Do you know gladiator training? These fighters at the time of Ancient Rome were real machines. And their intense training is quite close to the military training found in the 21st century.
How did a new gladiator train? What did his training consist of? Discover the way of life of those who fought to stay alive in Rome...
The gladiator trainers
When a new recruit (also called Novicius) entered one of the gladiator schools to begin training, he was evaluated by the lanista, a doctor, and by the gladiator trainers.
He was also checked by a Medici (a physician, not to be confused with doctors) for any medical issues and whether he was physically fit to train as a gladiator and equipped to endure the rigors of training and combat. fight.
The gladiator trainers who worked at the school were often retired gladiators who specialized in particular fighting styles and specific weapons. The trainers were called "doctors". A doctor who trained the types of gladiators called Retiarius was called Doctores Retiarii or one who trained the Secutores, Doctores Secutorum.
When new recruits entered gladiator schools they were first called Novicius and when they had completed their initial training and were ready to fight in the arena they were called Tirones Gladiatores or Tiro.
learn to die
Gladiator training was not limited to acquiring physical combat skills. Trained gladiators had to behave in a certain way. We also had to learn to die. These were specific death rituals in the arenas of the Roman Colosseum.
Roman onlookers expected gladiators to die bravely, showing no fear, offering themselves to cold-blooded murder by their opponents. Gladiator training therefore included how to die with grace and honor.
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How to train like a gladiator?
Gladiator training began with getting the new recruit into shape. Initially, their training did not involve the use of real weapons, as this would be dangerous for coaches and school staff. Gladiators used wooden practice swords.
A wooden sword (Rudus) was also given in the arena to a successful gladiator. In this context, this sword was given as a symbol
Gladiator Training Techniques
First, gladiators used a wooden pole (Palus) as a target to practice movements with a sword. Wooden swords used during pole training often weighed twice the weight of the actual weapon, allowing gladiators to build upper body and arm strength.
Training on the Palus also allowed the gladiator to practice various blows and maneuvers such as punching, stabbing and slashing, without inflicting injury on the opponent.
Then other training equipment was used, such as shields and mannequins suspended from a swinging pole. When the shield was hit, the entire device would spin.
The gladiators then had to avoid the rotating arms to which was sometimes attached a
heavy bag of sand. Doesn't that remind you of today's machines?
The Colosseum, a major symbol of gladiators
See the Colosseum Map for a comprehensive research on Ancient Rome history, facts and information.
Like the subject of gladiator training, there is hardly a page of Roman and Roman history that is not, in some way, linked to the Roman Colosseum which has become a symbol of Rome, of its society, its culture and its life. You can learn more about gladiator training.