History, Facts and Information about the Paegniarius
Gladiators were divided into different classes according to their weapons and fighting styles. There were strict rules and protocol surrounding the fights of gladiators. A gladiatorial fight would usually involve two gladiators but different types of gladiators such as the Paegniarius, would only fight animals. The first Roman Gladiators were prisoners of war and used the weapons and equipment characteristic of their people. The early enemies of Rome included the Samnites, the Thracians and the Gauls (Gallus) and gladiators were named according to their ethnic roots. This changed over the years and the names of the different types of gladiators reflected their combat techniques such as Secutores (chasers), Bestiarii (beast fighters) and Retiarius (net fighters). Gladiators were always clothed and armed to resemble barbarians with unusual and exotic weapons and their fights depicted famous victories over barbarians and the power of the Roman Empire.
Definition of a Paegniarius
What type of gladiator was a Paegniarius? What was their purpose? What was their style of combat? And what type of gladiator was matched as their opponent?
- Definition: The Paegniarius were Gladiators who specialised as wild animal fighters and trainers
Opponent: The Paegniarius gladiator only fought with wild animals, like the Bestiarii, but the Paegniarius only used a whip
Weapons: The Paegniarius, as shown in the mosaic, used a whip, which was similar to a modern day bullwhip. A bullwhip is a single-tailed whip, usually made of braided leather.
Body Armor and helmet worn by this type of gladiator: The Paegniarius wore no helmet and used protective leg padding called Fascia. These wrappings were made of cloth or leather and covered his legs from the knee down. Wraps were also used around the feet. He also wore a protective wide leather belt called a Cingulum worn to protect the gladiators waistline from being injured.
Shield: A double-sided wooden arm shield, like wooden boards, which were tied to the left arm
Clothing worn: Close fitting garments similar to the Subarmallis of the Roman army which was padded linen worn under armor to prevent chaffing and provided extra protection
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