Roman Gladiator Armor
The spectators loved a spectacle - costumes and different types of armor helped to provide this. Gladiators, and their style of combat, were instantly recognised by the Romans by the armor that they wore and the weapons that they carried.
Gladiator Armor and Weapons
The pairing of gladiators in the arenas were important and ironically the Romans expected to see 'fair play' in the gladiatorial fights. Matched pairs of Roman gladiators of would ensure that one fighter was hampered by heavy armor whilst the other Gladiator had only minimal armor which allowed freedom of movement. There were at least 26 different types of gladiator who specialised in using specific weapons, armor and shields. Shields were used not only as a protective element but also for pushing and attacking an opponent. Roman Gladiator Armor was there linked with the weapons that they used. Click Gladiator Weapons for facts and information.
List of Roman Gladiator Armor
The list of Roman Gladiator Armor details the Latin name used for the armor worn with a short description of the item:
List of Roman Gladiator Armor
Balteus: (sword belt) *** Cetratus - Light Shield *** Clipeus - Large, oval body shield *** Fascia: Protective leg padding *** Galea: Visored helmet *** Galerus: Shoulder guard *** Greave: Leg armor *** Kalkriese: Face armor *** Spangenhelm - Highly Protective German helmet *** Cuirass - Breastplate *** Lorica hamata: Ring-mail armor *** Lorica squamata: Scale, or plate, armour *** Manica (pl.manicae): Protective arm wraps *** Ocrea: Leg guard *** Parmula: Small, light shield *** Parma equestris: Medium-sized, round, cavalry shield *** Scutum: Large Shield *** Thorax Hamata - Chain mail *** Cingulum - a wide leather belt *** Spongia - Small breast plate
Definition and Description of Roman Gladiator Armor
The following facts and information provides details of the Latin name used for the armor with a short description of each of the pieces of armor, together with useful information about the protective armor worn by different types of gladiators.
Roman Gladiator Armor - Manica (pl.manicae) - Protective arm wraps
Manicae were wraps of leather and cloth for arm and wrist padding
Roman Gladiator Armor - Balteus (sword belt)
The balteus was a sword belt.
Roman Gladiator Armor - Fascia - Protective leg padding
A Fascia was protective leg padding worn below a greave. It consisted of a band of material, or skin, or leather
Roman Gladiator Armor - Cassis (metal helmets)
Cassis is a generic term for all helmets made of metal.
Roman Gladiator Armor - Cuirass - Breastplate
A Cuirass was a breast plate formed of a single piece of metal, or other rigid material, which covered the chest of the wearer (common in the Roman army)
Roman Gladiator Armor - Galea - Visored helmet
The Galea was visored helmet worn by all gladiators except the retiarius. The Galea featured decorative crests and visors which were pierced with eyeholes.
Galerus - Shoulder guard
The Galerus was the distinctive metal shoulder guard of the gladiator referred to as the Retiarii or the Laquerarii. This shoulder piece was fashioned so that the neck and head were protected but the head movements of the Laquerarii or Retiarii were unrestricted.
Ocrea - Leg guard
An ocrea was a metal leg guard, or greave, that ran from the knee, or sometimes the thigh, to below the shin protecting the front of the leg.
Subarmallis was padded linen worn under armor to prevent chaffing and provided extra protection. This type of armor padding was often filled with straw
Roman Gladiator Armor - Parmula - Small, light shield
A Parma was a small, light shield, usually round but occasionally square. It was made of metal or sometimes of wood (about 60 cms in diameter) and occasionally decorated with painted motifs.
Roman Gladiator Armor - Clipeus - Large, oval body shield
A Clipeus was a large, oval body-shield used by the equites who fought on horseback with a lance and then on foot with a sword.
Roman Gladiator Armor - Scutum - Large Shield
Scutum is the Latin word for "shield". A rectangular, semi-cylindrical body shield. Its curved shape protected the front and the sides. The scutum was widely used in the Roman army as its shape allowed formations of soldiers to overlap their shields providing a highly effective barrier against enemy missiles. The scutum was famously used in the testudo (Latin for
"tortoise"), in which Roman legionnaires surrounding themselves above and to the sides (like a tortoise shell). This sort of shield was carried by the gladiator called the murmillo.
Thorax Hamata - Chain mail
Thorax Hamata was chain mail which reached down to the thigh
Kalkriese - Face armor
Bronze Face mask shaped to cover the face with eyslots, armor worn to protect the face.
Roman Gladiator Armor - Horseman's shields
Rider's shields were oval or round, with round shield bosses (umbo) of iron or brass
Roman Gladiator Armor - Lorica hamata (ring-mail armor)
The Lorica hamata is a type of ring-mail armor made of bronze or iron
Roman Gladiator Armor - Lorica squamata (scale, or plate, armour)
The Lorica squamata is a type of scale armour. The scales were wired together in horizontal rows that were then laced or sewn to the backing.
Spangenhelms - Highly Protective Helmets which originated in Germany
The Spangenhelms were adapted from the original German design into highly protective conical Roman helmets curving with the shape of the head and culminating in a point. The helmet also hade large leather cheek guards, nasal bar, and deep neck guard however some helmets also included a full face mask.
Spongia - Small Chest Plate
A Spongia was a small chest plate formed of a single piece of metal, or other rigid material, which covered the chest of the gladiator.
Roman Gladiator Armor - Cetratus
A Cetratus was a light shield.
Roman Gladiator Armor - Cingulum, a wide leather belt
The Cingulum was wide leather belt which was to protect the gladiators waistline from being injured. The Cingulum was often strengthened with metal plates. Legionary soldiers also wore cingulums which often had studded leather straps hanging from the front to protect the loin.
Roman Gladiator Armor - Greave
A greave was a piece of armour that protected the leg.
Roman Gladiator Armor
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