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I am NOT Spartacus!
April 25, 2008 10:03 PM   Subscribe

You are seated amongst thousands of your compatriots waiting for the spectacle to begin. Inside, two bodies prepare for the inevitable fight to the death, for your pleasure. They know it won't be easy, but they are prepared to pay the price. Some are condemned to die, others are slaves fighting for their freedom, and yet others (Christians and Jews) branded as heretics; deserters who have fled the field of battle; and some who are even of noble blood are amongst the many who find themselves in the arena. But, there is one more addition yet, and it has been the subject of much controversy.

They were the Warrior Women of Ancient Rome (Gladiatrices, as they were referred to). Although much has been written about their male cohorts, the Gladiatrices have not quite been given the same place in the annals of history. However, there are some who have been trying to change the tide. Not only in scholarly articles, but also in public entertainment and popular media as well.
posted by hadjiboy (41 comments total) 8 users marked this as a favorite

 
Discover magazine article [Very Safe for Work]
posted by lukemeister at 10:49 PM on April 25, 2008


I'd hi.... use a cudgel.
posted by Leon-arto at 11:14 PM on April 25, 2008


This picture [NSFW] wins the coveted "Most Likely To Have Been Drawn By A Thirteen-Year-Old Boy" award.
posted by Tyrant King Porn Dragon at 11:32 PM on April 25, 2008


The historical value of this image (NSFW) is immeasurable.
posted by Krrrlson at 11:33 PM on April 25, 2008


Also, is this entire post an excuse to post poorly rendered porn?
posted by Krrrlson at 11:37 PM on April 25, 2008


Also, is this entire post an excuse to post poorly rendered porn?

Isn't that why the internet was invented?
posted by Saydur at 11:45 PM on April 25, 2008 [2 favorites]


Also, is this entire post an excuse to post poorly rendered porn?

Friday night!

Needs more net.
posted by rokusan at 11:46 PM on April 25, 2008


Wow, that's a lot of copyright violation on that "artwork" page. And a lot of bad art. Some are both copyright violation AND bad art.
posted by Justinian at 12:04 AM on April 26, 2008


Thank goodness for us that they had the time and means to shave their armpits.
posted by ODiV at 12:29 AM on April 26, 2008 [1 favorite]




Also, is this entire post an excuse to post poorly rendered porn?


Too.
posted by Mblue at 12:57 AM on April 26, 2008


So... boobies, but it's okay because they also have swords?
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 1:20 AM on April 26, 2008


So....swords, but it's okay because they also have boobies?
posted by telstar at 1:30 AM on April 26, 2008 [2 favorites]


(that was unfair of me.. obviously the meat of the post is in the other links. But uh.. staying away from exploitation, unless the discussion is about exploitation, is probably a good move in these parts. )



(and yes I know I posted a boobie FPP once too. In retrospect, it was probably not terribly wise.)
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 1:36 AM on April 26, 2008




ok yeah, I'll give you that one.. that was pretty fucking funny.



(I'm being serious ok?)
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 2:08 AM on April 26, 2008


Anybody remember roller derby? It was kinda like the female version of fake-o "pro wrestling" on roller skates. Their uniforms were not as cool however. Big opportunity for an entrepreneur here...bring back roller derby with gladiatrix costumes!
posted by telstar at 2:08 AM on April 26, 2008




I think what's both fascinating and depressing about all this 'art' is the absolute lack of understanding of what women actually look like. Not just the, uh, pneumatic proportions.. their faces are often put in as an afterthought.

On thinking further.. it's just sad.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 2:13 AM on April 26, 2008


You know, this post would have been just as interesting without the last three links, which are nothing but ridiculously bad wank material for fantasy fetishists.

I think what's both fascinating and depressing about all this 'art' is the absolute lack of understanding of what women actually look like. Not just the, uh, pneumatic proportions.. their faces are often put in as an afterthought

Seriously. The human body does not work like this!

I swear, people should have to take some sort of test before they're allowed to come anywhere near Poser.
posted by LeeJay at 2:18 AM on April 26, 2008


This picture [NSFW] wins the coveted "Most Likely To Have Been Drawn By A Thirteen-Year-Old Boy" award.

There is a LOT of competition for that prize on that Gladiatrix site.

This post kind of blew my mind...the thing is, I burn for women in armour, but to combine this fetishistic (and rather amateurish, in the case of the 3D stuff) art with something of legitimate historical significance like this causes some kind of cognitive dissonance as the hedonist and scholar clash. So 'thanks', hadjiboy- I think!

(DNAB, good call about the 'don't mention the exploitation'.)
posted by cosmonik at 2:25 AM on April 26, 2008


You know, this post would have been just as interesting without the last three links, which are nothing but ridiculously bad wank material for fantasy fetishists.

I'm really sorry Leejay; if I had any idea that it was going to get the attention that it has (I didn't even bother clicking on the thumbnails; just thought that their costumes would be a cool addition to the post) then I would've stayed away from it.

Should've known better I guess.
posted by hadjiboy at 2:27 AM on April 26, 2008


I think the only problem with the 'art' links is that this aspect has unfortunately dominated discussion, whereas female gladiatorship in general would've made for more interesting fare. Alas.

The display of a lack of anatomical understanding on the behalf of the artists is, however, almost as interesting. Two questions:
a) 'What were they thinking?'; and,
b) 'Are they going to be disappointed when they finally have sex for the first time?'
posted by cosmonik at 2:33 AM on April 26, 2008


The display of a lack of anatomical understanding on the behalf of the artists is, however, almost as interesting. Two questions:
a) 'What were they thinking?'; and,
b) 'Are they going to be disappointed when they finally have sex for the first time?'


a) BOOBIES
b) not as disappointed as their (theoretical) partners...
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 2:42 AM on April 26, 2008


Where's the straw?
posted by Mblue at 3:00 AM on April 26, 2008


Because reading the actual content of this post would require time and stuff, I will make a joke about the terrible artwork in the last three links.





Here goes.





Are you ready?











Boobs! Hahahaha! (Everyone knows the word "boobs" is funny)






In all seriousness, cool post, I had no idea that gladiatrices could have existed.
posted by Ndwright at 3:45 AM on April 26, 2008


I think that those large mammaries would be an impediment in combat.


That is all.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 4:39 AM on April 26, 2008


One redeeminbg this is the use of "trix"--we make occupations all one gender, ie, actors (no more actresses) and so we are left without a lady pilot:aviatrix. But we still have gladiatrix and dominatrix and when they age, perhaps they can earn a living by turning trix.
posted by Postroad at 5:06 AM on April 26, 2008


I am Spartacus. And ermm, so am I. 17 seconds in. Subtle Spartacus jokes in Doctor Who. I love 'em.
posted by seanyboy at 5:11 AM on April 26, 2008


[edited post slightly at poster's request]
posted by jessamyn at 5:44 AM on April 26, 2008


So based on the renders, gladiatrices were RealDolls that had AIs and servos retrofitted into them so that they could act as crude combat gynoids?

Doesn't seem the thing for kick-murder squads. The Romans must have come up with this after they started eating lead for fun.

Did I ever tell you about the time I saw Crude Combat Gynoids open for Motorhead?
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 6:18 AM on April 26, 2008


> The Romans must have come up with this after they started eating lead for fun.

So is that impossible? It occurs to me that gladiators fought as public spectacle and entertainment, and very possibly seeing real people (who needs Daz3D when you got slaves?) fighting in the fantasy armor of the day was part of the spectacle.
posted by jfuller at 7:06 AM on April 26, 2008


No worries, telstar - roller derby's definitely back.
posted by batmonkey at 8:03 AM on April 26, 2008




"Thank goodness for us that they had the time and means to shave their armpits."
posted by ODiV at 8:29 AM

Well, as a matter of fact, the Romans did shave their armpits, and almost everywhere else. Or more correctly, plucked them. They had a slave class especially devoted to this task, an alipilus, or if too poor for such a specialist they got their balneator or one of the many masseurs & barbers that thronged the public baths to perform this service.
posted by Henry C. Mabuse at 8:27 AM on April 26, 2008 [1 favorite]


I hate cliffhanger posts.
posted by Space Coyote at 9:00 AM on April 26, 2008 [1 favorite]


I'm really sorry Leejay; if I had any idea that it was going to get the attention that it has (I didn't even bother clicking on the thumbnails; just thought that their costumes would be a cool addition to the post) then I would've stayed away from it.

Oh don't be sorry. I still found the post really interesting. I was just, uh, captivated by the sheer cheesy badness of the artwork. But I did not know that there were female gladiators at all and I'm really glad to have learned about them!
posted by LeeJay at 9:33 AM on April 26, 2008


....when they age, perhaps they can earn a living by turning trix.

Silly Postroad, trix are for haedi!
posted by Floydd at 2:41 PM on April 26, 2008 [1 favorite]


I wonder if the female tigers who were used in gladiatorial games were called "tigertrixes".
posted by Kiablokirk at 3:33 PM on April 26, 2008 [1 favorite]


Perhaps the administratrix should comment here.
posted by lukemeister at 6:26 PM on April 26, 2008


Are they going to be disappointed when they finally have sex for the first time?

I think you are making an assumption there with your use of the word when.
posted by BrotherCaine at 7:24 AM on April 27, 2008


I saw a guy coming up the stairs in the Astor place station last night wearing full leather body armor, and a wooden shield and play sword. Helmet with horns, too. I could only imagine he was going to some sort of hyper-geek playfest. (And as a fellow geek it's something for me to call people like him out, I assure you.)

After seeing that bad art, all I can think about is mr Subway Armor sitting at home, carefully and painstakingly crafting digital images of his imaginary beloved.

(I would think that regardless of gender you would want some armor on your body in combat - especially vitals and major arteries? who fights in a bikini with edged weapons?)

The roman attitude towards people, property, and the blurring of the two is fascinating, and I really didn't know that they had women fight too... yet something else the Romans shock me with, I guess.

If we ever have some useful reference material on this topic I'd like to see it, just maybe without the fetishist angle. Good for a laugh, though. If only I could find mr Subway Armor again, I'd tell him all about that site :)
posted by EricGjerde at 8:55 AM on April 27, 2008


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