Gladiators were divided into students and instructors, and were given different types of weapons according to their physical aptitudes:
the Samnites carried a rectangular shield and a short sword; the Thracians protected themselves with a small wheel and handled a curved dagger;
the Murmillones, wrestlers with the most powerful physique, were equipped with a helmet decorated with marine figures and carried a short sword, or gladius, as their only weapon of attack.
The Retiarii fought with equipment similar to that used by fishermen: they were armed with a net, trident and dagger.