Secutor (meaning "follower") is a gladiator fighting style similar to the Murmillo, in that they were well-armored and based around the use of a sword and shield. The style originated around 50AD and was designed to provide an entertaining match for the Retiarius.
In the series, gladiators seen dressed in the Secutor-style helmet are not armed with their traditional sword and shield combo, but instead with a heavy axe. This may be because the series is set before the Secutor was historically introduced.
Historically, the Secutor was armed with:
- Gladius: Roman short sword.
- Scutum: tower shield.
- Manica (right arm): cotton or metal segments tied onto the striking arm for protection.
- Ocrea (left leg): a leather or metal greave to protect the leg beneath the shield.
- Secutor Helmet: a helmet with two small eye-holes, rounded top and neck-protective flanges.
In the series, however, the shield and sword are absent, replaced with:
- Securis: Roman single-bladed axe. (It is speculated that the producers paired the Secutor with the Securis because they assumed the warriors were named thusly due to the weapon, such as the Retiarius style, which is named for the Rete the Retiarius wields, but this is inaccurate.)
The Secutor's 'heavy arms' style meant they would employ similar tactics to the Murmillo, pitting their heavy armor and weapons against more lightly attired and armed foes.
The Secutor's unique fish-like helmet design were intended to defend against a Retiarius' weapons; the small eye holes protected against the prongs of a trident, while the smooth crest on top and 'fin' around the back of the neck prevented a net from easily snagging. These claustrophobic helmets limited visibility and had no breathing holes/vents, however, meaning that they needed to win the fight quickly to avoid passing out from fatigue or lack of breath.
Also known as the "chaser" or "pursuer", the men who fought in this style had to be fast. They were also the largest of all Gladiators. The Secutor had wide and heavy shoulders suited for carrying the Scutum and Gladius or a heavier weapon with ease.
Secutors were historically intended to fight the Retiarius only (though the series and other media tend to ignore this and match them against other classes on occasion).
- Retiarius and murmillo