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The Veles gladiator is inspired by the soldiers who fought in the Republican army in front of the legion. Their role was to form a thin interference screen that would allow the Legion, taking away skirmishers opponents and exploring the terrain, to approach more safely to the foe. It is not known how the veles fought in the arena, but some speculate that, because of its reduced defensive armament (a small shield similar to that of the cavalry, the parmula, some javelins, no armor to keep lightness and agility) they fought in two against one heavily armed gladiator.
The Thraex Gladiator had his armor changed over time: having been a lightweight Gladiator, he became a heavy gladiator widening the shield and adding protections. He preserved the typical curved sword of the Thracians and more mobility than that of other gladiators with short swords (second only to Dimachaerus, not embarrassed by the shield). It is a versatile Gladiator protected on all fronts and quite elusive. His most dangerous opponents are Retiarius and Laquearius, who will try to keep it at a distance to capture him.
A rather mysterious Gladiator , not much is known about him. It is represented in a famous graffiti, but it is unclear whether this is a real armor in use, an artist's imagination or the exhibition of a special skill. Its characteristic is to be armed with two swords and have no shield. It's fast and unpredictable, but not completely defenseless thanks to the sleeves that cover the arms. The need to fight closely exposes him to the opponent's reaction, who, better protected then him or holding a long weapon, may causes him fatal injuries.
The Laquearius is another almost unknown gladiator. Having as a characteristic to possess a cowboy style lasso, you can easily imagine that his tactics consisted in staying away looking for the right moment to capture the opponent. The fact is that, once captured, the opponent is not a helpless calf, but a well-armed man still able to kill you. Equipped, it can be assumed, with a long knife or a short sword, the laquearius, while not using the lasso, fights closely even if defended by a modest protection.
The Retiarius is one of the most frequently represented gladiators in iconography, with his net and his trident. Versatile fighter, he represents a threat to all, exposed both to the net and the long trident threat. The potential of the net effect is rather small because the net was not very big, so as not to hinder the movements of Retiarius itself and to allow quick sweep of his arm.
The hoplomacus represents the greek hoplite, armed with spear and defended by a large circular shield. Apart from the greaves to protect bump ankles of his shield, and helmet, the greek hoplite fought naked. In general, the hoplomacus, like all heavy gladiators, must be patient. He can withstand a large amount of attacks from the front, but when attacked on his hips or shoulders is unguarded as everyone else. The hoplomacus is the only heavy gladiator armed with spear and this gives advantages against those who are armed with short swords. Keep the distance against opponents without long weapons is therefore a must for this gladiator.
The image of the fish (gr. Murme) on the helmet gives the name to the armature and explains the classic combination with Retiarius (fisherman). In fact the only secure data on the armor of Myrmillo is the presence of a large shield. Historians debate whether he was a heavy or a light gladiator. Our Myrmillo armor is heavy, slower than Retiarius but better protected.
The armor of Secutor takes its name from the main characteristic of his way of fighting, that is the chase of the opponent (usually the Retiarius) trying to escape. His armor consists of a helmet, sword, shield and one or two greaves.
This armor is probably named from the Latin verb â€śprovocoâ€ť, which in military language (sermo castrensis) indicated the lightly armed legionaries (velites) that opened the battle, causing the enemy in battle. He was equipped with sword, big shield, helmet with the addition of facial protection, protection for the right arm and greave on the left leg. The lightness of velites has thus given way to much more effective protections.