domenica 21 marzo 2010
Developed in the early Augustan era, the retiarius carried a trident, a dagger, and a net . Except for a loincloth held in place by a wide belt (balteus) and a larger arm guard (manica) extending to the shoulder and left side of the chest the Retiarius fought naked and without the protection of a helmet. Occasionally a metal shoulder shield (galerus) was added to protect the neck and lower face. A tombstone found in Romania shows a Retiarius holding a dagger with four spikes (each at the corner of a square guard) instead of the usual bladed dagger. This was previously thought to be an artistic invention or perhaps a ceremonial weapon but a recent discovery of a Gladiator graveyard found that several of the remains had four odd-looking marks that form the outline of a square on their bones which is consistent with the use of such a weapon. A variation to the normal combat was a retiarius facing two secutores at the same time. He stood on a bridge or raised platform with stairs and had a pile of fist-sized stones to throw at his adversaries and keep them at bay while the secutores tried to scale the structure to get at him. The platform (called a pons, "bridge") may have been constructed over water.
There appears to have been an effeminate class of Retiarius (retiarius tunicatus) that wore tunics to distinguish them from the usual Retiarius. Retiarii usually always fought Secutores but sometimes Murmillones.