Pugilatus, boxing in the Roman arena, caerleon
all images © copyright Caerleon Net 2006


The rules of this ancient discipline were simple: with only use of the hands fighters could strike any part of the body - back and genitals included.
There were no weight categories or time limits. The winner either knocked out his rival or forced him to give up.
The gloves that the Ars Dimicandi athletes wore were of Greek origin and called Imantes Oxeis. The thin leather glove had a big stiff ring wrapped around the fingers and was laced to the arm with leather thongs.
The ring isolated the hand from the most violent of the strikes.
The elbow ward off was a characteristic of ancient boxing.