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Евсеенков А.С.

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Murmillon (Latin murmillo, myrmillo, mirmillo, mormillo from murma — "sea fish caught in a net" — - a gladiator in Ancient Rome, armed with a sword and shield.

He was a heavily armed gladiator: he was equipped with a gladius (40-50 cm in length)and a slightly smaller version of the scutum. Murmillons wore a Type III gladiator helmet , with a wide perimeter shield and crest. Sometimes the crest and temples of the helmet were decorated with feathers. Murmillon also wore a manica and greave on his right arm, and, like other gladiators, wore a subligaculum and balteus. The weight of the equipment was 12-18 kg. Murmillons were often called Gauls, and their weapons were called Gallic, since this type of gladiator was historically represented by captive fighters from Gaul.

The main opponents of the Murmillons were the Thracians and Retiarii, as there is a lot of visual and written evidence. They also sometimes spoke out against hoplomakhs and provocateurs.

The Emperor Domitian (81-96 AD) was a fierce admirer of the Murmillon gladiators. This incredible love was once expressed in a bloody revenge on one of the fans for the Thracians. Suetonius describes this incident:

"The father of the family, who said that the Thracian gladiator would not yield to the enemy, but would yield to the master of the games "(and this was Domitian himself), "he ordered to be dragged into the arena and thrown to the dogs, displaying the inscription: "Shield-bearer - for an impudent tongue"."

Bas-relief with murmillon. National Archaeological Museum, Aquileia. 1-2 century AD
Figure of the gladiator murmillon made of bone. Found in Lexden, Colchester. British Museum of Roman History. 1st-2nd century AD
Bas-relief with murmillon. Ephesus Museum, Turkey. 1-2 century AD

Murmillon Equipment:

When reconstructing a fight on a hard, non-sandy arena, it is allowed to use authentic shoes, such as kaligs.

Murmillon, reconstruction

Related topics

Gladiator, Helmet, Manika, Okrea, Balteus, Subligaculum, Gladius, Full name, Retiary, Thracian, Hoplomakh, The provocateur



Terracotta oil lamp with gladiators. Gallo-romain de Fourvière Museum, Lyon, France. 1-2 century AD
Drawing on the wall with gladiators. Found on Balkerne Lane. Preserved in Colchester Castle Museum, Camulodunum. 2-3 century AD
Fragment of a bas-relief with murmillons from Pompeii. Mid-1st century AD
Terracotta oil lamp with gladiators. Museum des Beaux-Arts et d'Archéologie, Vienna, France. 1-2 century AD
Oil lamp in the form of a gladiator, I-II centuries AD, Split
Pendant in the form of Murmillon's helmet, I-III centuries AD, found in London
Gladiator, 1-2 B.C., 75 mm, bronze, Private collection.
Murmillon, 130 mm with stand, bronze, California Institute of World Archaeology.
Murmillon, 1st century AD, 64 mm, bronze. Private collection.
Bronze figurine with murmillon. 1-3 century AD
Murmillon, 2nd century AD, 83 mm, bronze. Private collection.
Terracotta lamp with murmillon and Thracian. 1-2 century AD