I've been thinking about this for a while, but how effective is full plate armour? Was it actually a good way to defend yourself?
Short Answer: Yes.
Here’s a general rule: People in the past were ignorant about a lot of things, but they weren’t stupid. If they used something, chances are they had a good reason. There are exceptions, but plate armor is not one of them.
For a type of armor, no matter what it is, to be considered effective, it has to meet three criteria.
The three criteria are: Economic Efficiency, Protectiveness, and Mobility.
1. Is it Economically Efficient?
Because of the nature of society in the Middle Ages, what with equipment being largely bring-it-yourself when it came to anybody besides arrowfodder infantry who’d been given one week of training, economic efficiency was a problem for the first couple of decades after plate armor was introduced in France in the 1360s. It wasn’t easy to make, and there wasn’t really a ‘science’ to it yet, so only the wealthiest of French soldiers, meaning knights and above, had it; unless of course somebody stole it off a dead French noble. The Hundred Years War was in full swing at the time, and the French were losing badly to the English and their powerful longbows, so there were plenty of dead French nobles and knights to go around. That plate armor was not very economically efficient for you unless you were a rich man, though, it also was not exactly what we would call “full” plate armor.
Above: Early plate armor, like that used by knights and above during the later 1300s and early 1400s.
Above: Two examples of what most people mean when they say “full” plate armor, which would have been seen in the mid to late 1400s and early 1500s.
Disclaimer: These are just examples. No two suits of armor were the same because they weren’t mass-produced, and there was not really a year when everybody decided to all switch to the next evolution of plate armor. In fact it would not be improbably to see all three of these suits on the same battlefield, as expensive armor was often passed down from father to son and used for many decades.
Just like any new technology, however, as production methods improved, the product got cheaper.
Above: The Battle of Barnet, 1471, in which everybody had plate armor because it’s affordable by then.
So if we’re talking about the mid to late 1400s, which is when our modern image of the “knight in shining armor” sort of comes from, then yes, “full” plate armor is economically efficient. It still wasn’t cheap, but neither are modern day cars, and yet they’re everywhere. Also similar to cars, plate armor is durable enough to be passed down in families for generations, and after the Hundred Years War ended in 1453, there was a lot of used military equipment on sale for cheap.
2. Is it Protective?
This is a hard question to answer, particularly because no armor is perfect, and as soon as a new, seemingly ‘perfect’ type of armor appears, weapons and techniques adapt to kill the wearer anyway, and the other way around. Early plate armor was invented as a response to the extreme armor-piercing ability of the English longbow, the armor-piercing ability of a new kind of crossbow, and advancements in arrowhead technology.
Above: The old kind of arrowhead, ineffective against most armor.
Above: The new kind of arrowhead, very effective at piercing chainmaille and able to pierce plate armor if launched with enough power.
Above: An arrow shot from a “short” bow with the armor-piercing tip(I think it’s called a bodkin tip) piercing a shirt of chainmaille. However, the target likely would have survived since soldiers wore protective layers of padding underneath their armor, so if the arrow penetrated skin at all, it wasn’t deep. That’s Terry Jones in the background.
Above: A crossbow bolt with the armor piercing tip penetrating deep through the same shirt of chainmaille. The target would likely not survive.
Above: A crossbow bolt from the same crossbow glancing off a breastplate, demonstrating that it was in fact an improvement over wearing just chainmaille.
Unfortunately it didn’t help at all against the powerful English longbows at close range, but credit to the French for trying. It did at least help against weaker bows.
Now for melee weapons.
It didn’t take long for weapons to evolve to fight this new armor, but rarely was it by way of piercing through it. It was really more so that the same weapons were now being used in new ways to get around the armor.
Above: It’s a popular myth that Medieval swords were dull, but they still couldn’t cut through plate armor, nor could they thrust through it. Your weapon would break before the armor would. Most straight swords could, however, thrust through chainmaille and anything weaker.
There were three general answers to this problem:
1. Be more precise, and thrust through the weak points.
Above: The weak points of a suit of armor. Most of these points would have been covered by chainmaille, leather, thick cloth, or all three, but a sword can thrust through all three so it doesn’t matter.
To achieve the kind of thrusting accuracy needed to penetrate these small gaps, knights would often grip the blade of their sword with one hand and keep the other hand on the grip. This technique was called “half-swording”, and you could lose a finger if you don’t do it right, so don’t try it at home unless you have a thick leather glove to protect you, as most knights did, but it can also be done bare-handed.
Above: Examples of half-swording.
2.Just hit the armor so fucking hard that the force carries through and potentially breaks bones underneath.
Specialty weapons were made for this, but we’ll get to them in a minute. For now I’m still focusing on swords because I like how versatile the European longsword is.
Above: A longsword. They’re made for two-handed use, but they’re light enough to be used effectively in one hand if you’d like to have a shield or your other arm has been injured. Longswords are typically about 75% of the height of their wielders.
Assuming you’re holding the sword pointing towards the sky, the part just above the grip is called the crossguard, and the part just below the grip is called the pommel. If you hold the sword upside-down by the blade, using the same careful gripping techniques as with half-swording, you can strike with either the crossguard or the pommel, effectively turning the sword into a warhammer. This technique was called the Murder Stroke, and direct hits could easily dent plate armor, and leave the man inside bruised, concussed, or with a broken bone.
Above: The Murder Stroke as seen in a Medieval swordfighting manual.
Regular maces, hammers, and other blunt weapons were equally effective if you could get a hard enough hit in without leaving yourself open, but they all suffered from part of the plate armor’s intelligent design. Nearly every part of it was smooth and/or rounded, meaning that it’s very easy for blows to ‘slide’ off, which wastes a lot of their power. This makes it very hard to get a ‘direct’ hit.
Here come the specialized weapons to save the day.
Above: A lucerne, or claw hammer. It’s just one of the specialized weapons, but it encompasses all their shared traits so I’m going to only list it.
These could be one-handed, two-handed, or long polearms, but the general idea was the same. Either crack bones beneath armor with the left part, or penetrate plate armor with the right part. The left part has four ‘prongs’ so that it can ‘grip’ smooth plate armor and keep its force when it hits without glancing off. On the right side it as a super sturdy ‘pick’, which is about the only thing that can penetrate the plate armor itself. On top it has a sharp tip that’s useful for fighting more lightly armored opponents.
3. Force them to the ground and stab them through the visor with a dagger.
This one is pretty self-explanatory. Many conflicts between two armored knights would turn into a wrestling match. Whoever could get the other on the ground had a huge advantage, and could finish his opponent, or force him to surrender, with a dagger.
By now you might be thinking “Dang, full plate armor has a lot of weaknesses, so how can it be called good armor?”
The answer is because, like all armor is supposed to do, it minimizes your target area. If armor is such that your enemy either needs to risk cutting their fingers to target extremely small weak points, bring a specialized weapons designed specifically for your armor, or wrestle you to the ground to defeat you, that’s some damn good armor. So yes, it will protect you pretty well.
Above: The red areas represent the weak points of a man not wearing armor.
Also, before I move on to Mobility, I’m going to talk briefly about a pet-peeve of mine: Boob-plates.
If you’re writing a fantasy book, movie, or video game, and you want it to be realistically themed, don’t give the women boob-shaped armor. It wasn’t done historically even in the few cases when women wore plate armor, and that’s because it isn’t as protective as a smooth, rounded breastplate like you see men wearing. A hit with any weapon between the two ‘boobs’ will hit with its full force rather than glancing off, and that’ll hurt. If you’re not going for a realistic feel, then do whatever you want. Just my advice.
Above: Joan of Arc, wearing properly protective armor.
An exception to this is in ancient times. Female gladiators sometimes wore boob-shaped armor because that was for entertainment and nobody cared if they lived or died. Same with male gladiators. There was also armor shaped like male chests in ancient times, but because men are more flat-chested than women, this caused less of a problem. Smooth, rounded breastplates are still superior, though.
3. Does it allow the wearer to keep his or her freedom of movement?
Okay, I’ve been writing this for like four hours, so thankfully this is the simplest question to answer. There’s a modern myth that plate armor weighed like 700 lbs, and that knights could barely move in it at all, but that isn’t true. On a suit of plate armor from the mid to late 1400s or early 1500s, all the joints are hinged in such a way that they don’t impede your movement very much at all.
The whole suit, including every individual plate, the chainmaille underneath the plates, the thick cloth or leather underneath the chainmaille, and your clothes and underwear all together usually weighed about 45-55 lbs, and because the weight was distributed evenly across your whole body, you’d hardly feel the weight at all. Much heavier suits of armor that did effectively ‘lock’ the wearer in place did exist, but they never saw battlefield use. Instead, they were for showing off at parades and for jousting. Jousting armor was always heavier, thicker, and more stiffly jointed than battlefield armor because the knight only needed to move certain parts of his body, plus being thrown off a horse by a lance–even a wooden one that’s not meant to kill–has a very, very high risk of injury.
Here’s a bunch of .gifs of a guy demonstrating that you can move pretty freely in plate armor.
Above: Can you move in it? Yes.
Here are links to the videos that I made these .gifs from:
So I’ve recently become obsessed with both dark!seven and Superhero aus. I also watched Suicide Squad on a plane the other day so that’s probably where this came from. I’m going to finish the profiles the maybe make it into a fic.
-Publicly known as: Siren
-Power: Can control anything/ anyone with just her voice.
-Area most targeted: California (most frequently Malibu and Los Angeles)
-Crimes: 15 counts of manslaughter (she didn’t actually kill them, she told others to murder them/ told them to kill themselves.)
Blackmail on numerous occasions.
-When convicted: 2014
-Sentence: currently serving a life sentence at Belle Reve Prison
-Relationships: Very close with her Grandfather (deceased). Neglected by her Father (actor Tristan McLean) from a young age. Known to be in a relationship with Tempest, a fellow meta human.
-Description: Half Cherokee, dark, layered brown hair, eyes of no distinctive colour and seen by many as unnaturally attractive. Usually sports casual clothing.
-Extra notes: Arrested by Gladiatrix* after being rescued from Tempest’s submerged car, McLean was unconscious at the time.
Known psychopath, thought to be due to her childhood neglect.
Restrict any use of vocals (muzzle may be required) to avoid fatalities.
Ensure she has no way of contacting Tempest at all and is kept in isolation, should any complications occur.
I can’t really imagine Piper going bad, so that was pretty hard. But I do think that she would be a sort of Harley Quinn type character because even though she’s pretty, she’s still bad ass (I mean she killed a goddess).
The characters belong to Rick and Belle Reve to DC comics.
*a female gladiator, you figure out who I’m talking about.
“The woman’s grave held scraps of the funeral feast…
There were eight ceramic incense burners, made in St Albans, and eight lamps imported from Gaul. One shows a fallen gladiator, and three show Anubis, associated with the Roman god Mercury. The bodies of gladiators slaughtered in the ring were dragged away by slaves dressed as Mercury.”
The Mojave is a wasteland by Hoover Dam filled with deathclaws and it’s ♪♫ beautiful ♫♪.
In the year negative a billion, The Mojave might not have been here. In the year twenty seventy-seven, it was here, and you could bomb it, and some people bombed it. Then it got warmer, some people’s flesh melted, it became a wasteland, and now there’s lots of ♫ ghouls ♫. Because it’s irradiated.
So now there’s people in the wasteland; they’re basically sort of hanging out in between the dry lakes eating meat from bugs and using the latest technology. Like stones, and clubs.
Ding dong, it’s the NCR, and they have ideologies from the past. Like military intervention, and ♪ crazy sharecropper farms ♪. Now you can make a lot of mutfruit really really quickly. That means if you own the farmers, then you own a lot of food, which is something everybody needs to survvvvive. So that makes you president.
Sharecropping farms and NCR protectorates spread all across the land, all the way to the Colorado. The most important kingdoms were here (Primm), here (Nipton), here (Novac), here (Boulder City), here (New Vegas), here (Goodsprings), and here (Freeside). But this one (New Vegas) was the most most important, ruled by a robotic douche canoe, or Mr. House for short.
Knock knock, get the door, it’s threat of force. The douche canoe wants everyone to try this hot new religion (gambling) from Pre-War. “Please try gambling,” he said. “No,” said the local tribes people. “Try iiiiit,” he said. “no,” said everybody again, quieter this time. And so gambling was put into place and all the securitrons that came with it.
Then, the Colorado was taken over by another clique (Legion). And they made some reforms, like making the government govern more, and making the government more like Roman government, which is a government that governs more. “Hi NCR,” they said. “Hi asshole (sup, jerks),” said NCR. “Can you call us something else, other than asshole?” said the Legion. “Like what?” said NCR. ♫♪"How about Caesar’s laaand?“♪♫ said the Legion. And they stole California’s alphabet and wrote a book. About themselves! And then they made lots of war and slaves and another book about themselves.
Then they stopped moving the capital every time the legate died and kept it in one place for a while, right here (Cottonwood Cove, Legion Fort). And they conquered the east finally, get that squared away.
A rich hipster named Benny is bored with modern gambling and visits the Legion, learns a better version which is more ♫♪ based on theft ♪♫, comes back, reinvents his casino, and causes war and civil discord to be ♫♪ great ♪♫ for a long time. And the Vegas Strip turned into such a dreamworld of debauchery that they really didn’t give a shit about running the Mojave.
So if you live outside the Strip, how are you supposed to protect your mail, from criminals? ♫♪ Hire a Courier. ♪♫ Everyone started hiring couriers. Rich important people hired couriers. Poor people who could not afford to hire couriers did not hire couriers. The couriers became organized and powerful, more powerful than the government. So they made their own mailman government, right here. They let the president still be president, but the mailman was actually in control.
Breaking news, the Legion has invaded Nevada. “W̛e҉’ve i͟nv̕aded ̵Nevada,” said the Legion, “Pl͘e̶a̷se̵ ͝res͢p̛ȩc̷t u͢s҉,͜ or͜ el̕se w͞e ͟m̛igh͟t ͠i͝nvade͡ ̕y͜o̕u̕ ͡a͡s̕ ̡well̀.̢” “Okay,” said California. So the Legion came over, ready for war, and died in a Battle for Hoover Dam. But they tried again, and had a nice time fighting with the NCR, but then died in a Battle for Hoover Dam.
Then the president overthrows the douche canoe, then the douche canoe overthrows him back and moves to New Vegas, and makes a new government. And the president can still dress like a president if he wants, that’s fine.
♫♪ Now there’s more war. ♪♫ Like slaves with more colors, collaborative torture, raids, doggy fun, Desert Rangers, warmongering, espionage, town burning.
It’s time for who’s going to be the next Mailman. Usually it’s the Mailman’s kid, but the mailman doesn’t have a kid. So he tries to get six couriers to quit being a bitch and be the next mailman. They say okay. But then the mailman has a package. So now who’s it gonna be? Vote now on your phones. And everyone voted so hard that the Mojave caught on fire and one of the couriers got shot in the head. The mailman actually didn’t care, he was off somewhere bitching about history. And the whole Mojave broke into pieces. Everyone is fighting with each other for local power, and it’s anybody’s game.
Knock knock, it’s Big Mountain. No, they’re not here to take over, they just wanna sell some shit. Like technology, and guns, and ♫♪ Nightstalkers ♪♫. So that’s cool. But everyone’s still fighting each other for control. Now with guns! And wouldn’t it be nice to control New Vegas, which right now is the robotic douche canoe, with no one controlling them? This clan (Tops Casino) is ready to make a run for it, but first they have to trample this smaller guy (The Courier) which is in the way. Surprise, smaller guy wins! And the leader of that group (Courier Six) steals the idea of invading the Strip, and invades the Strip. And it goes very well.
The tribals were about halfway through conquering the Eastern Mojave when someone who works for them kills them, then someone else who works for him (Edward Sallow) kills them, and that guy finishes conquering the Eastern Mojave. And then he confiscated everybody’s guns. And he made some rules. “Ąnd͟ n͟ow I'̛m̶ goińg̡ to ͘inva͞d̨e ͝Nevada,̵ an͝d͢ ̶the̴n h͜op̷ef̕ull͏y ̵California,” he said, and failed, and also died. But before he died, he told these four guys to take care of his courier friend until he’s old enough to be the next ruler of the Legion. And the four guys said yeah right, it’s not gonna be this kid, it’s gonna be one of us. ‘Cause we’re grownups. And it’s probably gonna be this guy (Legate Lanius) who happens to be way more mean and powerful than the others.
A lot of people support him, but a lot of people support not supporting him. They have a fight, and he wins. And starts a new government, right here. ♫♪ Flagstaff ♫♪ And he still lets the president act like a president, and have sorta nice things. But don’t get confused, this (Lanius Legion) is the new government. And they are very strict, so strict they close the territory. No one can leave, and no one can come in. Except for the mailmen, if they wanna buy and sell shit, but they have to do it right here (Cottonwood Cove).
Now that the entire Legion was not at war with itself, the population increased a lot. Slave farms increased, schools were burnt, roads were built, everyone learned to rape, books were destroyed. There were scout patrols, crucifixions, female oppression, gladiator fights, and profligate studies. People started to study profligate science from books they bought from the couriers. We’re talking geography, skeletons, firearms, animal husbandry, tactical information, and maybe even electricity.
Over time, the economic and cultural prosperity began to gradually slow do- *impending doom music* Knock knock. It’s the NCR. With huge cows. With guns. Gun cows. “O͜pe͡ņ,̨ t͡he͏ ͘energy facility. ͠S̛t͜o̡p̛,̵ ҉ha͠v̀in͜g̷ i͝t̀ ͝be̴ ́clo͞sed.̢” said the NCR. *music ends* There was really nothing the Brotherhood of Steel could do, so they signed a contract that lets the NCR, the couriers, and the riff-raff, control Poseidon Energy anytime they want.
Courier Six and his friends hated this. “That sucks!” they said. “This sucks!!!” And with almost very little outside help, (from a space laser) they threw out the NCR. And somehow made the plant make energy again, and moved the energy to the people, which lived in the Mojave Wasteland. They made a new government, which was a lot more Californian. And they made a new hierarchy, which was.. pretty Californian. And a military that was… pretty Californian (large).
And do you know what else is Californian? That’s right, it’s conquering stuff. So what can we conquer? Big Mountain! They conquer Big Mountain, taking it from its previous owner, Mobius, and then go a little bit further (Sierra Madre Casino). And Elder Elijah rushes in out of nowhere and says, “Stop no you can’t do that I was gonna break into that to try to get some more weapons.” And Elijah breaks into the casino, supervised by a shitton of collared slaves. Then, when the heist was done, they downgraded to a fuckton. Did I say downgrade? I meant upgrade. And the Courier says, “Can you maybe chill?” And Elijah says, “How ‘bout maybe you chill?”
The Courier is kind of scared of Elijah. You’ll never guess who’s also kind of scared of Elijah. Christine! So the Courier and Christine make an alliance together so they can be a little less scared of Elijah. Feeling confident, the Courier goes to war against Elijah, but just for a moment, and then Elijah gets trapped in the casino and they stop.
♫♪ It’s time for Mojave War I ♪♫ The Mojave is about to have a war. Because it’s the 2280s, and weapons are getting crazy, and all these assholes are excited to try them out on each other. Meanwhile, the Legion has been enjoying conquering stuff and wants m̵͡͝͝o͏̨̨̢͢o͏͏̵̧̕ơ̢̢͜͜o͠͏͢ó͘o̶̢̧ó̷͝͠o͝͡o̧͘r̨̢̕ȩ̸ and the next thing on their list is this part of Nevada (Hoover Dam) and lots of tiny settlements.
All that stuff belongs to NCR, which just had war declared on by the Strip, because the Strip was friends with Freeside, who was being trespassed by the NCR in order to get to Red Rock Canyon to kick The Great Khans’ ass because the Khans were friends with the Legion who was getting ready to kick the Courier’s ass because the Courier was getting ready to kick The Top’s ass because someone named Benny shot the Couriers’s ass. Err, actually, he shot him in the head. And the Strip is currently friends with the Legion. So you know what that means, duhhh.
♫♪ The Legion should take the settlements. ♪♫ Which they wanted to do anyway. So they sort of contacted the Strip in the mail to sort of let them know, and then they did it! And they also helped the Strip here and there with some errands and stuff. *bell rings*
Now the war is over, and congratulations Courier, you technically fought in the war which means you get to sit at the negotiating table, with the big dudes, where they decided who owns what. And yes, the Legion gets to keep all that shit they stole from California. And you also get to join the post-war not-at-all alliance ♫♪ the League of Imperialists ♪♫ whose mission statement is to always try to take over the world.
The state of the Mojave is bad, and the Legion’s economy is now crappy. But the military is doing just fine, and it invades Nipton. And the League of Imperialists is like ♪"No don’t do that if you’re in the League of Imperialists you’re supposed to let us try to take over the world.“♪ And the Legion said, ♫♪ How bout I do, anyway? ♪♫ And the Legion invaded more and more and more of the Mojave, and was planning to invade the entire West.
You’ve got mail. It’s from the Strip, the new leader of the Strip, he has a cool computer terminal and is trying to take over the world and needs friends. This also got forwarded to Chief Hanlon. They all decided to be friends because they had so much in common.
♫♪ It’s time for The Battle of Hoover Dam II ♪♫ The Strip is invading the neighbors, then they invade the neighbors’ neighbors, then, the neighbor’s neighbors’ neighbors, who happen to be NCR, said "Holy shiiit” and the Courier started helping NCR because they are ♫♪ good friends ♪♫ and started not helping the Strip because ♫♪” Their friends and our friends are not friends. Plus they’re planning on invaaading the entire desert.“♪♫
The Courier is also walking on a large, very huge road. Bigger than any other road, ever™. Just in case (Lonesome Road). But they still haven’t joined the war, war sounds bad on the radio, and the Courier is really starting to care about their image.
But then the Legion spits on them, in Hoover Dam, and challenges them to war. And they say yes! And then House, as a symbol of friendship, declares war on the Courier also. And they help the gang chase House back into his freezer box. And they also chase the Legion back into Arizona. And they haven’t used this bomb they found yet, and are curious to see if it works, so they drop it on the Legion.
They actually drop two.
(You win.) The Courier installed a new government, inspired by the NCR government, with just the right ingredients for a ♫♪ post-war economic miracle ♪♫ and the Mojave starts making food, firearms, fetish robots, and illicit substances as fast as they can. And also better than everybody else. The Courier gets rich, and the economy goes wild. But then the miracle wears off, but everything’s still pretty cool I guess. ♪♫ Bye. ♫♪
Reyna inhaled the musty air. With her eyes closed and her right hand tightly gripping the spear, she mentally prepared herself. She has trained her entire life for this moment. Picked out from a young age, and raised to be a gladiatrix. There were few who were deemed worthy enough for a status that equals a male gladiator. And now all her training has led to this event; her debut in the Colosseum for all of Rome to see.
Her father was a well known warrior in his tribe over in Iberia. The Romans had taken notice of him immediately and used him to help them. All the fathers of the Ramírez tribe had been great leaders for Rome. They had fought in the Punic Wars for Rome against Hannibal and Carthage. Her bloodline was extremely loyal to Rome.
She opened up her eyes and looked around her. She was in a holding cell preparing herself for the fight. She was standing on hay and the air was hot and humid. The only light in the area was the faint glow of her breastplate and Imperial gold spear tip. Reyna could feel the slight tremble of the people in the stands chanting for blood and death. It didn’t make her doubt her skill though. Reyna was the best gladiatrix Rome had, and she was willing to prove it.
A female gladiator named Caroline has not had the easiest life, but one day her life takes a turn that she never expected. Her ability on the field has caught the prince’s attention and without knowing what he is getting himself into, he takes her away only to learn that she is a woman. Suffice it to say, a love story of the century begins.
There are quite a few misconceptions about gladiators. Movies tend to depict them as slave dudes with Chris Hemsworth abs fighting to the death. However, they weren’t really like that. Not all of them anyway.
For starters, many of them were volunteers. Trained soldiers and even politicians often took to the arena for a popularity boost - being a gladiator was like being a famous actor: everyone loved them, everyone wanted to sleep with them, everyone wanted a vial of their sweat.
Gladiator fights were very rarely to the death. Like I said, gladiators were the Roman equivalent of movie stars, they were the major drawcard to the fights, so why kill them off?
Which brings me neatly to the third myth: the chiselled abs. When people went to see gladiatorial games, they wanted to see blood. Lots of blood. Since the gladiators weren’t actually supposed to die, one way to show lots of blood without causing too much damage to the fighters was to fatten them up. That way they could bleed a lot more when cut and everything important was more or less protected.
And now for the most persistent gladiator myth. NOT EVERY GLADIATOR WAS MALE.
And I’m not saying that like we say that not every US president has been white. In fact, one of the main reasons you don’t hear about the lady gladiators is that they were so common that no one really felt the need to specify that there were women there. Modern historians just kind of assumed they were all men unless there was explicit mention of a gladiatrix (yeah, the feminine form of gladiator is gladiatrix, possibly the coolest word in the Latin language). But there are consistent, if sparse, records of them.
There didn’t seem to have been much difference between male and female gladiators. Their lifestyles were the same, most of them lived and trained in the same places, they had the same diets, and they were ranked on the same system.
Weirdly, a higher proportion of female gladiators were upper class, which was the main criticism against them, and at one point senatorial-class gladiators were prohibited, both men and women. Eventually, women were banned outright from participating in spectacles by Septimus Severus in 200 CE, but being banned didn’t stop them, and gladiatrices fought well into the third century.
When Sif, Rome’s most celebrated female gladiator, is called to meet the emperor, Loki, she is wary. The people have described him as a mysterious loner who rarely receives guests. But when they meet face to face, there is an instant attraction between them that catches them both off guard. A second encounter in private culminates in a sudden, passionate tryst that cements their bond. Not caring if the relationship upsets social barriers or not, Loki soon has Sif positioned into his palace and ranks her first in his favor. They can never marry, but Sif is Loki’s true empress. Even as their former popularity with the people fades into dissension and threatens their safety, nothing alters the loyalty Sif and Loki have for one another.
I would just like to put this out there. Recently I visited London, and went to the British Museum. In the Roman exhibit, I learned for the first time that there were female gladiators. Their fights were held at night by candlelight, and they were equally as popular and respected as their male counterparts, and had the same equipment and training as their male counterparts. Of course they, like most of the other gladiators, were slaves, but two of the most famous female gladiators, Amazon and Achilla, impressed the emperor so much that he granted their freedom.
I just want to know why more people don’t know about this. Why isn’t there a movie about this? I want to see historically accurate female gladiators take over the big screen.