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Hoplomachus (left) vs thraex (right) (Terracotta, British Museum). Greek pottery 2.jpg
Hoplomachus (left) vs thraex (right) (Terracotta, British Museum).

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, a protective belt above a loincloth, and a helmet with a side plume, visor and high crest. Ludia's female gladiators used the same weapons and armour.


Murmillo (left) defeating a thraex (lying down) (Lamp, Louvre). GladiatorFeldflasche.jpg
Murmillo (left) defeating a thraex (lying down) (Lamp, Louvre).

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 slaves. In essence, these slaves were not trained well and died a gruesome death.[ citation needed ]

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