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Tertiarius

Roman Colosseum

'The Roman Colosseum'

History, Facts and Information about the Tertiarius
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 Tertiarius, would not 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.

Definition of a Tertiarius
What type of gladiator was a Tertiarius? 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 Tertiarius was a Roman Gladiator who had two roles in the gladiatorial fights in the arenas of Ancient Rome. The first role of the Tertiarius was as a Suppositicius or substitute, taking the place of gladiators who had been billed to fight but were unable to do so on the day of the games. The second role of the Tertiarius was to participate in an unusual fight requiring three gladiators. The first two gladiators would fight until one was defeated and the victor would then have to fight with the Tertiarius.

  • Opponents - Noxii: The opponent of the Tertiarius (noxii) never had a chance. The noxii were convicts or prisoners of war who had been condemned to the arena. Their sentences had been Sine missione or "Without missio" which was a fight with no possibility of a reprieve for the loser.

Roman Colosseum
Gladiators

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