The Romans had a polytheistic religion and accepted gods
of the conquered peoples into their pantheon. Most likely
gladiators worshipped the gods of their home countries; possibly
on a small altar in their chamber.
In the surroundings of the amphitheater certain deities were
worshipped especially because of their attributes, e.g., the
god of war Mars, the goddess of victory Victoria, or Fortuna,
the goddess of good fortune. An important goddess was also
Nemesis, the patroness of our group, which is why we will
have a closer look at her now.
The character of Nemesis was similar to that of Fortuna,
Victoria and Diana. The latter was the virgin goddess of wild
animals and hence had a connection to the amphitheater via
the venationes (beast hunts). Nemesis was considered
the goddess of the deserved fate who throws down the proud
and insubordinates. Therefore she was depicted with a scale
and leveling staff. She embodied the winning, punishing and
rewarding power of Imperial Rome as well as the official ideology
that was the basis for the munera: Rome had subjected
the other peoples and nature. Inscriptions devoted to Nemesis
were found in amphitheaters, altars and as the theme of idols
in the so called nemeseum (shrine of Nemesis).
Some attributes of Nemesis are the wheel of fortune and the
griffin. Four griffins were said to have pulled her chariot.
According to Herodotus, griffins protected the gold of the
Hyperboreans who lived in the Carpathians in the western part
of Thracia. It can be only guessed if this is the reason why
the helmet of the thraex is always decorated with a griffin
head, besides the cultic connection of Nemesis to the arena.
Our logo is made after a relief from Andautonia (in Croatia)
which the veteran gladiator Iulius Victorinus set as a votive
gift. This relief shows Nemesis next to a griffin and the
wheel of fortune with a whip in one hand and a parmula
(small shield of thraex), a torch, a victory palm leaf
and a trident (offensive weapon of the retiarius) in
the other hand. These are all symbols connected to the gladiatura,
and the gladiators hoped for the support of this austere goddess.