A Typical Day at the Colosseum
* Before sunrise
* 1000 animals; lions, tigers, bulls, deer, boars, bears, ostriches etc.
* Some perform circus acts, others have been starved so they will be savage
* ‘natural’ setting for animals; sand, boulders and trees
* Poor head for best vantage points, not numbered tickets and no orderly fashion
* Bookmakers come around. They accept bets on just about anything
* An orchestra, consisting of a large water-organ, 10 horns, 5 tubas, 5 litui (low-pitched horns), 15 double flutes and a choir of 40 men
* Food provided by the vendors include; stuffed olives, honeyed dates, roasted parrots, dormice stuffed with pork and pine kernels, turtle doves boiled in their feathers, sows’ udders stuffed with salted sea urchins, cool wines and cool sherbets.
* Event 1 – novelty performances; acrobats, animals trained for circus acts, a mock combat between dwarves, blind people, women and children. Fought with wooden weapons
* Event 2 – Bestiarii (gladiators who fought wild animals) fought against wild animals such as lions or bears, followed by ostrich, a boar, a bull, a lion, a gazelle and a dear. Romans preferred hundreds of animals to single combats
* Event 3 – Animal combats; animals of different species were paired to fight to the death; An elephant and a bull, a lion and a tiger, a rhino and a bear. Sometimes chained together. Slaves and trainers whip or prod animals to encourage them to fight. Slaves finished off wounded animals and dragged hundreds of dead animals away
* Event 4 – Midday – many spectators gone home for lunch, the colosseum became a court of law for criminals. Punishments such as crucifixion and live burnings weren’t very exciting for the viewers but exposure to wild beasts was entertaining. Prisoners included murderers, arsonists, Christians and foreign captives. Animals such as lions and tigers were released to attack the criminals who had been tied up with pieces of raw...