Roman Times and Events: Those about to Die, Author

(by Daniel P. Mannix, 1958)

Author's Note

So many sources were used in preparing this volume that it would be impossible to name them all. In many cases, only a single reference was taken from a book.

However, some of the main works dealing with gladiatorial games are listed in the Bibliography. Some of the sequences, especially the description of the shows at the time of Carpophorus, are a compendium of many sources.

In describing how Carpophorus trained the animals that had relations with women, I used Apuleius and also the technique employed by a Mexican gentleman I met in Tia Juana who was making 16mm. stag films on the subject.

The description of the venatores' battle with the lions and tigers is a combination of original sources, J. A. Hunter's account of Masai warriors spearing lions, and comments from Mel Koontz and Marbel Stark, both of whom are professional lion tamers.

The crocodile wrestling is described by Strabo, but I added material told me by a Seminole Indian who wrestled alligators in Florida.

The gladiatorial combats are all taken from contemporary accounts or from graffiti (wall drawings) in Pompeii. The bullfights are from graffiti of the fights, contemporary descriptions, the murals in Cnossus, incidents I've observed in Spanish bullfights, and suggestions made by Pete Patterson, who is a rodeo clown.

The battle between the Essedarii and the Greek Hoplites is a combination of Tacitus' description of British war chariots, Hogarth's description of the Hoplite phalanx in Philip and Alexander of Macedon, extracts from Mason's Roping, and the manner in which a British square was handled in the early nineteenth century. The elephant fights come from contemporary sources as Capt. Fitz-Bemard, who saw war elephants in action in India.

The description of Chilo's tavern is taken from, Macedeo Maiuri's Pompeii and my own notes on a wine shop there.

The conversation between the men is nearly all from Petronius' Satyricon. Although my account of Carpophorus' death is completely fictitious, polar bears were seen in the arena, possibly as early as Nero's reign.

The Romans did believe that the narwhal's horn was that of a unicorn. The narwhal, being a mammal like a whale or porpoise, can produce ivory.

© 1958 by Daniel P. Mannix

Library of Congress
Catalog Card No. 58-13384

First Printing: November, 1958
Second Printing: December, 1959
Third Printing: December, 1960
Fourth Printing: September, 1963
Fifth Printing: June, 1969

First Canadian Printing: December, 1958
Second Canadian Printing: March, 1960

Printed in the United States of America
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Ave, Caesar, morituri te salutamus.
Hail Caesar, we who are about to die salute you!

Said to be a sarcastic greeting by Roman gladiators as they entered the arena before starting their deadly combat to entertain and to distract Roman citizens from their economic and other social problems.

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