Do you know about the brutal animal battles that were held at Colosseum?
The trend of asking your boyfriend how often he thinks about the Roman Empire has taken the internet by storm. This made me take a closer look at the often over-looked brutal treatment of animals during the Roman reign.
The Colosseum, an iconic symbol of ancient Rome, has witnessed countless tales of bravery, bloodshed, and beasts. While gladiatorial combats are often the first thing that comes to mind, the role of animals in these games is equally intriguing and less commonly discussed. Let’s dive into some surprising facts that will baffle you!
Setting the Scene: Background on the Roman Empire
The Roman Empire, spanning several centuries, contained vast territories, architectural marvels, and cultural influences.
Central to its entertainment culture were the public games, which played a significant role in the social and political life of the city and its empire. These games, known as ludi and munera, were either races or fights, staged in arenas like the Colosseum and Circus Maximus.
What Was the Point of the Roman Games
Initially rooted in funeral or religious rites, by the late Republican period, these games had transformed into a major form of public entertainment.
However, they were not just about showcasing bravery or skill; they were political tools. Emperors and politicians used the Roman games to gain favor with the masses and demonstrate their power and generosity.
Brutal Animal Battles at Colosseum: Cold-Blooded Killings
Animals were not mere spectators in these games; they were active participants. They were paraded for the sheer spectacle and played roles as either the hunted or the hunter.
Gladiators, trained as bestiarii, would combat these wild beasts. Armed with weapons, these men would face off against ferocious creatures, often leading to the animal’s death. In other scenarios, animals were set against each other, resulting in a brutal fight to the death.
The use of animals in the arena was not just about entertainment; it was a demonstration of Rome’s power to tame the wild and control nature.
What Kind of Animals Featured in Battles?
From the records, a wide variety of animals graced the Colosseum’s sands. This included:
- Other large quadrupeds from Africa
- Two-horned rhinoceroses
How Many Animals Were Killed?
The numbers are staggering. For instance, during the games celebrating the Colosseum’s inauguration, Emperor Titus arranged for 9,000 animals to be slaughtered. Emperor Trajan surpassed when 11,000 animals died during a 120-day celebration.
These numbers highlight the scale and extravagance of these events.
How Did They Source the Animals
Given the scale of the games, a sophisticated system was in place for the capture, transport, and delivery of these animals.
Soldiers and hunters trapped beasts in remote areas, primarily from the Near East and Egypt. Two popular capture methods were the pit, mainly for large cats, and the net, which could capture animals in bulk.
Once captured, ensuring the animals’ safe transport to Rome was a complex task, given the challenges of keeping them alive and healthy.
Brutal Animal Battles at Colosseum: Conclusion
The animal battles in the Colosseum offer a glimpse into the grandeur and brutality of ancient Rome. While these spectacles showcased Rome’s might and the empire’s ability to control nature, they also highlight the era’s values and attitudes towards entertainment and life.
Today, as we look back, these events serve as a reminder of the complexities of human history and our evolving relationship with the animal kingdom.
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