File this in the “real life Xena” department: According to Live Science, the second-ever statue of a female gladiator from ancient Rome has been recovered. Not just any female gladiator – a topless, victorious female gladiator.
From the post:
The gladiator statue shows a topless woman, wearing only a loincloth and a bandage around her left knee. Her hair is long, although neat, and in the air she raises what the researcher, Alfonso Manas of the University of Granada, believes is a sica, a short curved sword used by gladiators. The gesture she gives is a “salute to the people, to the crowd,” Manas said, an action done by victorious gladiators at the end of a fight.
Here comes the best part:
The female fighter is looking down at the ground, presumably at her fallen opponent.
Photo by Alfonso Manas, University of Granada
I’m going to admit right now to geeking out about ancient Rome, thanks mainly to Dan Carlin’s Hardcore History podcast and Stacy Schiff’s phenomenal biography Cleopatra: A Life. There’s something undeniably appealing about a culture that lived so large (and such a long time ago), though it was sadly lacking in the female badass department (minus our girl Cleopatra, of course). If this statue gets confirmed as a female figure – a process that sounds intriguing — to paraphrase Ian Malcolm in Jurassic Park, “what do they do, look up the statue’s skirt?” — then it will confirm that ladies — at least a few ladies — got a piece of the fight-to-the-death action as well.
Let’s not get into the violent realities of Roman combat sports and just spend a moment of Frank Miller-esque geeky glory basking in the image of the lady warrior. You go girl — from 2000 years ago.