Friday, 11 July 2014

Military History Photo Friday: Roman Gladiator Mosaics

OK, this isn't strictly military history, but these guys had a shorter lifespan than most combat units! Of course they got to be stars before being gutted in front of a cheering crowd, so that's some compensation I guess.

This mosaic shows a secutor fighting a retiarius and was found at a 3rd century AD site in Rome. The secutor is named Astyanax and the word "victor" is written next to him. The retiarius Kalendio has a crossed out O next to his name, which stands for "Obiit" (death).

The next mosaic is also from 3rd century Rome and shows a fight between two murmillones, Symmachus and Maternus. Symmachus killed Maternus, but is dubbed "a fortunate man", perhaps indicating that the bookies were against him!

These images come from the newly reopened Museo Arqueológico Nacional in Madrid. You can see more mosaics in an article I wrote for Black Gate Magazine.

1 comment:

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Nothing like going into a battle with everyone betting against you.

Looking for more from Sean McLachlan? He also hangs out on the Civil War Horror blog, where he focuses on Civil War and Wild West history.

You can also find him on his Twitter feed and Facebook page.