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Manica
Time Period: 3rd century BC to 4th century AD
Location: Rome
Common Construction: Heavy linen or wool, or boiled leather

The manica is a heavy linen or wool arm guard worn by gladiators in the arena. The size of the manica was dependent upon the gladiator wearing it. It could cover just the forearm, or the entire arm and even part of the shoulder and chest. Most manica were worn on the right arm only, the notable exception was the retiarius, who wore an extended manica on his left side which covered the entire arm, and part of the chest. This was because he was the only gladiator without a helmet or shield, so the manica combined with a galerus protected his left side. The manica was only worn on one arm, as the selective application of armor created a more dynamic fight between gladiators.

Some manica may have had bronze plates at the ends that covered the back of the hand and/or the top the shoulder.

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


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