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Secutores

Roman Colosseum

'The Roman Colosseum'

History, Facts and Information about the Secutores
Gladiators were divided into different classes according to their weapons and fighting styles. There were strict rules and protocol surrounding the fights of gladiators. A gladiatorial fight would usually involve two gladiators but similar types of gladiators such as the Secutores, would not normally fight each other.

The first Roman Gladiators were prisoners of war and used the weapons and equipment characteristic of their people. The early enemies of Rome included the Samnites, the Thracians and the Gauls (Gallus) and gladiators were named according to their ethnic roots. This changed over the years and the names of the different types of gladiators reflected their combat techniques such as Secutores (chasers), Bestiarii (beast fighters) and Retiarius (net fighters). Gladiators were always clothed and armed to resemble barbarians with unusual and exotic weapons and their fights depicted famous victories over barbarians and the power of the Roman Empire. The Secutor (meaning 'the one following') symbolised Vulcan the God of Fire, because fire always pursues. The Secutores evolved from one of the first types of gladiators called the Samnites.

Gladiator Weapons
Roman Gladiator Armor

History and Origins of the Secutores
The Romans enjoyed the spectacle of watching the fighting styles of their defeated enemies. But the Secutores, a variety of the Murmillones, emerged to fight the Retiarius gladiator. The Retiarii used  the trident as a weapon which was also well known as s symbol and weapon of Neptune, the God of the Sea. The Secutor (meaning 'the one following'), symbolised Vulcan the God of Fire. A fight symbolising the opposites of fire and water.

Definition of a Secutores - Weapons, Armor, Fighting Styles and Opponents
What type of gladiator was a Secutores? What weapons and armor did they use? What was their style of combat? And what type of gladiator was matched as their opponent?

  • Definition: The Secutores was a type of Roman Gladiator. The gladiator "Secutor" (meaning 'chaser' ) got his name from his fighting technique

  • The Secutores wore a smooth, round, close-fitting helmet that minimized it being caught by the Retiarius' net. The helmet also had two small round eye holes.

  • Opponent: This type of gladiator usually fought with aRetiarius (pl. Retiarii meaning "net-man" or "net-fighter") who was a Roman gladiator who fought with equipment styled on that of a fisherman. The Retiarius (Retiarii) were lightly armored so they had the advantage of agility, mobility and speed

  • Weapons: This type of gladiator fought with a sword (first the the gladius which was eventually replaced by the Spatha)

  • Body Armor worn by this type of gladiator: He wore an Ocrea, or metal greave, on the lower left leg. His right arm and wrist was protected by a manica of tied linen or leather

  • The purpose of the small eye-holes in the helmets of the opponents of the Retarius was to prevent the narrow prongs of the retiarius' trident from penetrating to the eyes

  • Shield: The Secutores carried a large, rectangular, semi-cylindrical body shield called a scutum

  • Clothing worn: Canvas Loin Cloth (subligaculum) worn in a variety of colors, sandals or barefoot

Secutores - Matched Pairs
Combats between similarly armored gladiators would demonstrate superior skills when gladiators were fighting against equally armed opponents. However, contrasting types of fighters were also carefully selected in order to achieve a reasonably fair pairing. Matched pairs of gladiators of would ensure that one fighter was hampered by heavy armor whilst the other was lightly armed. One gladiator might have freedom of movement but with little to nothing to protect him, whereas the other gladiator might be more heavily armed and protected but restricted in his movements by his equipment. There were therefore many different types of gladiator, including the Secutores, who specialised in using specific weapons, armor and shields.

Roman Colosseum
Gladiators

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