Lewis & Short

2. rŭdis, is, f. (abl. sing. rudi, Capitol. Opil. Macr. 4, 5), a slender stick or rod.

  1. I. To stir with in cooking; a stirring-stick, spatula: versato crebro duabus rudibus, Cato, R. R. 79; so, ferreae, Plin. 34, 18, 50, § 170; cf. rudicula.
  2. II. A staff used by soldiers and gladiators in their exercises (perh. a wooden sword), answering to a quarter-staff, a foil (freq. and class.): (milites) rudibus inter se in modum justae pugnae concurrerunt, Liv. 26, 51; 40, 6 and 9 Drak. N. cr. (al. sudibus); Ov. Am. 2, 9, 22; id. A. A. 3, 515: rudibus batuere, Suet. Calig. 32.
    Hence, transf.: PRIMA or SVMMA RVDIS (also in one word, SVMMARVDIS), the first or head fencer, the fencing-master, Inscr. Orell. 2575; 2584: SECVNDA RVDIS, the second fencer, the fencing-master’s assistant, ib. 2573 sq.
    A gladiator received such a rudis when honorably discharged (whence he was called rudiarius): tam bonus gladiator rudem tam cito accepisti? Cic. Phil. 2, 29, 74: acceptā rude, Juv. 6, 113: essedario rudem indulgere, Suet. Claud. 21.
    And hence transf. to other persons who receive an honorable discharge: tardā vires minuente senectā, Me quoque donari jam rude tempus erat, i. e. to dismiss, discharge, Ov. Tr. 4, 8, 24; id. Am. 2, 9, 22; cf.: spectatum satis et donatum jam rude, Hor. Ep. 1, 1, 2 (v. Orell. ad h. l.): ergo sibi dabit ipse rudem, Juv. 7, 171; Mart. 3, 36, 10.