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Praefectus Praetorio

Brother of the Quill
In something unrelated to CF, I stumbled upon the name of the Roman writer Varro. Marcus Terentius Varro (116-27 BCE), though not a household name, was a prolific writer and a great scholar. What brought me to him was a wonderful Latin motto, reflecting both Roman pride and Roman taste: "Ubi Allium, Ibi Roma."

Varro, along with Cicero was a pupil of Lucius Aelius Stilo Praeconinus (Stilo was from the Latin stilus, a pen for writing on wax, Praeconinus was from his father profession, a praeco, a public crier). Stilo was famous for something that a certain member here will appreciate - he was the first known philologist in the Roman Republic.

Oh, yes. For those without Latin (really now, what are you doing on a crucifixion site?) the phrase means, "Where there is Garlic, there is Rome.
 

Loxuru

Graf von Kreuzigung
For those without Latin (really now, what are you doing on a crucifixion site?)
what's the use of it?
a), most of the Latin speaking populations were Roman citizens, who were exempt from crucifixion.
b) Rome lasted 1200 years, but at the end, the Germans won!:p

(Stilo was from the Latin stilus, a pen for writing on wax
In Dutch 'stylo' (written like that) is another word for a ballpoint pen.:icon_writing:
 

Praefectus Praetorio

Brother of the Quill
what's the use of it?
a), most of the Latin speaking populations were Roman citizens, who were exempt from crucifixion.
b) Rome lasted 1200 years, but at the end, the Germans won!:p


In Dutch 'stylo' (written like that) is another word for a ballpoint pen.:icon_writing:
You did realize my comment about Latin was tongue in cheek?
 

Heineudo

Tribune
I have some questions about gladiators. How often did they fight? How often were fights lethal? How long did it take them to win their freedom (if possible at all), and how many managed that as opposed to dying in the arena?
A gladiator only had to fight one to three times a year, was well looked after during the rest of the time and was able to determine the conditions of his assignment himself. The medical care that was given to the gladiators was also exemplary.
Gladiators were mostly slaves or convicted criminals. Often, however, adventurous young Romans also committed themselves, hoping to gain money and fame in this way. With a victory and with the favor of the audience, some of them were able to buy their way out.
The honorable way of dying was for the losing gladiator to grasp the victor's thigh, who then held the loser's head or helmet and stuck a sword in his neck. Gladiator games, like much else in Roman life, were associated with Roman religion.
 

Praefectus Praetorio

Brother of the Quill
I have some questions about gladiators. How often did they fight? How often were fights lethal? How long did it take them to win their freedom (if possible at all), and how many managed that as opposed to dying in the arena?
If you like historical fiction, the Roma Sub Rosa series of books by Steven Saylor is a fun read. In this case, the short story collection, "A Gladiator Only Dies Once" has a story on this issue. The first book in the series, "Roman Blood," helped inspire my use of Poena Collei in Fate of a Goth Girl.

Another interesting source, the 1954 Hollywood movie, "Demetrius and the Gladiators," has the freed Gladiator, Glycon (played by the fine actor, William Marshall) refers to having "killed more than 100 men in the arena."
 

Marcius

Governor
I have some questions about gladiators. How often did they fight? How often were fights lethal? How long did it take them to win their freedom (if possible at all), and how many managed that as opposed to dying in the arena?

From Emperors and Gladiators by Thomas Wiedemann (1992), pp. 120-121.

Inscriptions record a considerable number of men who had died—not necessarily in the arena—after a gladiatorial career lasting several years (we may assume a minimum of two contests a year, and the same individual may have been required to fight several times in one munus: ILS 5088 records a man who fought 9 times on 9 consecutive days in Trajan’s games, and was then freed). There are references to 37 fights; 30 or 36 fights or victories; 27 fights; 25 fights; 20 fights; and 13 fights.[73] On the other hand there are also references to gladiators who were freed after only 3 or 7 combats.[74]

An inscription from Padua records a man who died after 5 fights at the age of 21, having spent four years in a training school.[75] A considerable number of inscriptions tell us how many combats gladiators had taken part in as well as their age at death. One man aged 22 had survived only 5 fights; another also aged 22, 13 fights. One aged 23 had survived 8 fights, and was killed in his ninth; two aged 25 had had 9 victories and 20 fights; two aged 27, 10 fights (dying in his eleventh) and 16 fights respectively; a Sicilian inscription ascribes 34 fights to a man who died at 30, including 21 victories, 9 ‘draws’ and 4 defeats in which he had been allowed to survive.[76]

Nevertheless some gladiators had a comparatively long life. One died aged 35 after 20 victories, another at 38 after 18 fights, another at the age of 45. An inscription from Rome mentions a man who died at the age of 48, with 19 victories behind him and (probably) 20 years’ service in the ludus Caesaris. ‘Flavius Sigerus, summa rudis’, retired to Caesarea Mauretania and died at the age of 60. A paegniarius (see Glossary) did not fight to the kill. The paegniarius Secundus was able to claim on a Roman epitaph that he had lived 99 years 8 months and 18 days.[78]

Unfortunately there are no clear answers to the 'how often' questions, but it appears that the clear majority of gladiators did not die on the sands.
 

Praefectus Praetorio

Brother of the Quill
Or Napoleon Bonaparte : (when he saw soldiers rubbing an onion on their bread, before the Battle of Marengo (1800)).
"Good! There is nothing better than an onion for marching on the way to glory!"
It would certainly frighten the enemy to see an army of onions marching toward them!
 
As Napoleon's army marched on its stomach, the consumption of onions and garlic released an early form of gas attack.
Now I understand why no one has ever sued to apply the US Constitution's Second Amendment ("A well-organized militia being necessary to the security of a free State, the right to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed") to invalidate the accession of the United States to the chemical weapons treaty.
 

Praefectus Praetorio

Brother of the Quill
Inspired by @Fossy's superb research and story-telling about Hadrian's Wall, https://www.cruxforums.com/xf/threads/the-wall.9186/,
I post here an interesting video recreation of a Roman fort in Vindolanda, along the Wall, built about a century after the setting of @Fossy's story. Claims to be totally based on archeological evidence:
 

Fossy

Senator
Inspired by @Fossy's superb research and story-telling about Hadrian's Wall, https://www.cruxforums.com/xf/threads/the-wall.9186/,
I post here an interesting video recreation of a Roman fort in Vindolanda, along the Wall, built about a century after the setting of @Fossy's story. Claims to be totally based on archeological evidence:
Thank you for the mention in despatches PrPr. I visited many Roman Forts along the site of the wall during my research and they all follow a similar constructive format. This is an excellent video :)
 
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