Types of Gladiators

Gladiator at the Colosseum

Types of Gladiators

  • History, Facts and information about different types of gladiator
  • How many different Types fought in Ancient Rome?
  • Types of the Elite: Rudiarius, Tertiarius and Sagittarius
  • Types of Heavily armed : Cataphractarius, Gallus, Hoplomachi, Provocatores, Samnites, Secutores, Scissores and Thrax (Thracian)
  • Types of Lightly armed fighters: Dimachaeri, Eques, Essedari, Laquerarii, Murmillones, Paegniarius, Retiarii and Velites
  • Unusual Types of Gladiator: Andabatae, Bestiarii, Bustuarii, Naumachiarii, Praegenarii and Venatores
 

Types of Gladiators


History, Facts and Information about Types of Gladiators

The content of this article provides interesting history, facts and information about different types of Gladiators. There were many different types of gladiators who were divided into different classes according to their weapons and fighting styles. There were strict rules and protocol surrounding the fights of gladiators. The pairing of the different types of gladiators was important and ironically the Romans expected to see 'fair play' in the gladiatorial combats. The selection of  'matched pairs' of different types of gladiators of would ensure that one fighter was hampered by heavy armor whilst the other was lightly armed. The different types of Gladiators have therefore been detailed on this page in four classes:

  • The Elite Types of Gladiators
  • Types of gladiators who heavily armed
  • Types of gladiators who lightly armed
  • Types of gladiators who specialised in unusual types of combat or entertainment

One type of gladiator might have freedom of movement but with little armor, or no armor to protect him. The other type of gladiator matched against him might be more heavily armed and protected but restricted in his movements by his armor.

Roman Gladiators

Roman Gladiators

Types of Gladiators - How many different Types of Gladiators fought in Ancient Rome?
How many different Types of Gladiator fought in Ancient Rome? Good question but we cannot provide a definitive answer. The history of the gladiators dates back over 2000 years and much of the information about them has been lost. We have, however, provided facts and interesting information about 26 different types of gladiator including their specialised fighting skills, their opponents and their weapons, clothing, armor and shields.

Names given to different Types of Gladiators
The first Roman Gladiators were prisoners of war and were named according to their ethnic roots such as Samnite,  Thracian and the Gaul (Gallus).  Old enemies became allies and the names of the different types of gladiators changed to reflect their combat techniques such as Secutores (chasers), Bestiarii (beast fighters) and Retiarius (net fighters).

Types of Gladiators - List of the Elite
The elite types of Gladiators were the Rudiarius who were gladiators who had obtained their freedom but chose to continue fighting in gladiatorial combats, the Tertiarius who were experienced gladiators who acted as substitutes if a gladiator was unable to fight and the Sagittarius, a rare delight for the spectators, as these were highly accomplished mounted bowmen. Each of this type of gladiator was well known to the spectators, highly experienced and extremely skilful.

Types of Gladiators - List of Heavily armed Gladiators
The different Types of Gladiators who were heavily armed were as follows:

Types of Gladiators - List of Lightly armed Gladiators
The different Types of Gladiators who were heavily armed were as follows:

List of Unusual Types of Gladiators
There were also unusual types of Gladiators. These types of gladiators were forced to fight, or specialised in, unusual types of combat or entertainment. The Andabatae (Sight Restricted Gladiators) were convicted prisoners who were forced to wear helmets without any eye holes. No other armor was worn. They fought bare-chested and blindly lashed out at each other until the last man was standing. The Bestiarii (Beast Fighters) were lightly armored types of gladiators and fought wild animals. The Venatores were Wild Animal Hunters who entertained the spectators with their hunting skills. The Praegenarii were the 'opening act gladiators'. This type of gladiator only used wooden swords, accompanied to festive music. The Bustuarii was a type of slave gladiator who fought in combats to the death at the funerals of prominent Romans. The Naumachiarii were combatants in sea-fights - the arena of the Roman Colosseum was originally able to produce such sea battles for more information see Water Battles at the Colosseum. Facts and information about all of these different, unusual types of gladiators can be accessed via the following links:

Names of other Types of Gladiators
Other specific names were given to different types of gladiators according to their status and roles:

  • Auctorati - Definition: Roman citizens who were in debt and sold themselves to gladiator schools for money, swearing of a legal agreement agreeing to submit to beating, burning, and death by the sword if they did not perform as required. Auctorati gladiators were not deprived of their Roman citizenship

  • Tirones gladiatores or Tiro - Definition: Trainee gladiators

  • Veteranus (Veterani) - Definition: A trained gladiator and a veteran of one or more gladiatorial combats 

  • Meridiani - Definition: Lightly armed gladiators who fought in the middle of the day, after the wild beast fights

  • Ordinarii - Definition: These were the regular gladiators who fought in pairs in the ordinary way

  • Catervarii - Definition: Name given to gladiators when they did not fight in pairs, but when several fought together

  • Noxii - Definition:  Criminals who had been sentenced to death fighting as gladiators in the arena

  • Gladiatores Fiscales were maintained by the private treasury of the emperor

  • Gladiatores Postulatitii, were Gladiators of great skill, maintained by the Roman state treasury

  • Taurarii gladiators who were bullfighters

Types of Gladiators
The content of this Types of Gladiators category provides free educational details, facts and information for reference and research for schools, colleges and homework. Refer to the Colosseum Sitemap for a comprehensive search on interesting different categories containing the history, facts and information about Ancient Rome. Just like the subject of Types of Gladiators there is hardly a page of Roman history and the Romans that is not, on some way, connected to the Roman Colosseum which became a symbol of Rome, its society, culture and life.

Types of Gladiators

 Types of Gladiators

  • History, Facts and information about different types of gladiator
  • How many different Types fought in Ancient Rome?
  • Types of the Elite: Rudiarius, Tertiarius and Sagittarius
  • Types of Heavily armed : Cataphractarius, Gallus, Hoplomachi, Provocatores, Samnites, Secutores, Scissores and Thrax (Thracian)
  • Types of Lightly armed fighters: Dimachaeri, Eques, Essedari, Laquerarii, Murmillones, Paegniarius, Retiarii and Velites
  • Unusual Types of Gladiator: Andabatae, Bestiarii, Bustuarii, Naumachiarii, Praegenarii and Venatores

The Romans - Types of Gladiator - Ancient Rome - Types - Roman - Encyclopedia - Reference - Research - Gladiators - Facts - History - Type - Famous - Types - Information - Info - Type of Gladiator - Romans - Italy - Educational - Schools - Type - Colleges - Homework - Anceint - Rudiarius - Tertiarius - Type of Gladiator - Sagittarius - Type - Types - Cataphractarius - Gallus - Hoplomachi - Provocatores - Samnites - Types - Secutores - Scissors - Thrax  - Type - Thracian - Type of Gladiator  - Dimachaeri - Eques - Essedari - Type of Gladiator  - Laquerarii - Type - Murmillones - Paegniarius - Retiarii - Types - Velites - Andabatae - Type of Gladiator - Type - Bestiarii - Types - Bustuarii - Naumachiarii - Types - Praegenarii Type - Venatores - Types of Gladiator - Written By Linda Alchin

Types of Gladiators