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Gladiator

Евсеенков А.С.

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Gladiator (Lat. gladiator - "swordsman", from gladius — "sword") - a fighter in Ancient Rome, who fought with the likes of himself for the amusement of the public in special arenas. Despite the name, gladiators could be not only warriors using a sword, but also spearmen, trident bearers, etc.

The main reason for the emergence of gladiatorial games historians consider borrowed from the Etruscans funeral rite. Possible victims of human sacrifice could be not only slaves, but also free people who fought with swords in their hands near the grave. As a result, the strongest survived, and the weakest died, and this ceremony caused the delight of those present. Perhaps it was the love of this rite that provoked the appearance of gladiatorial games.

There is also another, Campanian version of their origin. It is based on frescoes from Campania that depict a religious and ceremonial custom, as well as references to such games in Titus Livy. The version is that in ancient times, over the coffin of a deceased noble warrior, it was customary to kill captured enemies, sacrificing them to the gods of the underworld. Later, probably, these cruel sacrifices were transformed into ritual fights of warriors with gladiuses. The first gladiators were called bustuarii (from " bustum – - a bonfire on which the body of the deceased was burned). This shows the initial connection of the gladiatorial games (munera) with funerary celebrations, in honor of which the earliest recorded Roman pageants were organized in 264 BC.e. They were timed to coincide with the funeral of Lucius Junius Brutus. Over time, gladiator games began to be organized on other occasions, for example, in honor of religious holidays.

Many slaves voluntarily tried to get into the gladiator school, as it was a way for them to earn their freedom. At the gladiator school, beginners were expected to undergo harsh training, and many could not cope with the heavy load. Gladiators who performed well in the arena were given the wooden sword rudis, and they ceased to be slaves, and found freedom. Many of these gladiators did not leave the arena, but continued to fight already free. It brought money, fame and adrenaline, which many lacked.

In 105 BC, gladiatorial games were introduced as a public spectacle. Since then, the State has taken control of this aspect of society's life and entrusted its magistrates with the responsibility of organizing the games. Gladiatorial games are becoming the favorite spectacle of the entire Roman state. This feature was often used by politicians who wanted to run for public office to gain support from the people. Caesar in 65 BC organized the games, which were attended by 320 pairs of gladiators. Such a broad gesture greatly frightened his political opponents. Luxury games have become a surefire way to win the favor of the people in the shortest possible time and secure votes in elections. Cicero in 63 BC. e. because of the actions of Caesar, proposed to pass a law prohibiting a candidate for magistracy for two years before the election to arrange gladiatorial games. However, no one could prohibit a private person from organizing them under the pretext of a memorial service for his relative, especially if the latter had bequeathed to his heir to arrange games, which served as one of the formal ways to circumvent the ban.

Zliten mosaic from Libya (Leptis Magna). 2nd century AD

Classification of gladiators

The most common types of gladiators:

Rare types of gladiators that little is known about:

Specific types of gladiators:

Equipment

The equipment of gladiators, depending on their type, was very different, but the following elements can be distinguished, which are particularly common::

Reconstruction

Before you start reconstructing the image of a gladiator, you need to choose its type, so as not to build an "abstract" gladiator. Gladiator images are no less expensive than legionnaires', and the main cost of the kit is a helmet due to the complexity of production. It should be noted that gladiators did not use shoes during battles, but due to the fact that sand arenas are quite rare at modern events, it is permissible to make kaligs for yourself as a stylization element . Thus, the minimum gladiator kit that any type needs will include the subligaculum, balteus, and kaligi. Other elements should be selected depending on the type of reconstructed gladiator. The least financially expensive sets will depict gladiators who do not use a helmet, such as retiarii. However, when choosing a gladiator type, we advise you to rely on your preferences in offensive weapons, and not on the complexity of reproducing the image. If you are a classic swordsman, then secutor, murmillon, Thracian, provocateur are best suited. If you are a spearman, then hoplomakh. If you like to hit with two hands – then dimacher or scissor. It is also not recommended to start reconstructing gladiator types that are not well known. It is best to focus on the classic images described in the section "The most common types of gladiators".

Gladiatrix-murmillon, reconstruction
Provocateur, reconstruction
Retiary, reconstruction

Related topics

Gladius, Balteus, Manika, Okrea, Subligaculum, Shild, The provocateur, Krupellary

Literature

Gladiators-Konstantin Nosov. pdf

Arena and Blood - Goroncharovsky.pdf

Gladiators-Paolucci F. pdf

Goroncharovsky V. A. Arena and Blood: Roman Gladiators between Life and Death. - St. Petersburg: Peterburgskoe Vostokovedenie, 2009. - 256 p. - (Militaria Antiqua). — 2000 copies. — ISBN 978-5-85803-393-6.

Losev A. F. Gladiators / / Hellenistic-Roman aesthetics of the I-II centuries A.D.-Moscow: MSU Publishing House, 1979. - pp. 45-55.

Matthews Rupert. Gladiators / Translated from English by N. V. Mikelishvili. - Moscow: Mir knigi, 2006. - 320 p.: ill. - ISBN 5-486-00803-1.

Paolucci Fabrizio. Gladiators. Doomed to death / Translated from Italian-M.: Niola-Press, 2010. - 128 p.: ill. — (Secrets of history). — ISBN 978-5-366-00578-4.

Hoefling Helmut. Romans, slaves, gladiators: Spartacus at the Gates of Rome / Translated from German, afterword. and comm. by E. V. Lyapustina. - Moscow: Mysl, 1992. - 270 p.: ill. - ISBN 5-244-00596-0.

Junkelmann, Marcus. Familia Gladiatoria: The Heroes of the Amphitheatre // Gladiators and Caesars: The Power of Spectacle in Ancient Rome / Eckart Köhne, Cornelia Ewigleben, Ralph Jackson. — Berkeley — Los Angeles: University of California Press, 2000. — P. 31—74. — 153 p. — ISBN 0520227980.

Wisdom, Stephen. Gladiators: 100 BC–AD 200. — Osprey Publishing, 2001. — 64 p. — ISBN 9781841762999.

Nossov, Konstantin. Gladiator: Rome’s bloody spectacle. — Osprey Publishing, 2009. — 208 p. — ISBN 9781846034725.

Gallery

Bas-relief in honor of the gladiator games in the city of Teate (Chieti). Colosseum Alley, Rome, AD 20-40

Bas-relief in honor of the gladiator games in the city of Teate (Chieti). Colosseum Alley, Rome, AD 20-40

Bas-relief in honor of the gladiator games in the city of Teate (Chieti). Colosseum Alley, Rome, AD 20-40

Bas-relief of bustiarii from Amitern. 3-2 century BC

Bas-relief with gladiators. 1-2 century AD

Mosaic with gladiators from Villa Borghese. 3rd century AD

Mosaic with gladiators from Villa Borghese. 3rd century AD

Mosaic with gladiators. Dar Buc Ammera Villa. Tripoli National Museum. Second half of the 1st century AD

Mosaic with gladiators. Dar Buc Ammera Villa. Tripoli National Museum. Second half of the 1st century AD

Mosaic with gladiators. 1-3 century AD

Mosaic with gladiators. Dar Buc Ammera Villa. Tripoli National Museum. Second half of the 1st century AD

Bas-relief with gladiators. Necropolis in Kibyra, Burdur Museum. 2-3 century AD
Zliten mosaic from Libya (Leptis Magna). 2nd century AD
Bas-relief with a gladiator fight from Varna. Varna Archeology Museum. Early 3rd century AD
Sculptural portrait of a Roman gladiator; with a face, 1st century AD, Museum of the Roman Theater in Verona
Mural with an amphitheater. Found in Pompeii. National Archaeological Museum, Naples. 1st century AD
Mosaic of gladiators in a Roman villa in Nennig, Germany. Early 3rd century AD
An unidentified gladiator type. The Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland. Mid-1st century AD
Battle of gladiators, ca. 250, floor mosaic in a Roman villa. Nennig am Moselle, Germany.
Battle of gladiators, ca. 300, floor mosaic in a Roman villa. Villa Borghese Museum and Gallery, Rome, Italy
Gladiators, 2-3 century AD, 64 mm, lead. Private collection, Munich.
Terracotta statue of a gladiator. Taranto, Contrada Corti Vecchie. Late 1st century BC, early 1st century AD
Mosaic from Roemerhalle, Bad Kreuznach (Germany). 2-3 century AD
A statuette of a gladiator, presumably a secutor. Private collection. 1-2 century AD
Mosaic of gladiators in a Roman villa in Nennig, Germany. Early 3rd century AD

Oil lamps with gladiators

Image of a gladiator on a lamp. Römisch Germanisches Museum. 1-2 century AD
Lamp with gladiators. Musée gallo-romain de Fourvière, Lyon. 1-2 век н.э.
Lamp with gladiators. Musée gallo-romain de Fourvière, Lyon. 1-2 век н.э.
Lamp with gladiators. Musée gallo-romain de Fourvière, Lyon. 1-2 век н.э.
Lamp with gladiators. Musée gallo-romain de Fourvière, Lyon. 1-2 век н.э.
Fragment of a lamp with gladiators. Musée gallo-romain de Fourvière, Lyon. 1-2 век н.э.
Lamps with gladiators. Musée gallo-romain de Fourvière, Lyon. 1-2 век н.э.
Lamp with a gladiator. Musée gallo-romain de Fourvière, Lyon. 1-2 век н.э.
Lamp with a gladiator. Musée gallo-romain de Fourvière, Lyon. 1-2 век н.э.
Lamp with a gladiator. Musée gallo-romain de Fourvière, Lyon. 1-2 век н.э.
Lamp with gladiators. Musée gallo-romain de Fourvière, Lyon. 1-2 век н.э.
Lamp with gladiators. Musée gallo-romain de Fourvière, Lyon. 1-2 век н.э.
Lamp with gladiators. Musée gallo-romain de Fourvière, Lyon. 1-2 век н.э.
Lamp with a gladiator. 1-2 century AD
Oil lamp with a gladiator scene. The defeated gladiator is carried away from the battlefield. 1-2 century AD