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Gladiator Helm
Time Period: 3rd century BC to 4th century AD
Location: Rome
Common Construction: Bronze or Iron

All gladiators save the retiarius wore a helmet. Most were made of bronze or iron and had a crest that represented their type. For instance, the Hoplomachus' helmet had a stylized crest of a griffin, while the Murmillo's helmet had the crest of a fish. These crests made the gladiators more easily recognizable.

Although offering excellent protection, these helmets made it very difficult to hear and sometimes even see the opponent. They were also very heavy, which gave the gladiators a vested interest in being aggressive and preventing the match from dragging on too long.

The secutor's helmet was particularly uncomfortable because it completely enclosed the head, leaving only two small eyeholes. The experience is probably quite claustrophobic, and there are no breathing holes. The helmet was designed specifically to create a dynamic fight between the secutor and his opponent the retiarius. If the fight dragged on too long, the secutor would get exhausted due to his large shield and heavy helmet and the retiarius would be able to outlast him.

The andabatae wore helmets with no apertures at all, meaning they fought each other completely blind for the crowd's amusement. Unfortunately different helms do not have distinct classifications so they all get lumped together as gladiator helms.

Armor, BCE 01st Century, BCE 02nd Century, BCE 03rd Century, CE 01st Century, CE 02nd Century, CE 03rd Century, CE 04th Century, General Term, Gladiator, Helmet, History, Rome


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