The secutor was another class of gladiator. He was specially trained to combat the retiarius. He carried similar arms to the murmillo, with a gladius and heavy shield, as well as a scaled manica (arm covering) on his right arm and ocrea (greave) on his left leg.
The secutor also wore a distinctive helmet. It had only two small eyeholes, to prevent the retiarius’ trident from being pushed through to his face, and a rounded top so that it wouldn’t be caught in the net. The neck flanges on the helmet were rounded for the same purpose. The thing is, these features made the helmet very heavy, and limited visibility. The secutor had to win his bouts quickly, lest he succumb to exhaustion.
Bouts between the retiarius and the secutor were meant to emulate battles between a fisherman and a fish. The secutor’s arms and armor were designed accordingly.
The Roman emperor Commodus fought as a secutor, entering the gladiatorial ring 735 times. Although the fights were likely rigged, his opponents bore any scars they received with honor because they had come from the emperor. Commodus always accepted his opponents’ surrender. However, Commodus’ participation in the ring was not popular with the majority of the Roman public; they considered it beneath his dignity as emperor and felt that he should have been leading actual battles instead.