Venatores - (Wild Animal Hunters)
Gladiators were always clothed and armed to resemble barbarians with unusual and exotic weapons and their fights depicted famous victories over barbarians and the power of the Roman Empire.
The Venationes - Hunting
The Venatores fought in Venationes, or hunting
shows, which were shown in a variety of different formats. Herds of
wild animals were let loose into the arena and were
slaughtered by the Venatores who specialised in archery and
with the use of the spear. Emperors who wanted to demonstrate
their hunting prowess and safely participate in the shows
would join in this type of hunt. The venatores would hunt on
foot or on horseback.
The Venationes Gladiator
School - the Ludus Matutinus
The Venatores were trained at a special
school called the Ludus Matutinus. Ludus Matutinus means 'morning school'
in Latin and was so called as the beast
shows (Venationes) were scheduled as morning events at the
Roman Colosseum. The Ludus Matutinus, or 'morning school',
was established by the
who was himself a great hunter.
Definition of a Venatores -
Weapons, Armor, Fighting Styles and Opponents
What type of gladiator was
a Venatores? What weapons and armor did they use? What was their style of combat?
- Definition: The Venatores were
types of Roman gladiators who specialised in hunting wild animals at
Venationes, or hunting shows. They also worked with trained animals
who performed circus tricks
- Many of the great wild
animals from Africa and Asia such as elephants, lions and tigers
were hunted to the point of extinction by the Venatores
- Weapons: This type of gladiator used a variety of
weapons such as
the Venabulum which was a 6ft long thick wooden spear
reinforced with long, winged head with an iron point and
bows and arrows. Other
Roman weapons which might have been used by the Venatores included
the Plumbatae or martiobarbuli which were lead-weighted darts.
The pilum (plural pila) which was a
heavy javelin, or throwing spear, approximately two meters long with
a pyramidal head. A rumex which was a kind of javelin or
hunting-spear. A mesancylum which was a javelin with a thong for
- Clothing worn: Canvas Loin Cloth (subligaculum) worn in a variety of colors,
sandals or barefoot
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