Monday, May 01, 2006

Culture at the Coliseum

This post comes to you from Rome, where Holy Prepuce & the Missus (Prepuce) find themselves on a much-needed vacation. Today we visited the Coliseum, and learned that, as an interlude between the animal-slaughter of the morning and the gladiator slaughter of the afternoon, elaborate theatrical stagings would often be presented of various Roman fables. Characters in Roman fables tended to end up eaten by wild animals, and these productions did not disappoint. The roles of the ingested were given to slaves and prisoners of war, and, at the appropriate time in the action, these unfortunate actors would be thrown to the appropriate animal, torn apart, and eaten.

I wonder, though, what it was that motivated the slaves/prisoners of war to go along with this whole plan? I mean, what could the Romans have threatened to do if they refused, kill them? Kill them in particularly unpleasant ways? And even if one did decide to participate, can you imagine trying to remember your lines under those circumstances? I think the knowlege that one was about to be violently dismembered might try the concentration a bit, don't you?

1 comment:

  1. I'm guessing that the munched-on slaves were more like stunt doubles than actual actors. Just dress them in the same costume, make the swap and let the fun begin -


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