Thursday, February 07, 2008

Gladiator: Female Samnite




This is a Foundry female Samnite. The first recorded account of female gladiators was under Nero who arranged a games that featured many types of fighters, who were all Africans, including women.
There is certainly evidence that women fought as animal fighters (venatores) and one compelling piece of archaelogical evidence that they fought each other fully equipped: a memorial stone for two women named Amazonia and Achillea (stage names, of course) from Halicarnassus (modern Bodrum in Turkey) now in the British Museum.


Although women gladiators did fight bare breasted on occasion it is more likely that they wore a piece of material across their busts. My African girl doesn't care for this, however! Of course they would have done best to fight with as little clothes as possible as many sword injuries went septic due to strips of, none too clean, cloth being pushed into the wounds. This was the reason that Baroness Lubinska advised Princess Pauline Metternich and the Countess Kielmannsegg to fight topless in their 1892 duel in Vaduz, Lichtenstein. The cause of this extreme behaviour? The floral arrangements for a forthcoming musical production. Women, honestly!

Aristo babes in armed topless catfight shock! I quite fancy the one on the left!

I've just read a very rude novel called Africanus: Arena of Torment about a gladiator girl who seems to spend much more time being tied up and flogged than she does fighting in the arena! It's amazing what fine literature you buy when faced with another long business trip! Nevertheless, this makes me call this gladiatrix Africanus. Or perhaps it should be Africana? I'd better ask my daughter who is far better at Latin than I am!

More on girlie gladiators next time I paint one!

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