L'Hoplomaque est un gladiateur relativement mal connu et encore mal identifié, en raison du paradoxe que constitue son équipement. Il est en effet à mi-chemin entre les gladiateurs Scutati et les Parmati.

Sa lame courte ( poignard ), et son très petit bouclier ( la Parma ) offrent une faible protection. Cela l'associerait aux légers, mais cette faiblesse est largement compensée par ses deux ocrea aux jambes,  son arme d'hast ( la lance ), et son casque, qui lui confèrent une protection supplémentaire.

Gladiateur polyvalent, l'Hoplomaque peut à la fois être opposé à un combattant à grand bouclier ( le Mirmillon ) ou à petit ( le Thrace ). Ces oppositions sont attestées iconographiquement et témoignent bien de l'ambiguïté de son statut.



Représentation iconographique d'un Hoplomaque, statuette :












L'équipement du combattant Hoplomaque :







  1. Le casque de l'Hoplomaque : semblable à celui du Thrace, il possède une crête, deux oeilletons larges pour les yeux, ce qui offre une vision correcte.
  2. Le bouclier, rond, de métal ou de bois, petite taille ( parma ). La prise est généralement en Umbo ( prise au poing ).
  3. Le pugio, poignard utilisé comme le Rétiaire pour finaliser le combat.
  4. Les deux ocreas, comme un Thrace.
  5. La manica au bras droit.
  6. La lance : arme d'hast ( distance ) comme le trident du Rétiaire. Cette arme longue compense la petitesse du bouclier.


Technique de combat :


L'Hoplomaque a sensiblement la même technique que le Thrace : offensif, rapide, il bénéficie en plus d'une arme longue ( arme d'hast ) lui permettant d'harceler son adversaire sans entrer en contact avec lui. Il en profitera autant que possible, visant la tête pour tenter de blesser les arcades sourcillières du Mirmillon à travers les grilles de son casque, et ainsi l'aveugler par le sang qui coulera devant ses yeux. Les jambes sont aussi une cible privilégiée, l'Hoplomaque peut tenter de les crocheter à l'aide de sa lance pour déséquilibrer le Mirmillon. S'il perd sa lance, il ne lui reste plus qu'à sortir sa dague pour tenter de finaliser le combat au corps à corps.


Photos d'Hoplomaque :

Sur cette photo, vous pouvez voir l'hoplomaque à droite, opposé au Mirmillon. Sa lance a été déviée par le grand bouclier, et on peut constater que son petit bouclier nécessite un grand savoir-faire de sa part pour être efficace, étant donné sa petitesse. Il a énormément de points vitaux exposés et doit par conséquent user de son arme longue ( la lance ) pour éviter de trop vite se faire approcher par l'adversaire, mieux protégé.

Un souci avec un terme du vocabulaire ? n'hésitez pas à en chercher la signification dans le Lexique.

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