One of the
most well known of gladiatorial combats. It divided the audience
as a football match does nowadays.
The Murmillones, or Scutatii, represented the Roman
heavy infantry and were supported by the conservative factions.
The Thraeces ('Thracians'), or Parmulates, (where
parmula means 'small shield') represented the people under the
Romans. In this case the warriors from the region of the Thrace
The term Murmillo derived from the Greek, meaning "hidden",
as he was protected by a big concave shield. His helmet represented
a kind of lid sealing the warrior in his armour. The only places
exposed were his right arm, protected by a thick leather sleeve,
and left shinbone, protected by a metal plaque.
The Thraex bore the symbol of the Griffin on his shield.
The Griffin in mythology had the head of an eagle and the body
of a lion. And so the Thraex adopted the technique of a
bird of pray. His curved weapon, the sica supina ('curved
short sword'), was used as an eagle's beak, as he tried to slip
the blade into the gaps of his opponent's armour.