It was a strong weapon, capable of inflicting piercing wounds on an unprotected skull or limb.
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Usually, the retiarius had to rely on his trident and dagger to finish the fight.
The trident, as tall as a human being, permitted the gladiator to jab quickly and keep his distance.
Typically, his clothing consisted only of a loincloth (subligaculum) held in place by a wide belt, or of a short tunic with light padding. The retiarius was routinely pitted against a heavily armed secutor.
The net-fighter made up for his lack of protective gear by using his speed and agility to avoid his opponent's attacks and waiting for the opportunity to strike. If this succeeded, he attacked with his trident while his adversary was entangled.