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A rudius is a special wooden sword that, in the days of the Roman Empire, could be given to a gladiator as evidence of a honourable discharge. The gladiator, a slave who battled against other gladiators or sometimes wild animals in an arena as a form of entertainment for the masses, would then receive full freedom.
Wooden practice swords were common training tools for Roman soldiers.
In the movie Gladiator, the head of the gladiator school talks of having received a rudius from his emperor.