galerus in addition to having a scutum? Or would that be closer to a Hoplomachus?

Just want to get it all straightened out! Thanks!

-Gregory-
Gregory J. Liebau
The Bronze Age Center
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#2
Hi!
Why do you not post in "Ancient Combat Sports", which is also the gladiator forum?
Christian K.

No reconstruendum => No reconstruction.

Ut desint vires, tamen est laudanda voluntas.

LEGIO XIII GEMINA

[Image: BannerAER-1-1.jpg]
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#3
Hi

I moved this to the Ancient Combat Sports Forum as you will probably get a better response here.

As a starter for ten, you wouldn't need a galerus for a Thracian, the Retiarius wore one of those.

You could take a loko at some old essasies I wrote, which need a bit of tweaking to represent modern thinking and a better understanding now, but they may help to get you going:

http://www.ludus.org.uk/r/essays.html

For my money the cheapest and easiest gladiators to make are the Retiarius and Murmillo, that way you even end up with a pairing you can use.

All the best and I hope this helps.
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#4
Greg:
Try to get a copy of "Das Spiel mit dem Tod" by Marcus Junkelmann. It's in German, but it has detailed illustrations of all the known gladiatorial types. Don't trust older texts, they always get it wrong. They invariably say the Thracian held a "small, round buckler." The Thracian's shield was almost square and really wasn't all that small. His sword was single-edged and curved or bent at an angle. The secutor was just a variant of the murmillo. The only difference was the form of his helmet, which was smooth and oval so as not to snag the net. The only gladiators who wore the galerus were unhelmeted and used a polearm. Most common was the retiarius but there is a mysterious type seen in some Pompeii are who seems to have been armed with a spear and who wore a galerus.
Feel free to ask your questions here. Most of the real gladiator experts who speak English contribute to this forum.
Pecunia non olet
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#5
Thanks for the replies, folks.

Another question, about tunics. Were they ever worn by any type of gladiators? I heard mention in one other thread about tunics being seldom worn, and if so, only by specific gladiator types. Would it be acceptable to be a gladiator such as a Murmillo with a tunic?

Cheers!

-Gregory-

(p.s. Hadn't even been in this forum room before, sorry I posted in the reconstruction one, first!)
Gregory J. Liebau
The Bronze Age Center
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#6
Greg:
It's always hard to draw absolute conclusions since there was some variation in types. The gladiator called the essedarius always wore a tunic. He always fought another essedarius. They started their combat on horseback with lances, then dismounted and fought on foot with swords. Their helmets were uncrested and their shields were round.
Occasionally, you see Thracians in tunics, usually the Greek type that leaves one shoulder bare. Rarely, you see a retiarius in a tunic and in some texts they are referred to as retiarii tunicati, as if they were a special type. I can't think of a depiction of a murmillo or secutor or provocator wearing a tunic. That doesn't mean it never happened. Bestiarii often wore tunics, but then they sometimes fought stark naked, too. If you want to wear a tunic, you won't be violating any hard and fast rules.
Pecunia non olet
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#7
I suppose not having a tunic wouldn't be too bad. I'm only 17 years old, and my upper body is far from being of a matured look, but I suppose with a bit of sunlight things wouldn't be too bad!

I've decided I'd either like to do a Hoplomachus or a Thracian from around the time of 80 AD, to coincide with Pompeii.

I'm supposing that as I want to use a small, square shield rather than a concave, round one, a Thracian would be more appropriate? If so, I'm assuming this other gear would be acceptable? I want to be as heavily armed as realistic, so here goes:

-Small Scutum
-Short Gladius (Or was it always the short, curved sword?)
-Padded Leg Armor
-Brass Thigh-length Greaves
-Brass Manica
-Brass War Belt
-Brass Helmet w/Crest Attachment

Now, as to that stuff, two main questions! How should the scutum be painted? I'd really like red, myself, possibly with a gold border and brass edging to supplement it. Would they have bosses *Talking about Thracians, of course.*

Also, how should the belt be made? Would it likely be pieces of metal rather like a Samnite war belt of the Republican era? I like these, so making one wouldn't be a problem with me at all! I know that the Gladiators sometimes had more armor around the waist than just the belt, possibly something behind it? What might this be?

Modern illustrations I've seen floating around make it look like a piece of leather (probably layered, with padding in between to make it comfortable?) behind the bronze belt. Is this a good assumption?

Cheers!

-Gregory-
Gregory J. Liebau
The Bronze Age Center
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#8
Just a quick reply about physique.

While I am sure there was a roman ideal of a gladiatorial physique over the near milennia of gladiatorial games of one form or another just about every physical form would have fought in the arena, so I wouldn't worry too much about your shape, if you fight well, talk well with the public or otherwise engage their interest you will win the day.

Look at modern boxing, Bruno was different to Tyson, who is different to Lewis, who in turn is different to Bugner and Witherspoon. All competed at the top levels of heavy weight boxing and all look very, very different from one another.

There were age limits to gladiators but this was for volunteers not criminals or POWs. So young men would have ended up in there for one reason or another, don't sweat it, just figure out a historical reason for being there, then when anyone asks you have a polite and accurate reason for being there.

Hope this helps.
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#9
Greg:
All depictions of the Thracian show the single-edged, curved sica. The hoplomachus had a short, narrow stabbing sword but his principal weapon was the spear. The sword was held in reserve behind the shield. I have some issues with the mdern reconstruction of heavy padding on the Thracian/Hoplo's legs. In art, it looks more like tight trousers of some kind, often with colorful patterns. The murmilo-secutor often wore heavy padding beneath his ocrea, but that was only below the knee.
Pecunia non olet
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#10
John,

If the leggings aren't padding, that's fine by me. That much easier to make! Now, what do you mean by "thigh trousers?" Are you saying that didn't extend all of the way down the leg, or that they were possibly only down to just below the knee, like later Roman pants (don't hit me if that's wrong, but it's what I've seen them looking like in depictions, mainly modern)

Also, what kind of length did the sica's have?

Thanks!

-Gregory-
Gregory J. Liebau
The Bronze Age Center
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#11
Greg:
Read my post again. It says "tight trousers," as in tight-fitting. As for the sica, early depictions look like a jambiyah, with a curved, blade of ten inches or so. Later ones are sword length with an angle in the blade.
Pecunia non olet
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#12
:oops:

I can rush my reading almost as much as I sometimes rush my typing! Tight is much more understandable! Do you have any images available that show these patterns well enough? I'd be interested in picking one to my fancy!

As for the Sica, which would they be in about 80 A.D.? Short, or long? I'm not sure what I should consider "later!"

Thanks again, your help is much appreciated!

-Gregory-
Gregory J. Liebau
The Bronze Age Center
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#13
Hi there

Here is a picture from Bill Thayers website, you can see the Thracian, who looks to have been cracked in the face with a shield has a pair of trousers on.

[Image: glad5a.jpg]

In this picture the Hoplomachus appears to have something ribbed or tied to his legs.

[Image: glad1a.jpg]

Just a quick reply as I am at work at the moment, but both trousers and ribbed padding can been seen on a lot of imagery, I will show some more later ... oh yes, and the use of some sort of leg manica (manica feminalia?) are present as well ...

All the best
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#14
Hey guys,

Wondering how these three Deepeeka helmets look, as far as accuracy goes, and whether or not any of you have experience with their craftsmanship. Thanks!

[Image: dp6202.jpg]

[Image: ah-6209.jpg]

[Image: dp6203b.jpg]

Could you also point out which gladiators would use the first and last? I'm suspecting that they'd both work for a Thracian, but what else? Also, is the second based off of any particular secutor helmet? I must admit, it looks rather odd to me!

Thanks!

-Gregory-
Gregory J. Liebau
The Bronze Age Center
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#15
Hi there

Again, just a quick one as I am at work, the top is a thracain helm, I would suggest that the bottom one of for a murmillo.

Got to run, will try more later.

Graham
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