Gladiator figurine of bone or ivory


British Museum

British Museum

This figurine depicts a gladiator of the heavily-armed murmillo class. Naked, but for a loin cloth and reinforced belt, he is armed with a large visored helmet, a short sword, a curved rectangular shield, metal greaves to protect his legs, and a heavy guard on his sword arm. Appropriately, a scene of gladiatorial combat is carved on the shield. These gladiators were often matched with the retiarius who carried only a net and trident. A pairing like this was intended to produce an entertaining contest between the lightly-armed, but highly manouevrable retiarius and the heavily-armed but less mobile secutor.

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  • Title: Gladiator figurine of bone or ivory
  • Date Created: 1/199
  • Physical Dimensions: Height: 70.00mm
  • External Link: British Museum collection online
  • Technique: carved
  • Subject: gladiator; gladiatorial combat
  • Registration number: 1899,1010.1
  • Place: Found/Acquired Colchester
  • Period/culture: Romano-British
  • Material: bone
  • Copyright: Photo: © Trustees of the British Museum
  • Acquisition: Donated by Papillion, P R