Gladiator in armor
1st–3rd century A.D.
Sculpture in Stone and Bronze (MFA), no. 129.
Height: 6.7 cm (2 5/8 in.)
Medium or Technique
Not On View
Applique-plaque with a hollow back in a three-quarter view.
The figure is facing toward its left, with a rectangular shield on the left arm, a greave (shin-guard) on his left leg, and a sword in his right hand. His helmet, with neither a crest nor a visor, was designed to eliminate projections that might catch in the nets of a retiarius (net fighter). This helmet suggests that the figure represents either a provacotor, a secutor, or a contraretiarius (it is not known how these three classes of gladiators differed), all of whom were paired with retiarii in gladiatorial combat.
Classical Department Exchange Fund 1982.323.
By 1982: with Blumka Gallery, 949 Park Avenue, New York, N.Y. 10028 (said to have come from a New York collection formed in Germany during the Weimar Republic); purchased by MFA from Blumka Gallery, June 9, 1982
Classical Department Exchange Fund