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The most notable non-Christian Roman critic of gladiatorial games was likely the Stoic philosopher Seneca. Of course Christians like Tertullian had good reason to speak out against bloody spectacles in general, and some of the conquered peoples living under Rome took less joy in the games than did the Romans. But for the most part, even enlightened Romans ...


9

Seneca's letter to a friend: There is nothing so ruinous to good character as to idle away one's time at some spectacle. Vices have a way of creeping in because of the feeling of pleasure that it brings. Why do you think that I say that I personally return from shows greedier, more ambitious and more given to luxury, and I might add, with ...


7

Small point. Though the spectacles were bloody, as Seneca notes, they were rationalized on the assumption that those who were killed had been condemned for a crime, thus, it was a sort of capital punishment, and tolerated, by those who did not enjoy it, on that basis. From the Roman point of view, no "innocent" victims were being murdered, but rather, ...


5

Certainly not every fight were to the death - that was considered very luxurious. Most of the deaths in such games would have been provided by condemned convicts. One of the most comprehensive studies were conducted by George Ville. In a survey of first century duels, Ville calculated that 19 out of every 100 fights edned in deaths. This gives a ...


5

Augustine's Confessions criticizes gladiatorial shows several places in Book 6. One example is below (emphasis added): For being utterly averse to and detesting spectacles, he was one day by chance met by divers of his acquaintance and fellow-students coming from dinner, and they with a familiar violence haled him, vehemently refusing and resisting, into ...


4

I don't have the book in my hand, so I can't quote directly, but Will Durant's "Ceasar and Christ" a history of the Roman Empire, mentions at one point that Christian ministers in general opposed gladiatorial battles (but had difficulty stopping their congregations from attending because of the general popularity). As for his source, I don't know. Ignatius ...


3

There's a good chance that they can't be identified because they don't exist. Suetonius paints a nice picture of Titus, who changed from a suspicious killer when he was acting as his father's enforcer to the best Emperor ever the second he took office. And maybe that's all so..he only lived a few years after that and was occupied with several disasters. So ...


3

I don't have a particular source for this, but I remember my high school Latin teacher telling us that Roman wine was more like a strong, thick concentrate much stronger than the wine we drink today, intended to be diluted before drinking. Think like those 100% berry juices you can buy at health food stores in the US, that are undrinkably tart without adding ...


2

It isn't that likely that the consul's name was taken from a kingly adviser, since in the initial years of the Roman Republic the name of the office was "praetor". Only later was the job renamed and praetor used for the judicial officers of the Republic. A more likely derivation of the name consul is from con- and sal- "get together" because the two ...


1

According to the historical records of the Cornaro / Cornèr family of Venice, they have their ancestral ground from gens Cornelia, via the city of Rimini. Here are links for Wikipedia (Italian version is more informative) and The Art of Living Long from Louis Cornaro, William Temple the family can derive themselves back into Middle ages so Cornaro / Cornèr ...


1

The change in number and frequency of the suffect consuls just reflects the changing of the job of consul with the Principate. Under the Republic, beyond ennobling your family, allowing you to run Rome for a year, and getting the year named for you, consulship was the bridge to a plum job administering a province where you could collect money and contacts ...



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