TheGames  (Munera)

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  • The Games  (Munera)
    • Morning - Animals
      • Starts with a mock Gladiator fight
      • Exotic animals  - from North Africa & the Near East
      • Animals performed and fought each other.
      • Wild beast hunts (venationes) involved the bestiarus
      • Opening games 80CE 9000 animals were slaughtered in 100 days
      • Purpose was to show the power of Rome over nature & how far the Empire stretched
    • Midday  - executions of criminals
      • All ages & both sexes executed by being ‘ condemned to the beasts’
      • Some executions re-enact myths like the tale of Orpheus or being burnt to death on a funeral pyre like Hercules.
      • Some criminals were called upon as ‘midday gladiators’ 
        • One was armed the other was not, once the armed criminal was victorious he was disarmed & became the next victim 
        • Seneca remarked, ‘ I was bitterly disappointed… It was really mere butchery’
    • Afternoon – Gladiator show
      • A parade of gladiators & orchestras, dressed in purple & gold cloaks
      • Many betted on the games even though it was illegal
      • A gladiator was taught to face death by not pleading or crying out. 
      • Evidence suggests that one in five gladiators were killed.


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