The Thraex (pl. Thraeces), or Thracian, was a type of Roman gladiator, armed in the Thracian style with a small rectangular, square or circular shield called a parmula (about 60 x 65 cm) and a very short sword with a slightly curved blade called a sica (like a small version of the Dacian falx), intended to maim an opponent's unarmoured back. His other armour included armoured greaves (necessitated by the smallness of the protector for his sword arm and shoulder), a protective belt above a loin cloth, and a helmet with a side plume, visor and high crest.
He and the hoplomachus, with his Greek equipment, were usually pitted against the murmillo, armed like a legionary, mimicking the opposition between Roman soldiers and their various enemies.
A gladiator was an armed combatant who entertained audiences in the Roman Republic and Roman Empire in violent confrontations with other gladiators, wild animals, and condemned criminals. Some gladiators were volunteers who risked their lives and their legal and social standing by appearing in the arena. Most were despised as slaves, schooled under harsh conditions, socially marginalized, and segregated even in death.
Thrace is a geographical and historical region in Southeast Europe, now split among Bulgaria, Greece and Turkey, which is bounded by the Balkan Mountains to the north, the Aegean Sea to the south and the Black Sea to the east. It comprises southeastern Bulgaria, northeastern Greece and the European part of Turkey.
The Thracians were a group of Indo-European tribes inhabiting a large area in Eastern and South-eastern Europe. They spoke the Thracian language – a scarcely attested branch of the Indo-European language family. The study of Thracians and Thracian culture is known as Thracology.
Bendis was a Thracian goddess associated with hunting whom the Athenians identified with Artemis and who was introduced into Athens about 430 BC. She was a huntress, like Artemis, but was accompanied by dancing satyrs and maenads on a fifth-century red-figure stemless cup.
A peltast was a type of light infantry, originating in Thrace and Paeonia, who often served as skirmishers in Hellenic and Hellenistic armies. In the Medieval period, the same term was used for a type of Byzantine infantryman.
A cestus or caestus is an ancient battle glove, sometimes used in pankration. They were worn like today's boxing gloves, but were made with leather strips and sometimes filled with iron plates or fitted with blades or spikes, and used as weapons.
The murmillo was a type of gladiator during the Roman Imperial age. The murmillo-class gladiator was adopted in the early Imperial period to replace the earlier Gallus, named after the warriors of Gaul. As the Gauls inhabiting Italy had become well-integrated with the Romans by the time of the reign of Augustus, it became undesirable to portray them as enemy outsiders; the Gallus-class gladiator thus had to be retired.
The falx was a weapon with a curved blade that was sharp on the inside edge used by the Thracians and Dacians – and, later, a siege hook used by the Romans.
A secutor was a class of gladiator in ancient Rome.
A retiarius was a Roman gladiator who fought with equipment styled on that of a fisherman: a weighted net, a three-pointed trident, and a dagger (pugio). The retiarius was lightly armoured, wearing an arm guard (manica) and a shoulder guard (galerus). Typically, his clothing consisted only of a loincloth (subligaculum) held in place by a wide belt, or of a short tunic with light padding. He wore no head protection or footwear.
The Dying Gaul, also called The Dying Galatian or The Dying Gladiator, is an Ancient Roman marble copy of a lost Hellenistic sculpture, thought to have been originally executed in bronze. The original may have been commissioned some time between 230 and 220 BC by Attalus I of Pergamon to celebrate his victory over the Galatians, the Celtic or Gaulish people of parts of Anatolia. The identity of the sculptor of the original is unknown, but it has been suggested that Epigonus, a court sculptor of the Attalid dynasty of Pergamon, may have been the creator.
The thyreophoroi or thureophoroi was a type of infantry soldier, common in the 3rd to 1st centuries BC, who carried a large oval shield called a Thyreos which had a type of metal strip boss and a central spine. They were armed with a long thrusting spear, javelins and a sword. They also usually wore an iron or bronze Macedonian helmet. The thureos was probably originally an adapted form of a Celtic shield. Thracian and Illyrian infantry probably adopted the shield before the Greeks. However it has been suggested that the thureos was brought to Greece after Pyrrhus of Epirus' campaigns in Italy, as his Oscan allies and Roman enemies used the scutum.
Pollice verso or verso pollice is a Latin phrase, meaning "with a turned thumb", that is used in the context of gladiatorial combat. It refers to the hand gesture or thumb signal used by Ancient Roman crowds to pass judgment on a defeated gladiator.
A hoplomachus was a type of gladiator in ancient Rome, armed to resemble a Greek hoplite. The hoplomachus would wear a bronze helmet, a manica on his right arm, loincloth (subligaculum), heavy padding on his legs, and a pair of high greaves reaching to mid-thigh. His weapons were the spear and a short sword. He was often pitted against the murmillo, perhaps as a re-enactment of Rome's wars in Greece and the Hellenistic East. The name hoplomachus means 'armored fighter'. The small, round shield, or hoplon, was as much a weapon as a sword or spear, not unlike the original hoplites, who used it primarily for defensive purposes, but also employed it in their charges, using it to ram their opponents at the onset of a fight. They wear no shoes so the sand will chafe their feet and give them a challenge.
The sica was a short sword or large dagger of ancient Thracians, Dacians and Illyrians, used in Ancient Rome too, originating in the Halstatt culture. It was originally depicted as a curved sword and many examples have been found in what are today Albania, Bosnia, Bulgaria, Serbia and Romania. It is also depicted on Trajan's Column; notably the Dacian king Decebalus is depicted committing suicide with one.
A Samnite was a Roman gladiator who fought with equipment styled on that of a warrior from Samnium: a short sword (gladius), a rectangular shield (scutum), a greave (ocrea), and a helmet. Warriors armed in such a way were the earliest gladiators in the Roman games. They appeared in Rome shortly after the defeat of Samnium in the 4th century BC, apparently adopted from the victory celebrations of Rome's allies in Campania. By arming low-status gladiators in the manner of a defeated foe, Romans mocked the Samnites and appropriated martial elements of their culture.
The history of Thracian warfare spans from the 10th century BC up to the 1st century AD in the region defined by Ancient Greek and Latin historians as Thrace. It concerns the armed conflicts of the Thracian tribes and their kingdoms in the Balkans. Apart from conflicts between Thracians and neighboring nations and tribes, numerous wars were recorded among Thracian tribes.
The history of Dacian warfare spans from c. 10th century BC up to the 2nd century AD in the region defined by Ancient Greek and Latin historians as Dacia, populated by a collection of Thracian, Ionian, and Dorian tribes. It concerns the armed conflicts of the Dacian tribes and their kingdoms in the Balkans. Apart from conflicts between Dacians and neighboring nations and tribes, numerous wars were recorded among Dacians too.
The dimachaeri were a type of Roman gladiator that fought with two swords. The name is the Latin-language borrowing of the Greek word διμάχαιρος meaning "bearing two knives".
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