Gladiator Terms

Gladiator Terms

There are a number of Latin words;Gladiator Terms; that occur repeatedly in the following. Rather than try to find English equivalents, it seems much easier to retain the original terms.

aedile (aedilis): magistrate responsible for organising
amphitheatrum: amphitheatre
armatura: weapons drill; type of gladiator or style of fighting
auctoratus: a free man who fights as a gladiator
balteus: broad metal belt worn by gladiators
bestiarius: animal fighter
bustuarii: early nickname for gladiators (‘cremation-pit boys’)
caesim: cutting or chopping with a sword
cena: libera public meal for gladiators the evening before a fight
censor: magistrate responsible for the census and public morality
dictata: ‘the rules’, a formulaic series of offensive and defensive moves
doctor: trainer

editor: overall organiser of a munus
gladius sword: (generally used of the short sword) lanista owner or manager of a ludus libellus booklet with details of the gladiator pairings
ludus: gladiatorial school
ludi: gladiatorial games
missio: dismissal alive after a combat
munus: gladiatorial games
naumachia: mock naval battle
noxii: condemned men and prisoners of war sentenced to the arena
palus stake: (as high as a person) against which a gladiator trained
parmularii: small-shield fighters (and their followers)
pollice verso: gesture with the thumb to indicate death or survival
pompa: procession before games begin prolusio prologue to gladiatorial combat fought with dummy weapons
primus palus: top-ranking gladiator in a ludus
probatio armorum: inspection of weaponry before combat
pugio: dagger
punctim: stabbing with a sword (or dagger)  rudis: double-weight wooden sword used for training, awarded upon
sacramentum: gladiatorum oath taken by gladiators
scutarii: big-shield fighters (and their followers)
scutum: shield
spectacula: gladiatorial show; old name for amphitheatre

subligaculum: loin cloth or breech cloth worn by gladiators
summa: rudis umpire

tiro: recruit, greenhorn

velaria: awning made up of many vela (see velum)
velum: one panel of the velaria; plural vela
venator: hunter
veteranus: experienced gladiator
vomitoria: exits from an amphitheatre

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