The Samnite was an early class of gladiator, quite popular during the period of the Roman Republic. Eventually, other gladiator types joined the roster, such as the Gaul-inspired Murmillo and the Thracian-inspired Thraex. Around this time of Emperor Augustus, the Samnite gladiator fell out of favour, probably because insulting the Samnites was no longer seen as acceptable behaviour, and the Samnite was thus replaced by similarly armed gladiators, including the Hoplomachus and the Secutor.


  • Gladius: Roman short sword with a handle made out of bone.
  • Scutum: large rectangular shield; often in the traditional asymmetrical Samnite shape.
  • Greave: leg guard often worn on the left leg, as was common for Samnite warriors.
  • Plumed Helmet.
  • Cuirass: Protective breastplate and pectoral, worn over the chest.

Fighting Technique