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Number 8 Life of a Gladiator
Some works of fiction have a tendency to glamorise the life of a Roman gladiator but, according to most historians, the reality was much more complicated. They endured training in gladiator schools and were often seen as more of a financial asset than human beings.
Number 7 Commodus’ Personality
Considered a megalomaniac by most historic sources, Emperor Commodus believed himself to be a gladiator. He always won, because his opponents understood what would happen to them if they didn’t submit to their emperor. Whenever he entered the arena, the emperor charged the city of Rome a million sesterces.
Number 6 Molten Gold
In the year 90 BC, Roman consul Manius Aquillius was sent to Asia Minor to restore a previous ruler who’d been dethroned by Mithridates VI of Pontus. Aquillius was hated by the locals mainly because his father, who once served as governor in the region, had imposed severe taxes.
Number 5 Lower Classes
In Ancient Rome, status was everything. This meant that people of a higher social standing enjoyed a type of freedom that others didn’t. Any children they had would only add to their owner’s wealth. Rome was an absolute patriarchy and, as one Italian classicist put it, the head of a household “exercised a power outside any control of society and the state”.
Number 4 Condemnation to Beasts
These animals included leopards, lions, bears, elephants, hyenas, wolves and other creatures. Historians typically distinguish between damnatio ad bestias and objicere bestiis.
Number 3 Cybele
In 204, BC, the Senate officially adopted Cybele as a state goddess. Cybele was referred to as Magna Mother, or Great Mother. As part of the ceremony, the men would also wear women’s clothes, heavy makeup as well as their hair long and bleached.
Number 1 Roman Theater
According to another source, a man named Meniscus was dressed and made to act like Hercules. According to Strabo, Selurus was placed on a wooden imitation of Mount Etna. This was based on the myth of Pasiphae, who mated with a bull thus giving birth to the Minotaur.