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Bronze gladiator’s helmet
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This bronze helmet would have been worn by a heavily armed Roman gladiator such as the samnite or murmillo. Different types of gladiator were equipped with different weapons and armour. The murmillo was one of the heavyweight gladiatorial categories, fighting with a tall oblong shield and a sword with a broad straight blade, similar to those of the army infantry soldiers. The total weight of his arms and armour was around 16-18 kg. His most usual opponent would have been the thraex (Thracian) or hoplomachus, with a small shield.

This helmet is said to have been found in the gladiators’ barracks and Pompeii. Although gladiators were sometimes slaves or criminals, many were professionals. Gladiatorial schools were run by a lanista, a private entrepreneur who bought or recruited suitable men, trained them and hired them out.There was strict discipline in the barracks, with a well-balanced diet, constant hard training and practice.

Bronze gladiator’s helmet


Said to be from Pompeii, Campania, Italy, I century AD.
Ht. 46 cm.
Purchased with the assistance of Miss H.R. Levy.




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