Gladiator mosaic

3rd century

Museo Arqueológico Nacional

Museo Arqueológico Nacional

This mosaic, executed using the opus vermiculatum technique, is divided into two parts. The lower scene depicts the first moment of gladiator combat, between the secutor Astyanax and the retiarius Kalendio, while the lanista, or gladiator trainer, cheers them on. Kalendio has thrown the net, covering his opponent, who he attacks with a trident. The scene at the top shows the end of the battle, won by Astyanax. The retiarius, lying on the sand, awaits the final, fatal attack from the secutor. The lanistae, on either side of the gladiators, raise their hands to signal a victory while awaiting the order from the editor muneris to conclude the fight with the death of Kalendio. This mosaic was discovered in 1670 in the thermal baths of a townhouse on the Caelian Hill in Rome. Originally part of Cardinal Massimo’s collection, in 1760 it was transferred to the collection of Charles III, who gifted them to the Royal Public Library, which would later become part of the founding collections of the National Archaeological Museum in 1867.

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  • Title: Gladiator mosaic
  • Date Created: 3rd century
  • Location: Rome, Italy
  • Type: Mosaic Techniques
  • Rights: http://www.man.es/
  • External Link: CERES
  • Medium: Marble and limestone
  • Provenance: Caelian Hill
  • Original Tittle: Mosaico de gladiadores
  • Cultural Context: Roman Empire


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