Although the Romans enjoyed conquering other people and expanding their empire they also enjoyed some recreational activities. One of these was taking a nice hot bath in one of the hundreds of acres of baths dotting the city of Rome. Kinda funny nowadays you have to force children to take a bath and in ancient Rome it was a leisure activity. The other thing the Romans enjoyed doing was going to the Colosseum to view the different events featured there. The Colosseum had many interesting shows. Exotic animals fought each other, Christians were set upon by lions, the arena was flooded to accommodate mock sea battles, and savage gladiators fought to the death.
Sometimes the gladiators were freemen fighting for fame and fortune or more often they were slaves fighting to live one more day. Freeman or slave, Roman gladiator armor protected these gladiators. Although the armor worn in the arena was made by Romans almost all of the armor used in the arena was modeled after armor of Rome's enemies. Here are some of the different armors used.
*Samnite Armor - the Samnite wore a metal or leather greave, called the ocrea, on their left leg and a protective sleeve on their right arm. They wore a visored helmet and like most helmets in the arena, it had a plume. The Samnite gladiator used a shield, sword and lance in battle.
*Thracian Armor - The Thracian gladiators wore two ocreas, a helmet with a large wide brim and wielded a small square shield and a curved sword called a sical.
*Gaul Armor - the Gaul gladiator used a sword and a shield and usually bore some type of fish marking on their helmets.
*Myrmillo Armor - The Myrmillo gladiators wore helmets that enclosed their entire faces, had large brims, and large plumes. They also used a piece of armor called the manica which protected their right arm. The Myrmillos also used a sword and a shield.
*Retiarius Armor - the armor of the Retiarius consisted of a loincloth, and a shoulder defense that protected the entire left arm. They used a net and a trident to fight with.
*Andabatae Armor - the Andabatae rode a horse and was clad in mail armor and wore a sightless helmet.
*Secutor Armor - The Secutor gladiator fought bald and mostly naked only wearing an ocrea and some leather elbow armor. They used a shield and a knife or sword.
*Eque Armor - the Roman gladiator armor of the Eques included a mail cuirass, a shield, a helmet, and they fought with a lance.
*Freemen Gladiators - Oftentimes these gladiators would fight with spectacular armor made of exotic stones, metals, and materials. The Roman gladiator armor of these contenders was truly a sight to behold.
The Colosseum of ancient times drew massive crowds, kinda like later public executions. Maybe it's something ingrained in humankind or possibly just curiosity of death but events that involved death always attracted scores of people. I guess we can be thankful that T.V violence was invented so something similar to this isn't more socially accepted nowadays.
Illustrated by Cyrus "killacaravagio" Hunter
"Order us up some more of those soft shell Romans, the shelled ones hurt my teeth."