Glory of Rome
The amphitheatre was a large, softly oval building like two theatres together. It had bleachers for the spectators, a central and underground arena where animals, decorations and gladiators were hidden. The most typical spectacles of the amphitheatre were the fights of gladiators, fights of beasts and even naval battles, the naumachiae. Precisely, from one of them comes the famous phrase: “Ave, Caesar, Morituri te Salutant”, that is, “Hail, Caesar, those who are about to die salute you”. Against what is commonly believed, it has only been documented once and there is no reason to believe that it was commonly used.
The fights to the death of the gladiators aroused the enthusiasm of the public, who could decide the fate of the loser (with thumbs, handkerchiefs or exclamations). The spectators felt protagonists of a bloody spectacle created for their only enjoyment. The gladiators used to be slaves, condemned to death or ruined freemen. There were also cases of honour and search for fame. The most laureate achieved glory and a comfortable life.
They were distinguished by the weapons they carried, and fought alone, in pairs, in groups, or against beasts. The most famous were the Samnites, Myrmillions, Thracians, Reciarians, and Secutors.
MOUNT BADON (500 AD)
Epic and heroic victory, the last of importance, of the Romans in Britannia. «The Last of the Romans»: Ambrosius Aurelianus (most probably the inspirer of the Arthurian legend, Camelot and the dream of British unity), momentarily slows the Anglo-Saxon advance to the west, in the still Roman-Briton Domnonea (present Devon and regions adjoining). This victory is a mirage, since barbarian waves continue to land in the southeast of the island and its pressure on the last redoubts of resistance becomes unstoppable. All indications point to the battle of Mons Badonicus was fought in the current Badbury Rings, on the banks of the Stour, in Dorset.