Pottery Oil lamp depicting two gladiators, similarly clad in combat,
2nd Cenntury A D. Roman North Africa, Benghazi, Libya
Length: 10 cms
Condition: Complete with a discreet professional repair
Gladiators wrapped leather and cloth strips over their arms and wrists for padding, known as the manicae. They wore two belts: the balteus, a sword belt, and the cingulum, a wide leather belt reinforced with metal plates that protected the waist from injury. A metal leg guard called the ocra protected their legs from the knees to the shins, and it was worn with the fascia to protect the skin. The fascia was made of leather or cloth. Gladiators also wore the distinctive metal shoulder guard called the galerus. Underneath their armor, gladiators wore protective padded linen that was sometimes supplemented with straw. The subarmalis, as this was called, prevented chafing.