ludiscaenici scaenici ~ ‘scene’ = The theatrical festivals The playwright Terence complained that in the middle of one of his comedies, it was announced that the gladiatorial fights were going to begin and within minutes his audience had disappeared.
Amphitheater of El Djem in Tunisia
A modern analogy:Spanish bullfighting -Entertainment Ritualized- Animal cruelty made sport
A Relief of Gladiators Fighting Animals
Political Purposes Julius Caesar (consul 59 BC) went into debt putting on free games Augustus (emperor 27 BC) had 625 pairs of gladiators at his games Claudius (emperor 41 AD) flooded the arena and staged a naval battle with 19,000 men. Trajan (emperor 98 AD) put on games lasting 123 days. !!?!
Primary SourcesJuvenal, Satire X (120 AD) “There was a time when the masses elected generals and commanders of our legions; but now they only care about two things: bread and games.” “Bread and games” or “bread and circuses” (panem et circenses) is now an expression used to say something about people and politics. What do you think it means or gets at?
Clip from Gladiator https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X1UmHfWCw-4
Primary SourcesSuetonius, Life of Julius Caesar “His public shows were of great variety... Wild-beast hunts took place five days running, and the entertainment ended with a battle between two armies, each consisting of 500 infantry, twenty elephants, and thirty cavalry... Such huge numbers of visitors flocked to these shows from all directions that many of them had to sleep in tents pitched along the streets or roads, or on roof tops; and often the pressure of the crowd crushed people to death”
Primary SourcesCicero, in a letter to a friend (55BC) “The wild-beast hunts were magnificent. But what pleasure can it possibly be to a man of culture when a mere human being is mangled by a powerful beast, or an admirable beast with a spear? The last day featured elephants and the crowd was greatly impressed, but expressed no pleasure. Indeed the result was a kind of compassion and a feeling that this huge animal has some fellowship with the human race.”
Primary SourcesGrave inscription of Glauco Glauconatus in Mutinaseptempugnavitoctavummortuusest XXIII annos V dies vixit. coniugi Aurelia statuit. “Glauco, born in Mutina, fought seven times, died in the eighth. He lived 23 years and 5 days. Aurelia set this up to her husband”
Ignatius, Bishop of Antioch (67AD)
Equip a Gladiator for his fight Choose the right gear, according to the kind of gladiator he is. See if he wins or loses http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/ancient/romans/launch_gms_gladiator.shtml