Tuesday, March 20, 2012
Thraex and Hoplomachus
Thraex: The thraex (or Thracian) gladiator appears to have been introduced to the arena around the time of the Mithridates Wars, during which a great many Thracians were taken prisoner. The thraex was armored with manica on his sword arm, protective leg wrappings, high greaves on both legs, a small rectangular shield and a large rimmed helmet with a feathered crest. His weapon was a short curved dagger, which meant he had to get very close to his opponent in order to attack him. The thraex was usually paired against the myrmillo, a gladiator type who was armored with a gladius infantry sword and protected with a legionary type scutum shield. In this way, the gladiator match between the thraex and myrmillo might have mimicked a fight between a legionary and one of the enemies of Rome. Comparing the arms and armor of the two gladiators, it appears this was a match-up the thraex was meant to lose!