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I don't remember if the thinking is that the right arm manica of a gladiator was the inspiration for the right arm manica of the soldiers, but usually in gladiator kit there was some basis for the item in the past. So I wondered, in the retarius, where did the left arm guard with the high shoulder piece come from?<br>
And as I was also just reading one of the new Osprey books on Roman siege engines, I was imagining an archer looking out through an arrow slot, with their only vulnerability being, yes, the left side. A manica like a retarius' would give the archer time to pick a target and aim without terrible fear of getting hit.<br>
So, two questions; those archers out there; any evidence that might be interpreted for a left arm manica? And anyway, where did the left arm manica of the retarius come from, in terms of Rome's enemies? <p>Legio XX<br>
Caput dolet, pedes fetent, Iesum non amo<br>
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John Maddox Roberts

The left-arm galerus and manica of the retiarius came from the stance of the retiarius when fighting with the trident alone. Assuming he was right-handed, he carried the trident in his left hand, the net in his right. Any right-handed person will always throw with his right hand. Once the net was gone, the retiarius fought as a conventional spearman without a shield: left foot forward, the trident head supported in the left hand, right hand to the rear providing thrust. Thus the manica protects his advanced, vulnerable left arm and the galerus protects his shoulder and face. This is precisely the stance of a modern soldier using the bayonet. It is possible that the retiarius was not the only gladiator using this arrangement. In Pompeii there were found at least two depictions of a type of gladiator for which we have no name. He wore a left-arm manica and galerus, was armed with a spear, with a short sword for backup, and apparently was paired with another gladiator of the same type. Again, using a spear, the left-arm arrangement makes sense. <p></p><i>Edited by: <A HREF=http://p200.ezboard.com/bromanarmytalk.showUserPublicProfile?gid=johnmaddoxroberts>John Maddox Roberts</A> at: 2/14/05 4:02 pm<br></i>

Anonymous

If I am correct there is no info on the origin of the Retiarius at least by way of a Roman enemy of the past.<br>
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I suspect that it may have some religeous significance or simply a conceit based on the oponent as Myrmillo..a fishman. The oponents seem to have developed through the Gaul transforming into the Myrmillo then being replaced by the Secutor. I haven't yet worked out if a fish was particulaily associated with the Gaul.<br>
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An anomily is that the oponenet he was most associated with is the Secutor, a chaser ... when in reality the net is a weapon of the hunter.<br>
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Anonymous

Non te peto, piscem peto.<br>
Quid me fugis Galle? <p></p><i></i>

Anonymous

? <p></p><i></i>

John Maddox Roberts

Supposedly the netman's taunt to the secutor: "I do not seek you, I seek a fish. Why do you flee from me, Gaul?" <p></p><i></i>
About the start of the retiarius.<br>
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Currently it's thought that the retiarius was an Augustan creation, this is based upon the fact that prior to Augustus (at the moment) he doesn't appear.<br>
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Unlike many of the previous 'tribal' (or is that racial I never know) gladiator types the retiarius sort of springs out of nowehere (historically).<br>
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Others such as the Gaul, Murmillo, Thracian, Samnite etc ... all find either their roots or direct creation from enemies of Rome at some point.<br>
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All the best <p></p><i></i>

Anonymous

Sometime ago, I read (in a non-specialized magazine) that the 'retiarius' appeared after the Romans got in touch with the black peoples of the Upper Nile, which allegedly used the net and the trident for fishing. The article also stated that the first 'retiarii', or most of them, were black Africans.<br>
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I wouldn't stick my neck out for the scholarship of the article, but the fact is that Egypt (the door to black Africa) became a Roman province under Augustus.<br>
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All the best,<br>
Ferrarius.<br>
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John Maddox Roberts

All Mediterranean fishermen used the net and trident, not just Africans, and the first book I know of to suggest that the first retiarii were black is Howard Fast's "Spartacus," a novel. <p></p><i></i>