The Scutum is a shield used by both the Roman Legions and by Gladiator in the Arena.


Murmillo 1

Murmillo with rectangular scutum.

The Scutum is the traditional "tower shield" carried by Roman infantry soldiers and was also made by Roman infantry, where it plays a primary role in their historically famous defensive formations.

The metal "boss" at the center of the scutum allows it to be used to bash foes. Such a heavy blow could send them staggering or even knock them down.

The Scutum is the trademark shield used when forming the Roman infantry technique known as Testudo.



Murmillo with oval scutum.

Although the term scutum in modern days is used almost exclusively to refer to the famous "interlocking" rectangular Roman legionary shield, scutum carried in the arena could be either rectangular or oval in shape.

In HistoryEdit

As well as its military use, the scutum was used in battle by several types of gladiator, including the Murmillo and Samnite.

Although Murmillo gladiators depicted in the series are usually (but not always) shown to use a rectangular scutum, they were historically more likely to be armed with the large oval style (to reflect their "Gaulish" origin), with the rectangular version more commonly used by the Samnite. With the eventual phasing out of the Samnite class, however, this later changed.

On ScreenEdit

Murmillo vs Hoplomachus 1

A scutum will not protect from rear attacks!

Users of this WeaponEdit

Murmillo vs Samnite 2

Samnite defending with scutum

External LinksEdit

Scutum article on Wikipedia