the most spectacular of the fights: a real hunt. And the crowd
gathered in Caerleon's Roman Arena this day in 2006 were treated
to, not a singular duel but, a gregatum: two Retiarii
against two Secutores.
On the one side the Retiarius, the fisherman Neptune, was
eqipped with a net and trident. As a fisherman he needed a bait
and his bait was his lack of defence. This attracted the rival
to come closer; then the Retiarius could use his net.
The Secutor (meaning 'the one following') was represented
by the God of Fire, Vulcanus. He was equipped like the heavy infantry
though his armour was more specialised than that of his closest
relative, the Murmillo. He trained to fight against the
trident, long weapon of the Retiarius. His helmet had a
special crest that would let the net slide should his head be
captured. For the same reason his shield was rounded on the edges.
This fight was similar to a hunt, or a tauromachia (bull-fight),
were the Retiarius was like the bullfighter, the Secutor
the bull. But... a bull that was well aware of the techniques
and tactics of his opponent and had trained to overcome them.