Who is fighting whom?

The two classes of gladiator in this game represent the most common pairing seen in Roman arenas: THRAEX vs. MURMILLO. 

The THRAEX carried a small shield and a curiously angled sword, designed to get around his opponent’s massive shield.  Tall greaves covered his lower legs, up to the bottom edge of his shield.

The THRAEX, or “Thracian,” was modeled after the warriors of a Bulgarian tribe conquered by the Romans.

His opponent the MURMILLO mimicked the armament of a Roman legionary: the standard gladius (short sword), and an impressive shield. He wore a short greave, on the left leg only, so that advancing shield-forward, his body would be covered head to toe. 

Both types covered their sword arms in padding and wore helmets, but had no protection on stomach or chest.  The whole idea was to strike for the vitals, never to hurt the head.  After all, what would be the sport in that?

Another classic pairing was a large-shield gladiator, called the Secutor, vs. the Retiarius, or net-man, armed with a trident. 

An extension is in the works, recreating their peculiar techniques.

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