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Ancient hooligans

This post is also available in: Polish (polski)

Pompeian fresco showing the clash of fans in the arena
Pompeian fresco showing the clash of fans in the arena

It seems that stadium excesses are the invention of our times. However, as early as 2,000 years ago, the ancient Romans faced similar problems. In 59 CE in Pompeii, there were riots at the local amphitheatre between the locals and the fans who came from nearby Nuceria.

Tacitus states in his Annales that it started with verbal abuse, then stones were used, and finally, the crowd took their swords.

Many people died in the clashes, and the central administration became interested in the matter – the authorities in Rome prohibited the organization of any competitions in the Pompeian amphitheatre for a period of 10 years. However, the ban lasted only three years, as it was withdrawn in 62.

  • Tacitus, Annales, XIV.17

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