Definition of a Andabatae -
Weapons, Armor, Fighting Styles and Opponents
What type of gladiator was
a Andabatae? What weapons and armor did they use? What was their style of combat? And what type of gladiator was matched as their opponent?
Restricted Gladiators. The Andabatae
wore helmets without any aperture for the eyes, so that they were
obliged to fight blindfold, and thus excited the mirth of the
Opponent: Andabatae only fought other hapless
Weapons: This type of gladiator fought with a sword (the gladius)
Body Armor and helmet worn by this type of gladiator: The
helmet which had no eye holes rendering the gladiator completely
blind. No other armor was worn. They fought bare-chested
Clothing worn: Canvas Loin Cloth (subligaculum) worn in a variety of colors,
sandals or barefoot
The Role of the Andabatae
Andabatae were not the usual gladiators who had been trained in one
of the Gladiator Schools - they were the noxii who had been
sentenced to death in the arena. These were hapless criminals who provided comic relief
to the audience. They wore helmets without any openings for the eyes.
They fought completely blind, manoeuvred closer and closer together by
arena attendants, lashing out and slashing blindly at each other.
These fights would have been fought for the amusement of the
crowd. Perhaps as a fill-in to keep the spectators amused. A
morning event. Not in the same league as the gladiatorial
combats which were the highlight of the day. The
Andabatae fought to the death with perhaps the possibility of the
'last man standing' being allowed to walk out through the
Gate of Life.
Andabatae who fell to the arena floor would be burnt with a hot iron
to check that he was really dead. If there were any doubts a
Colosseum attendant, dressed as the Charon the ferryman to
the underworld, would smash the
wounded gladiator on the head with a double-headed hammer.