The Rise Of Gladiatorial Combat In Rome — страница 3

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equipment in 310 BC. Gladiators were ranked in different categories according to their fighting style and the type of weapon they used. These Samnites wore the heavy, magnificent armor of soldiers. It included a large shield (scutum), a leather or partly metal greave (ocrea) on the left leg, and a visored helmet (galea) with huge crests and plumes. To these were added sword (gladius) or lance (hasta), and the sleeve on the right arm which was part of a gladiators general equipment.(11:121) Sectores were armed with a sword and mace loaded with lead. Thraces carried a curved scimitar of varying shape, and a small square or round shield. Myrmilliones (?Guals’) carried a shield and a short scythe and wore a distinctive fish ornament on their helmets. The Retiarii were exceptionally

uncovered, except sometimes for a head band. They carried a trident in one hand and a net in the other. Because the throwing of a net as a method of combat, was second rate the Retarii were inferior in status to the ranks, and thus had the worst living quarters. (2:86) The Myrmillo could fight against the Thracian or against the Retiarius or net fighter. But the principle opponent of the Retiarius was the Secutor.(12:109) The Procedure of the Arena Gladiatorial shows were intensively promoted and advertised to raise public attention. Descriptions of upcoming contests, appeared on walls and on the grave stones beside main roads. The opening ceremonies began the day before the fights. It was then that the supporter of the show donated a splendid feast to the contestants about to

appear on the following day. The proceedings of the murderous day began with a chariot drive and parade. Led and presented by the sponsor of the games. The gladiators displayed themselves in uniforms topped by cloaks dyed purple with gold embroidery. Climbing down their chariots, they marched around the arena, followed by slaves carrying their arms and armor. Gladiators, especially those who belonged to the emperor’s own troop, were often finely equipped. When the combatants arrived opposite the emperor’s platform, they extended their right hands towards him and cried ?Hail, emperor, greetings from men about to die!’ (Ave, imperator, morituri te salutant!) (7:538) The games often opened with a convicted criminal being thrown to a lion. The criminal was given a small sword,

and if he could kill the lion his life was spared. Another way in which they opened the games was to tie the criminal to a pillar and lower him into a pit of hungry beasts. After these morbid killings took place, the animal events would take center stage. The most common of these fights would be a lion against bear. To make the beast ready for fighting they would starved the animals and poked them with sticks while in the cage.(5:17) These events were followed by a break, during this break Gladiatores Meridiane took place. This event consisted of a fully armed gladiator against an unarmed man. The object was simple, to kill your opponent, the winner went on to fight the next combatant. The overall winner was the person that was standing in the end.(2:88) The afternoon brought

about the beginning of the gladiatorial events. Staged with a dramatic sense of climax, the afternoon started with second rate displays that were bloodless. These mock fighters were called paegniarii.(1:176) After these mock battles came the real fights, the tamest of these would be the hand to hand combats with one opponent. However, most of the contests were worst, ranging from armed fighters against unarmed, two criminals versus a gladiator, and even a group of gladiators versus another group. While the fighters were at grips, their trainers (lanista) stood beside them and hounded them on much like a modern boxers trainer would. Meanwhile the crowd shouted commands of their own including beat, kill and burn. When a man fell, the herald raised their trumpets, and spectators

yelled ?Got him! He’s had it!’ (habet, hoc habet). The fallen fighter if he was in a state to move, laid down his shield, and raised one finger of his left hand for mercy. The decision whether his life should be spared, rested with the provider of the games, but he generally let the crowd make the decision. Thumbs up, and a waving of handkerchiefs, meant his life would be spared, thumbs down and he would be killed without hesitation. While African boys raked over the bloodstained sand, fallen gladiators were taken away. A Charon would verify the gladiators death and finish him off it was necessary. The costumes of the Charon were designed to look like Mercury, divine guide of dead men’s souls to the infernal regions.(10:167) If a fighter’s performance had not given