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Cruel punishment invented by Augustus

This post is also available in: Polish (polski)

Bust of Augustus with corona civica
Bust of Augustus with corona civica

Augustus while tring to cut the fights in the arena by replacing it with sports competitions, he was also believed to invent an exceptionally cruel spectacle. In order to exemplify the punishment of one of the convicts, Selouros, he ordered to erect a pillory on the Forum, to which then hungry panthers and leopards were released.

Later, the spectacle became more and more popular, and to the extent that it obtained a separate term, venatio, although it did not take part in it venatores, what means hunters. It was at dawn when hungry animals were released “for preying”, i.e. defenseless convicts. Such performances like to watch emperor Claudius. In the afternoon there fought only and only convicts – gladiatores ad meridaini.

  • J. Carcopino, Widowiska, p. 233

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