Gladiator? You Bet He Was!

Query: Why did Roman soldiers eschew the mammoth greatswords of early Viking combatants in favor of small, thrusting shortswords like the gladius? (It certainly wasn’t sword envy.) Don’t know the answer? That’s OK, because Larry Rabin, a.k.a. Sir Alaric of Hopeless Romantics Entertainment does. Rabin is a professional stage combatant, a fight choreographer, and a medieval martial artist (he owns a full suit of plate mail and he’s not afraid to use it); he and his crew are ready to teach you the ins and outs of Medieval Combat.

Sunday at the Norton Museum (1451 S. Olive Ave., West Palm Beach) Rabin and company will give a demonstration on the evolution of armor and weaponry, starting with the techniques of the hearty Vikings and working up to Renaissance times. The merry men and women will invite guests to look and touch replica equipment and create their own coats of arms, but look out – we’re also getting word of a full-contact bout between two very peeved knights (apparently, one of them stole some shrubbery). For info on the demo or other knightly events, call 954-684-1608, or visit
Sun., Nov. 25, 2007

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