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Unknown gladiatorial weapon
That weapon would make an awful mess of somebody's belly or neck, don't you think?
M. Demetrius Abicio
(David Wills)

Saepe veritas est dura.
Could that be a device helping with launching the net? I can imagine that serving as arm extension and enlarging momentum when throwing the net. Than it might be a secondary weapon. Just a guess but could be tested in practice in one of modern gladiatorial schools.
Patryk N. Skupniewicz
Quote:Could that be a device helping with launching the net?
It's hard to know. But a fisherman can throw a net like the retarius used 3 or 4 meters, and make it land flat on the water, then using the rope, net whatever fish are in the circle. Same motion could net an off balance Mermillo at a similar distance. I'm not sure any extra launcher would be needed, just a lot of practice throwing the net at a post...

Notice, though that most "modern gladiator-retarii" don't use the net like a fishnet, but more like some kind of whip or flail. The little 3 foot by 5 foot net that is usually sold won't work for the original purpose. It must be a round net with a drawstring to be like a fishing net.
M. Demetrius Abicio
(David Wills)

Saepe veritas est dura.
Just to add a little bit to this.

There is a mention of the afore mentioned weapon in Homer's "Illiad" in Book 1.

"Around him stood young men with five-tined forks in hand, and when the vitals had been tasted, joints consumed, they sliced the chines and quarters for the spits, roasted them evenly and drew them off."

Could these have been the same "weapons" re-used for the "Eastern" Gladiatorial combats? Possibly, especially given that Troy was not a million miles from Ephesus, they could have brought in a "local" variation on a weapon.
Ian Edge (Aurelius Lucius Brutus)

COH X. LEG XX. VV. Deva Victrix

:twisted: <img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_twisted.gif" alt=":twisted:" title="Twisted Evil" />:twisted: [size=150:164tclsi]"He who desires peace, let him prepare for war." - Vegetius - Epitome of Military Science.[/size] :twisted: <img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_twisted.gif" alt=":twisted:" title="Twisted Evil" />:twisted:
Or possibly, they were using five tined forks toe eat with, long before most give credit?
Visne partem mei capere? Comminus agamus! * Me semper rogo, Quid faceret Iulius Caesar? * Confidence is a good thing! Overconfidence is too much of a good thing.
[b]Legio XIIII GMV. (Q. Magivs)RMRS Remember Atuatuca! Vengence will be ours!
Titus Flavius Germanus
Batavian Coh I
Byron Angel
The four-tined spear head exactly like this is very common as a tip for fishing spears in diverse cultures- moreso than the trident. I have always wondered if this was just a spear-head, continuing the fisherman theme of the retarius, with the hand-held ones being broken off tips of spears.

I regularly throw a cast net by the way, and I can't think of how something of this shape would help.
Paul M. Bardunias
MODERATOR: [url:2dqwu8yc][/url]
A Spartan, being asked a question, answered "No." And when the questioner said, "You lie," the Spartan said, "You see, then, that it is stupid of you to ask questions to which you already know the answer!"
"Quadrens" is a made-up word. It's not "proper" Latin. Why do they insist on inventing these silly names?

They'd be more correct to call it a quadridens. That noun isn't actually attested either but at least it follows a good ancient precedent. The adjective quadridens ("having four teeth") existed in classical Latin (Cato used it several times in "De Agricultura") and they could have nominalized it to make a substantive quadridens. The substantive tridens ("trident") was nominalized in Latin from the adjective tridens ("having three teeth"), so quadridens would have followed the same precedent.

I think "PMBardunias" may be onto something here. It's true that fishing spears with prongs arranged similarly to the quadridens are not uncommon. Could it possibly be some kind of hand held fishing fork? Possibly a substitute for the trident, so the retiarius then fights with his net, dagger and quadridens?

If I recall correctly, there's a stone extant which shows a gladiator who could fight as both a mirmillo and a secutor. His gravestone portrait includes both helmets. Perhaps the retiarius on the stone is saying "I was good. I could use this (trident)...and I could also use this (quadrident)".
Hello, my name is Harry.
Interestingly enough, a friend of mine would like to reproduce this so called "quadrens". Can someone please supply me with the mosaic or sculpture that show it. The links when the thread was first started in 2005 do not work any longer and Google only comes up with the thread RAT where the links no longer can be enlarged.

Thank you in advance.
"You have to laugh at life or else what are you going to laugh at?" (Joseph Rosen)


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