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Public Executions In The Arena

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BIBIANA OF ROME SCOURGED TO DEATH

Bibiana was a native of Rome, born in the fourth century, the daughter and sister of martyrs. Flavian, her Christian father, was apprehended during the reign of Julian the Apostate, branded on the face as a slave, and banished to Toscany, where he died of his wounds a few days later. Her mother, Dafrosa, was beheaded two weeks later. Their two daughters, Bibiana and Demetria, after the death of their parents were stripped of all they had in the world, and then imprisoned with orders to give them no food. The Roman praetorian offered them rewards if they would abandon their faith, and threatened a cruel death if they would not conform, but they replied courageously that the goods and advantages of this world had no attraction for them, and that they would endure a thousand deaths rather than betray their faith and their Saviour. Demetria, after having pronounced this ardent defense, fell to the ground and expired at her sister's side.
The officer gave orders that Bibiana be placed in the custody of a woman named Rufina, who was commanded to corrupt her or mistreat her. But the martyr made prayer her shield and remained invincible. Enraged at the courage and perseverance of the young virgin, the persecutor ordered her to be tied to a pillar and whipped until she expired, with scourges tipped with leaden plummets. The Saint underwent this punishment cheerfully, and died at the hands of the executioners. She was buried by a holy priest at a site where afterwards a chapel and then a church were built above her tomb.
How do these guys get these jobs? I was born in the wrong century. Should have been back then enjoying my job.
 
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How do these guys get these jobs? I was born in the wrong century. Should have been back then enjoying my job.
Like anything else, it probably gets old after a while. And not everyone is young and comely. Then, there's blood-borne disease, and somebody has to clean up the mess. As a kid, I toured a candy factory where employees were allowed to grab what they wanted off the line. "At first, you pig out. That lasts about a week." Now, if you were a senior employee, and got to pick the victims you would deal with, maybe it would be different.
 
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Gabriel Roman arena 352-1-.jpg

SLAVE PLAUTILLA BURNED ALIVE FOR ARSON

The crime of incendium was the subject of one of the laws of the Twelve Tables, which inflicted a severe punishment on the person who set fire to property maliciously (sciens, prudens). The punishment, however, of burning alive, which is mentioned in the passage of the Digest referred to, is supposed by modern commentators not to have been contained in the Twelve Tables, but to have been transferred from the imperial period to earlier times. In the second Punic war a great fire broke out at Rome, which was evidently occasioned humana fraude. The offenders were discovered and punished (animadversum est), but Livy unfortunately does not state (XXVI.27) in what manner. We find mention of execution by the sword, burning alive, condemnation to the mines and to public works, deportatio, relegatio, flogging, &c., as punishments inflicted on account of incendium. If a slave was judged as being guilty of malicious arson, the penalty was being burned alive. Mention is found about a female slave whose name was Plautilla, who was condemned to die by fire for burning her lord’s villa.
 

Eulalia

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View attachment 605652

SLAVE PLAUTILLA BURNED ALIVE FOR ARSON

The crime of incendium was the subject of one of the laws of the Twelve Tables, which inflicted a severe punishment on the person who set fire to property maliciously (sciens, prudens). The punishment, however, of burning alive, which is mentioned in the passage of the Digest referred to, is supposed by modern commentators not to have been contained in the Twelve Tables, but to have been transferred from the imperial period to earlier times. In the second Punic war a great fire broke out at Rome, which was evidently occasioned humana fraude. The offenders were discovered and punished (animadversum est), but Livy unfortunately does not state (XXVI.27) in what manner. We find mention of execution by the sword, burning alive, condemnation to the mines and to public works, deportatio, relegatio, flogging, &c., as punishments inflicted on account of incendium. If a slave was judged as being guilty of malicious arson, the penalty was being burned alive. Mention is found about a female slave whose name was Plautilla, who was condemned to die by fire for burning her lord’s villa.
Talk about letting the punishment fit the crime - that's a great scene!
 
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Gabriel Roman arena 357-1-.jpg

AFRA OF AUGSBURG BURNED ALIVE AS A CHRISTIAN

Afra was a martyr who suffered in Augsburg in Germany, under Emperor Diocletian, in the fourth century. She was venerated there from early times, and the church of that city was dedicated to her.
In the late third century, her pagan family journeyed from Cyprus to Augsburg. Afra was given over as a prostitute to the service of the goddess, Venus, by her own mother, Ilaria.
During the persecutions under Diocletian, Bishop Narcissus of Spain took refuge in Augsburg and found asylum in Afra’s house. Through his teachings, Afra and her family were converted to Christianity.
When it was learned that Afra was a Christian, she was brought before Diocletian and ordered to give glory to the pagan idols. She refused, and was condemned to death by fire on a small island in the Lech River, with her remains being buried at a distance from the place of her martyrdom.
Her body was eventually recovered and is still located at Augsburg in the Church of Sts. Ulrich and Afra.
 

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IRENE OF MAGEDON SCOURGED AS A CHRISTIAN

Irene of Magedon was the only daughter of the pagan prefect of her hometown. Her original name was Penelope. Because of her beauty, her father kept her locked in a tower. Her teachers, however, informed her about Christianity, and St. Timotheus, the pupil of St. Paulus, baptized her and her maidens, whereupon she changed her name.
Her father was furious and tied her to his horse in order to drag her behind him as a punishment, but the horse struck him down. He came back to life by the prayers of Irene, and became a Christian himself.
The woman was finally arrested and condemned to die as a Christian. She was violently scourged in public and then killed with a sword.

Gabriel Roman arena 361-1-.jpg Irene of Magedon mix 01.jpg
 

Apostate

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ZOE OF ROME BURNED AS A CHRISTIAN

Zoe of Rome (died c. 286) was a noblewoman, married to Nicostratus, a high Roman court official. For six years she had been unable to speak. Saint Sebastian made the sign of the cross over the woman, and she immediately began to speak and she glorified Jesus. Nicostratus and his wife asked for baptism. She lived during the reign of Emperor Diocletian and his early persecution of Christians.
She was greatly devoted to Saint Peter, and was praying by his tomb when she was arrested for her faith. She died, burnde and stifled by smoke, hung over a fire. Her body then was thrown into the River Tiber.

Zoe _ Barbelli.jpg Zoe - 002.jpg
 

phlebas

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View attachment 629207
ZOE OF ROME BURNED AS A CHRISTIAN

Zoe of Rome (died c. 286) was a noblewoman, married to Nicostratus, a high Roman court official. For six years she had been unable to speak. Saint Sebastian made the sign of the cross over the woman, and she immediately began to speak and she glorified Jesus. Nicostratus and his wife asked for baptism. She lived during the reign of Emperor Diocletian and his early persecution of Christians.
She was greatly devoted to Saint Peter, and was praying by his tomb when she was arrested for her faith. She died, burnde and stifled by smoke, hung over a fire. Her body then was thrown into the River Tiber.

View attachment 629208 View attachment 629209
A remarkably powerful image, one of your best compositions imho. We feel her agony, and the callous interest of the crowd in the background.
 

Apostate

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View attachment 629207
ZOE OF ROME BURNED AS A CHRISTIAN

Zoe of Rome (died c. 286) was a noblewoman, married to Nicostratus, a high Roman court official. For six years she had been unable to speak. Saint Sebastian made the sign of the cross over the woman, and she immediately began to speak and she glorified Jesus. Nicostratus and his wife asked for baptism. She lived during the reign of Emperor Diocletian and his early persecution of Christians.
She was greatly devoted to Saint Peter, and was praying by his tomb when she was arrested for her faith. She died, burnde and stifled by smoke, hung over a fire. Her body then was thrown into the River Tiber.

View attachment 629208 View attachment 629209
Whoa.
 
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Gabriel Roman arena 366-1-.jpg Caterina whipped mix 03extr.jpg

CATHERINE OF ALEXANDRIA SCOURGED

Catherine, virgin of Alexandria, devoted herself to the pursuit of knowledge; at the age of eighteen, she surpassed all her contemporaries in science. Upon seeing how the Christians were being tortured, she went before Emperor Maximin (311-313), upbraided him for his cruelty, and with convincing reasons demonstrated the need of Christian faith in order to be saved. Astounded by her wisdom, the Emperor ordered her to be kept confined, and having summoned the most learned philosophers, promised them magnificent rewards if they could confound the virgin and turn her from belief in Christ. Far from being successful, a considerable number of the philosophers were inflamed by the sound reasons and persuasiveness of Catherine's speech with such a love for Jesus Christ that they declared themselves willing to offer their lives for the Gospel.
Then the Emperor attempted to win her by flattery and by promises, but his efforts proved equally fruitless. He ordered her whipped with rods, scourged with leaden nodules, and then left to languish eleven days without food in prison. The Emperor's wife and Porphyrius, general of the army, visited Catherine in prison; her words brought both to Christ and later they too proved their love in blood. Catherine's next torture consisted of being placed upon a wheel with sharp and pointed knives; from her lacerated body prayers ascended to heaven and the infernal machine fell to pieces. Many who witnessed the miracle embraced the faith. Finally, on November 25 Christ's servant was beheaded (307 or 312).
 
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