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Oil lamp depicting Murmillo vs. Retiarius fight
My weekly search through Flickr has brought up a special item this week:[email protected]/

This is one of only two actual depictions of this pairing prior to the introduction of the Secutor.
The other one is a Relief pictured in Junkelmann and dated to the frist halve of the 1st century AD.

In both depictions the Retiarius is wearing a chiton and armed with dagger and trident.
It is not clear if the Retiarius in the relief is wearing any protection on his left arm, but on this oil lamp I would consider the oval shape on the left shoulder either as an abstract depiction of the classic shoulder guard or as a shoulder guard prototype.
Olaf Küppers - Histotainment, Event und Promotion - Germany
That helmet would be a good target for the net, wouldn't it? It's easy to see why they went with the smoother top on the secutor.

Anybody's guess who actually won, but that trident is in a bad location for the murmillo, and the impending gladius strike looks ominous, too. Neither of them would have escaped unharmed, probably.
M. Demetrius Abicio
(David Wills)

Saepe veritas est dura.
I tried following the link but Flickr would not cooperate
please send an alternate route??
I grew up being retiarius fighting murmillione
It wouldn't work for me, either. I'm interested in seeing this.
Pecunia non olet
Post a live link, please. 8-)

Undergrad student majoring in Social Studies Education with a specialty in world history.

"conare levissimus videri, hostes enimfortasse instrumentis indigeant"
(Try to look unimportant-the enemy might be low on ammunition).
[Image: 8003063449_f2be4e6a14_b.jpg]
Non mihi, non tibi, sed nobis

Joe Patt (Paruzynski)
Milton, FL, USA
Quote:That helmet would be a good target for the net, wouldn't it? It's easy to see why they went with the smoother top on the secutor.

That's why in the end the secutor helmet was developed. The secutor actually is nothing else then a specialized murmillo fighting the retiarius.
I've seen this image before, though without as much detail. The one I saw may have been a third-generation copy, as was often done with lamps. In any case, this is remarkable on several counts. One is the murmillo helmet, of course. I know of only one other depiction, on a Gallic jug, showing a secutor in a brimmed, crested helmet. Another is that the swords seem to be legionary-sized, not the daggers of later years. Third is the short manica the secutor wears. In fact, except for the presence of the retiarius, he could be a Republican-era murmillo. I wish we could tell whether his helmet is visored or still has separate cheekplates. If the latter, this could be evidence for the retiarius existing as far back as Augustan times or even earlier.
Pecunia non olet
Hi John,
I wozld be very interested in the Gallic Jug you mentioned.
This would then be the third depiction of this pairing prior to the evolution of the Secutor helmet.

The relief from Saepinum/Sepino seems to show a Murmillo with an open faced helmet, but sadly the picture in Junkelmann (2008/page 209) is to samll to be sure and the relief seems to be damaged.
It is dated to the beginning of the 1st century AD though and I would date this oillamp similary on account of the very short manica.

Svenja is right of course, in some test fights against a Murmillo with a Pompeji type helmet it was easily for me to cast the net over the helmet and just pull it of its wearers head.
Olaf Küppers - Histotainment, Event und Promotion - Germany
when i used to do these fights we were able to spin the murmillo around with the net. it didn't happen often but you knew you were playing to the crowd and trusted the wearer would go with it for a while so he didnt hurt himself. Glory dayze :-)


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