Hoplomachus is a gladiator fighting style representing the Greek, Illyrian and Carthage enemies of Rome. The style was made to resemble a lightly armored spear fighter much like the Greek and Illyrian warriors, the Hopilite. It was needed to replace the Samnite class when it became 'politically incorrect' to portray such allies as enemies.
The Hoplomachus was armed similar to the Hopilite:
- Dory: A 7–8 foot long Greek spear designed for thrusting.
- Pugio (dagger) or Gladius Graecus (short sword).
- Manica: Segmented cotton or metal armguard.
- Linen greaves worn like long pants.
- Hoplon: A smaller iron version of the bronze Greek Aspis, worn on the arm.
- Falconum Cassis: Iron helmet that can have a falcon for decoration on the top of the helm.
This style suited men with long arms and heavy shoulders. Men of this style would normally be short with compact and well toned bodies.
The Hoplomachus would use his spear's great reach to try to strike down an enemy before they got the chance to fight back. Their spear would also allow them to jab at a defender's shield at range, wearing their opponent's arm and shoulder down and tiring them out before the kill.
If a Hoplomachus' spear was lost or their enemy got too close, they could switch to their sword for short range combat. This also gave them the advantage of being able to quickly switch range from mid (spear) to short (sword), a strategic luxury few other classes afforded.
This style was better fitted to constant attack rather than defending or using agility. Although their small shield afforded less protection than that of some other classes, their lighter equipment did not weigh them down as much and thus they would not tire easily as a more heavily armored opponent.
- Historically, the Hoplomachus Gladiators would be quite short around 160cm tall unlike other Gladiators who are all over 170cm tall.
- On the show, Gods of the Arena, two of the tallest Gladiators in the Ludus (Barca and Auctus) play the Hoplomachus and it seems other Gladiators who play the role are also very tall, such as Pollux.
The Hoplomachus traditionally fought the enemies of Greece: