Essedarius

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An essedarius was a type of gladiator in Ancient Rome who fought from a chariot. There may have been just one man in the chariot, or two, a driver and a fighter. The word is also used of charioteers in other instances, such as in Caesar's Gallic War, in his campaign against Cassivellaunus in Britain. They normally fought with a spear and a sword as a side-arm but sometimes also had a small shield for defence. They charged their opponent with their chariot until the opposing gladiator was either impaled by the spear, trampled by the horses, or run over by the wheels of the chariot. They were relatively hard to defeat due to the speed of the chariot, but once the wheels were taken out they were easy to kill, if they didn't know how to ride a horse. It was a common tactic that if their chariot was broken they used one of the horses from the chariot as a mount.