Definition of a Velites - Weapons, Armor, Fighting Styles and Opponents
What type of gladiator was a Velites? 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 Velites (Singular: Veles) were a type of Roman Gladiator who fought on foot using a spear called a hasta. The Velites were named after a class of light infantry in the army of the Roman Republic and fought with the same weapons hastae amentatae and the gladius
Fighting style: The Velites were lightly armored gladiators so they had the advantage of agility, mobility and speed.
Opponent: This type of gladiator often fought with similar gladiators. The name of such groups of gladiators was Catervarii. The Catervarii did not fight in pairs but with a number of others who fought together as a common enemy. They would often re-enact battles against chariot riders (think of the movie, Gladiator!)
Weapons: This type of gladiator fought with a spear called a hasta. The Hasta (pl.Hastae) is a Latin word meaning spear. The hasta was not thrown, it was used for thrusting and was approximately six feet in length. They were also armed with a gladius sword
Body Armor and helmet worn by this type of gladiator: The Velites fought without a helmet and no body armor
Clothing worn: Canvas Loin Cloth (subligaculum) worn in a variety of colors, sandals or barefoot