Emperor Probus around 280 CE was supposedly told to transform the Circus Maximus arena into a forest to which hundreds, if not thousands, of animals were released: capricorn, sheep, ostrich and others. As soon as the improvised forest was filled with herbivores, the mob was let into the arena, where they could hunt. The gracious emperor agreed that each Roman could keep his trophy and take it home.
Interestingly, the next day, Probus had to put up nearly 400 lions and 300 bears in the arena to please the audience, who despite the previous entertainment was still wanting to be entertained.
Krawczuk Aleksander, Poczet cesarzy rzymskich, Warszawa 2004
McKeown J. C., A Cabinet of Roman Curiosities: Strange Tales and Surprising Facts from the World's Greatest Empire, 2010
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