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Can anyone help, please?
Hi Brien Gilroy,

I didn't lknow about Russell Whitfield's Gladiatrix when I wrote my book of the same name, nor have I read it, though I recently had a "Look inside" on Amazon. I only read a few words, enough to realise that our novels are very different.

In answer to your question, I looked up Achillia and Amazon on the internet and find that Wikipedia now have a page which is a good summary.

In my novel my gladiatrix is a retiaria, so she has just the subligaculum, wide leather belt, strophium to cover her breasts, initially of linen, later of leather, sleeve, manica and galerus. I believe the male retiarii sometimes wore leather bonnets, and sometimes were made to fight with less armour... no manica, for example.

I have seen the relief of Achillia and Amazon at the British Museum and very moving it was too. I confess I thought they were Murmillones, but it seems they were Provocatrices. So that's another correction to my notes.

I think the important thing when you are kitting out your gladiator or gladiatrix is to look at the pictoral evidence, though this can be confusing because of right or left handedness. Achillia and Amazon are both wearing the loincloth, are well armed, but it's hard to see if their breasts are covered. I will have a look and see if my own photos are any better.

Domitian, according to Suetonius, liked to stage fights between gladiatrices and dwarfs, by torchlihght, naked (I think... I have not read this at source). I don't know what sort of fighters they were.

My feelings are that there isn't enough evidence to rule anything out, so go with what drives your story. Perhaps others, in particularr Medusa, who has studied the topic more closely than I, disagree.

I imagine it would have been deemed incredibly shocking to Romans that a woman should fight in the arena, doubly so if she were naked. But titillating. And there we have this bizarre contradiction of gladiators being the lowest of the low, and yet idolised.

I'm a little wary of taking written evidence as fact because we have to bear in mind that the author might have some political point to make. I'm a little wary of taking artifact evidence as face value because of artistic licence. That said, Achillia and Amazon have their loins decently clad.

Personally I wasn't writing erotica, so I clothed my gladiatrix in male attire apart from the strophium (except on one occasion). Others may choose to have naked gladiatrices. My thoughts are that it depemds on what your gladiatrice fights as, when and where your novel is based, and what you want to do in your story.

Good luck with your writing.
Linda Priestley AKA Linda Gruchy
I've just thought... here are some of the books I looked at, thanks to the Colchester Museum Resource Unit.

“Emperors and Gladiators” by Thomas Weiderman
“The World of the Gladiator” by Suzanna Shadrake
“Das Spiel Mit dem Tod, So Kampften Roms Gladiatoren” Marcus Junkleman (for the illustrations; I can’t read German)

I also looked online at images for retiarii because there seems to be some contadictions about what they wore on their shins. The Colchester Vase is worth looking at, as is the Chester slate.
Linda Priestley AKA Linda Gruchy
Thank you very much Linda, for your very balanced reply.

I have been reading the book of Whitfield - there is very little erotica in it, maybe unusual for Americans but nothing unusual for us, Europeans.

I have in front of me the book of Prof. Dr. Hugo Blumner, published in 1911, Muenchen.
(I am quadrilingual) but can only find details of the regular women's clothing.

Going back to the era of the emperors, I do think that the Roman mob was already overfed with all sorts of game. What could be the addition of fully clothed females in the theater?
Or, as you say fitted out with a loincloth, licium or tunica virilis (subligar, subligaculum) and the strip of cloth to protect the breasts.

Quite difficult.

Prof. Blumner gives a wealth of information about the differences in formal clothing. No problem with that His book is about civilian life in Rome.
It is written in gothic lettertype, although my grandmother learned me to read it, it is time consuming. But I can read it.

Difficult subject and again, thanks for your straight reply.
Smile I think I am ready to publish Gladiatrix as a Kindle e-book (I've been delayed because one of mt beta readers suggested a glossary and character list, which are great ideas). I am proposing to publish it at a low price, introductory offer for just for a couple of days so that friends can grab a copy cheaply, before I put it up to about £2, my normal price for a full length e-book.

If you're interested, please keep an eye on this thread, where I'll post a link (if I'm allowed and it's not considered to be spam).

Next, I'll look at making it into a paperback, but that's technology which is new to me and I'm terrified! :lol:
Linda Priestley AKA Linda Gruchy
I have just pressed "Publish" on "Gladiatrix by Linda Gruchy". As soon as it's available for download I will post on here and elsewhere. I have put it up at 77p (ish) just for 48 hours, as a special thank you to all who have helped. After that I will put the price up to £2 (approx).

There are other books by that title, so I wasn't going to call it that, but my erstwhile agent thought it better. As there's no copyright on titles I agree with her.

Thanks for all your help.
Linda Priestley AKA Linda Gruchy
It's Live. It's currently at a special launch price of 77p ($0.99) to say thank you to anyone who has helped, and will go up to £2 approx ($2.99) on Sunday evening.

UK Link

US Link

(For other countries, delete and replace with your country’s .xxx)


I’m really excited about this

PS, you don't need a Kindle to read it because you can download Kindle apps for PC etc
Linda Priestley AKA Linda Gruchy
Hi Brien,

There is only one depiction of gladiatrices i.e. the relief from Halicarnassos. Unfortunately you could not see much on it regarding clothing etc. but one this is pretty clear to be seen which is the subligaculum (gladiator loincloth)

[Image: halikarnassos_600x498.jpg]

Unfortunately you could not see much on it regarding clothing etc. but one this is pretty clear to be seen which is the subligaculum (gladiator loincloth). Of one woman a bare breast is to be seen. Since this is a piece of artwork it might not show the actual state but the artist wanted to make clear that it is two women fighting hence the helmets are on the ground and a bare breast is shown instead of the pectorale provocatores usually wear. A good discussion on this relief is Kathleen Coleman's article "Missio at Halicarnassos".

I solved the problem with a breast band strophium which is mentioned on several occasions as being a womens attire and the bikini girls from Piazza Armerina are shown with this. Attached you will see a photo of me in my gear in fighting stance where also the subligaculum and strophium are visible.

Attached Files Thumbnail(s)
(By the way, if anyone reads my novel and enjoys it, reviews would be most welcome.) Confusedmile:
Linda Priestley AKA Linda Gruchy
I've been away and didn't get a chance to post this but some of my e-books are free over the next few days. I've outlined this on my blog.

I have no plans to put Gladiatrix free, though. Death in Spigg's Wood ins the first in my crime series. Wargeld is a collection of short stories in various genres, which I will probably offer free again at some point.

Happy New Year to everyone.
Linda Priestley AKA Linda Gruchy
@Linda: Thanks for sending me a review copy so I put it on, and But I want to share it with the other bunch here as well:

In the past few years gladiators became quite popular not only in movies and for reenactment groups but also novels dealing with gladiators were published. Some are dealing with female fighters since they are quite exotic in this male dominated world of the ludi and arenas.

The latest work dealing with a woman having to fight in the arena as a gladiatrix is by Linda Gruchy and is simply titled “Gladiatrix”. The author has done good research beforehand and therefore the book is not a fantasy but tries to stick to authentic gladiator gear and pairings but uses some literary liberty being well aware of this and doing this on purpose to spice up the story and keep the plot going.

The main charackter is a Celtic woman sentenced to fight in the arena as a gladiatrix. With hard training she learns to fight and has her first bout against a condemned criminal. It actually is true that tiro gladiators had to finish off the noxii to get used to killing people. Her next bouts are against men which was according to the scholars never happened in order to have equal chances for both gladiators thinking due to her physics the woman would be in a disadvantage fighting a man. But this spiced the story up.

Sometimes the story jumps a bit and I thought something got lost on my eBook Reader but that’s not the case.

Of course there are some intrigues, but also very interesting twists in the story, some for me very unexpected. The end is really something I haven’t thought about, very good!

A bit annoying when reading were some typos as well as misspellings of Latin terms.

Anyhow, this book is an entertaining read.
Hello, remember me? Linda Gruchy AKA Linda Priestley
My novel "Gladiatrix" is on a countdown deal on Amazon for a week, less than half price at 99p. :-) This is the first time since publication that it's been on special offer.

I am sentenced to be a Gladiatrix; a mercy or so they told me. Roman Justice is for Roman citizens, not for Celts like me. My father the bard sang the wrong songs and is dead, my husband is drowned in the marshes, and none of my kin will dare raise a voice against our oppressors lest they too suffer. I must learn to fight with the trident and net. With the blessing of the Goddess I will live long enough to earn my wooden sword and freedom.
Linda Priestley AKA Linda Gruchy

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