The "laquearius", "laquerarius", or "laqueator" (plural "laquearii", "laquerarii", and "laqueatores"; literally, "snarer") was a class of Roman
gladiatorthat fought with a lassoor noose("laqueus") in one hand and a poniardor swordin the other.Tegg 485.] Cowper 215.] The "laquearius" appeared late in the history of the Roman games. They may have made up a full-fledged gladiator class that fought actual bouts in the arena. If this was the case, the snarer likely followed the same tactics as the " retiarius", a gladiator who wielded a throwing net and trident.Junkelmann 63.] Such combat-oriented "laquearii" fought by attempting to snare their adversaries with the lasso to allow for a follow-up strike from the blade. The snarer's armour was probably similar to that of the "retiarius"; it consisted mainly of a " galerus" armguard worn over the left shoulder. [Baker 209.] Another possibility is that the "laquearius" was a kind of " paegniarius", or clown. These men fought mock battles in the arena as comic reliefbetween real matches.
Most gladiator types were based on real-world antecedents. [Baker 53.] Because the Romans did not use lassos on the battlefield, it is unlikely that the "laquearius" was based on a Roman model. Instead, it may have been based on a
barbariantribe known to the Romans to use lassos in combat, such as the Sagartians. Another possibility is that the noose gladiator was meant to represent an executioner. However, the fact that his backup weapon was sword makes this seem unlikely.
* Baker, Alan (2002). "The Gladiator: The Secret History of Rome's Warrior Slaves". Da Capo Press. ISBN 0306811855.
* Cowper, H. S. (1906). "The Art of Attack: Being a Study in the Development of Weapons and Appliances of Offence, from the Earliest Times to the Age of Gunpowder". Ulverston, Lancashire: W. Holmes, Ltd., Printers.
* Junkelmann, Marcus (2000). "Familia Gladiatoris:" The Heroes of the Amphitheatre", "Gladiators and Caesars: The Power of Spectacle in Ancient Rome". University of California Press. ISBN 0520227980.
* Tegg, Thomas, ed. (1829). "Laquearius", "The London Encyclopædia, or Universal Dictionary of Science, Art, Literture, and Practical Mechanics, Comparing a Popular View of the Present State of Knowledge". London: Thomas Tegg.
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