Definition of a Andabatae - Weapons, Armor, Fighting Styles and Opponents
What type of gladiator was a Andabatae? What weapons and armor did they use? What was their style of combat? And what type of gladiator was matched as their opponent?
- Definition: Sight Restricted Gladiators. The Andabatae wore helmets without any aperture for the eyes, so that they were obliged to fight blindfold, and thus excited the mirth of the spectators.
- Opponent: Andabatae only fought other hapless criminals
- Weapons: This type of gladiator fought with a sword (the gladius)
- Body Armor and helmet worn by this type of gladiator: The helmet which had no eye holes rendering the gladiator completely blind. No other armor was worn. They fought bare-chested
- Shield: None
- Clothing worn: Canvas Loin Cloth (subligaculum) worn in a variety of colors, sandals or barefoot
The Role of the Andabatae
The Andabatae were not the usual gladiators who had been trained in one of the Gladiator Schools - they were the noxii who had been sentenced to death in the arena. These were hapless criminals who provided comic relief to the audience. They wore helmets without any openings for the eyes. They fought completely blind, manoeuvred closer and closer together by arena attendants, lashing out and slashing blindly at each other. These fights would have been fought for the amusement of the crowd. Perhaps as a fill-in to keep the spectators amused. A morning event. Not in the same league as the gladiatorial combats which were the highlight of the day. The Andabatae fought to the death with perhaps the possibility of the 'last man standing' being allowed to walk out through the Gate of Life. Andabatae who fell to the arena floor would be burnt with a hot iron to check that he was really dead. If there were any doubts a Colosseum attendant, dressed as the Charon the ferryman to the underworld, would smash the wounded gladiator on the head with a double-headed hammer.
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