The Stuff of Heroes

“A soldier should be rough to look on, not adorned with gold and silver but putting his trust in iron and in courage….”

Titus Livius, History of Rome: Book 6: The Reconciliation of the Orders – (389 – 366 B.C.), section 9.40

Bestiarius with Hyena

Gladiators were the entertainment heroes of the Roman Empire, their appeal a combination of rock star and Top Gun status.  Most gladiators were enemy soldiers who had been captured in battle, and who were offered the gladiatorial combats as a way to die with dignity and honour.  Some were volunteers, lured by the chance of fortune and fame.


Schleich has added six new gladiators to its series this fall.  Three models are well-known types of gladiator:  the secutor, the retiarius, and the bestiarius. The secutor and the retiarius were matched opponents:  the retiarius was the net-fighter, whose weapons were a long trident and a heavy net, and whose armour consisted only of an arm-guard; the secutor carried the short sword known as the gladius and a shield, and wore a smooth round helmet designed to shed the net of the retiarius.  The retiarius thus had the advantage of longer reach, but the secutor had more protection and a cutting blade.  The bestiarius was a beast-fighter, who would be matched in combat against various wild animals.


The other three new models represent gladiators from specific geographic areas, perhaps prisoners-of-war.  The Iberian, the Thracian, and the Egyptian, all enemies of Rome, wear the battle-gear of their homelands.

All worthy.  All heroes, in their own way.

In stock now.  CAD$9.99 each




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