Chapter L - Ludi Spes Vespasianum

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A date had then been set for the 'Ludi Spes Vespasianum' as the further embellishments to the arena were gradually completed
The Goddess Spes
The title for the Games is difficult to translate directly from the original Latin.
Spes was a divine personifications of the concept of 'Hope'
'Spes Augusta' was 'Hope' associated with the capacity of the Emperor as Augustus, to ensure blessed conditions. 
Therefore, the 'Ludi Spes Vespasianum' (or more correctly 'Ludi Spes Titus Flāvius Caesar Vespasiānus Augustus') was a semi-religious set of Games held on the festival of the Goddess Spes, intended to ensure blessed conditions for the Empire under the 'august' guidance of the new Emperor Vespasian.
Celebrations were also being held in Rome - not in the Flavian Amphitheatre which was still to be constructed, but rather in the Forum Romanum - also with gladiatorial contests.
This was in accord with the previously explained concept of such contests being a form of sacrificial shedding of blood (see Chapter XVI - the section 'The Games and Sacrifice').
Titus had chosen to attend the 'Ludi Spes Vespasianum' at Baiae, as Marcus' amphitheatre was the most magnificent, if not the largest that was situated close to Rome - and on a personal note it enabled Titus to supervise the construction of his new villa in the area.

'Continuing Preparations' - Petronius was up that morning at first light, riding fast to the amphitheatre.
Once there, he put slaves on lookout for wagons bringing the remainder of the marble veneers, and the workers to install them.
At the same time Terentius was up early and had positioned himself, along with Nerva, at the main entrance to the villa.
Terentius was there to inform any clients that might arrive that the Salutatio for that morning had been cancelled, as the Dominus was busy making preparations for the upcoming Ludi.
At the same time Nerva handed out a substantially increased 'sportula' - increased partly to placate any client who might be disappointed at not being able to greet Marcus that morning, but also intended to spread a general festive feeling in the upper levels of society in the town.
Marcus, of course was up, and working in his study on various documents and letters, with a very sleepy Aurarius.
Adonios had also risen at first light, in order to make preparations for Petronius' equally early departure for the Amphitheatre.
After that, he and Glaux were left dozing in the first full rays of the sun.
As soon as Marcus had finished his correspondence, however, he sent Aurarius to get Adonios.
They they then met at the main rear entrance of the villa, where the 'magistrum equitum', (master of the horse),  was waiting with their mounts (Marcus was trying to avoid his clients).
The 'magistrum equitum' was very puzzled by the sudden appearance of a large white stallion in the stables, and wanted to know where Marcus had bought it.
"It belongs to this young man.", Marcus said, as Faunus rounded the corner of the stable block.
"He's an important guest, so please take good care of the horse.", Marcus added.
"Good morning, Marcus !", Faunus said perkily, in perfect Greek.
"May I come with you....?", he asked, gently patting his huge mount.
"But you don't know where we're going...", Marcus protested.
"Yes I do....the amphitheatre.", Faunus replied.
"Yes... of course....", Marcus replied, with a note of resignation.
The grooms carefully marshalled the horses, and younger slaves took their place, on hands and knees, beside the horses.
As had been explained before - as far as we can tell, Romans did not use stirrups when riding, so to mount a horse, a man (almost never a woman), needed a 'step-up', either provided by a kneeling slave (the 'macho way'), or a small stool or step, (decidedly not 'macho').
 And so together, the four of them rode out to the Amphitheatre, with Glaux, who had managed to wake up, fluttering on ahead of them, and of course he the knew the way, and exactly where to go.
As you have also been told before - it was not a long ride to the amphitheatre at Baiae, and in no time at all the four horsemen (not, however, 'of the Apocalypse'), were clattering into the forecourt of the Ludus.
The Apocalypse of John, is a book written just after the present episodes in our story, in 'Koine Greek', (very much, at this time, the language of slaves), that eventually occupied a central place in 'christian' eschatology. In reality, however, it appears to be much concerned with Roman Imperial politics, and in particular the reign, death and possible re-appearance of Nero (material possibly interpolated, however) - and so was a very dangerous book to own, read or discuss, as it was seen by the Roman authorities to be subversive and treasonous.
Roman 'Hipposandal'
The 'clatter' came from the Roman 'hipposandal' (early form of horse-shoe) that increased ground adherence, thereby giving  better traction, and protected the hoof on rough and hard ground. To further improve traction, the bottom of each 'hipposandal' was grooved.  The sole of the 'hipposandal was made of metal, consisting of an oval-shaped cup of thick metal that enclosed and protected the hoof, complete with a fixation system. The device was fastened to the hoof by metallic clips and leather laces.
Petronius was particularly pleased when a Ludus slave informed him of the arrival of the 'Dominus'.
Slaves ran up to the horses in order to help the riders dismount, and to lead the horses away.
Faunus, however, apparently an inveterate 'show-off', eschewed any assistance, and sprang off his huge mount in an annoyingly athletic fashion - at least annoying to everyone else.
Artisans Installing Marble Panels
And so Marcus, Aurarius, Adonios (with Glaux), and Faunus were escorted to the main arena, where the sounds of hammering and sawing told them that the workers were busy installing the marble panels.
"I see you've brought young Faunus with you.", Petronius remarked somewhat begrudgingly.
"Couldn't really stop him.... ", Marcus replied, "but he's behaving himself very well, so I don't think he'll cause you any problems."
Marcus was surprised to see how much progress had been made, but then the artisans from Neapolis had little choice but to work hard under Petronius' relentless supervision.
It was very unwise to slack when Petronius was around - as such foolish behaviour would inevitably be answered with immediate and sever punishment.
At that moment a Ludus slave arrived with the message that the tailors had arrived regarding the tunics for the boys.
Apparently they were not very happy about arriving at the villa, and then being sent to the Amphitheatre.
Marcus, however, managed to placate them with some lavish refreshments, and Petronius offered his study for the tailors' to use.
So while Aurarius and Adonios were being measured up, Marcus accompanied by Petronius made a thorough inspection of the newly installed marble cladding, and then watched as the skilled carpenters from Neapolis worked on the removable wooden stand that would accommodate the special guests, and in particular the senators.
Then Petronius suggested that he took Marcus to the thermopolium, (just round the corner - and yes, the same one where they planned Ludi when they were both Gnaeus' slaves).
The purpose of the brief lunch was to discuss the tableaux, which even at such a late date had not been finalised.
"So, are we decided on the death of Hector ?",Marcus asked, looking quizzical and unsure.
"I think so....", Petronius replied.
"Well....fine... but what about the chariot ?", Marcus asked.
"That is the only problem, but I have sent for a couple of chariots kept at the villa, and we shall see if there's enough room for them the manoeuvre in the arena.". Petronius replied.
The Triumph of Achilles - Franz von Matsch - adapted Vittorio Carvelli
The scenario of the death of Hector was well known, and here it is paraphrased: Hector chooses to remain outside the gates of Troy to face Achilles. When he sees Achilles, however, Hector is seized by fear and turns to flee. Achilles chases him around the city three times before Hector masters his fear and turns to face Achilles. But Athena, in the disguise of Hector's brother Deiphobus, has deluded Hector. Achilles hurls his spear at Hector, who dodges it, but Athena brings it back to Achilles' hands without Hector noticing. Hector then throws his own spear at Achilles; it hits his shield and does no injury. When Hector turns to face his supposed brother to retrieve another spear, he sees no one there. At that moment he realizes that he is doomed. Hector pulls out his sword, now his only weapon, and charges. But Achilles grabbed his thrown spears delivered to him by the unseen Athena. Achilles then aimed his spear and pierced the collar bone section of Hector. After his death, Achilles strips Hector, and slits Hector's heels and passes the girdle that Ajax had given Hector through the slits. He then fastens the girdle to his chariot and drives his fallen enemy through the dust.
"So we need a noxii who knows little or nothing about the Iliad...", Petronius began.
"And he needs no experience in he just had to stand there and get speared.", Marcus interjected.
"And we can use Paris for Ajax, and we still have the 'fancy' helmet from the last Ludi." Petronius continued.
"But what about after 'Hector's' killed - and he's dragged behind the chariot." Marcus said dubiously.
"Well if it says in the Iliad (not that I've read it), that he's killed and dragged at the back of a chariot, I would suggest that we change that slightly.
Let's have him wounded, and the stripped.
We can then have him dragged on his belly, over some concealed spikes so that he's disembowelled and emasculated at the same time, which will please the audience more that simply dragging him - remember that this is a 'public' ludi', so we need something pretty bloody to please the plebs.", Petronius explained.
"That's all very well, but what about this chariot ?", Marcus asked once again.
"Well, I've sent for a couple of chariots, so we can test things out as soon as they arrive." Petronius said, as the got ready to leave the thermopolium.
Meanwhile, back at the Ludus,  the tailors were finished with Aurarius and Adonios, and were being taken to the villa to measure up  Aniketos and Euphrainus.
The tailors would then stay at the villa, working on the tunics until they were completed.
And coming the other way - from the villa to the Amphitheatre - were a pair of two-horse chariots to be tested in the arena
Meanwhile Aurarius and Adonios (and Glaux) were provided with a tasty lunch from the kitchens that provided food for the special guests who often attended the Ludi.
And back at the thermopolium, where Marcus and Petronius had been having a more plebeian lunch, Petronius insisted on paying, despite the owner's protestations, and then the two made their way back to the amphitheatre, intent on giving the chariots a trial.


'Achilles' Chariot' - On arriving back at the Amphitheatre, they found Theon carefully checking the armour and weapons of the slave who was to take the part of 'Hector' for the upcoming Games.
The slave who had previously played this 'part' was an excellent gladiator, who had been chosen to fight and kill the young 'noxii' Varus (Patroclus), but he was too valuable to be wasted on the tableaux of the 'Death of Hector', where he would be defeated, stripped and then, (hopefully), dragged around the arena until he was dead.
The 'New' Hector
Because of this, a 'noxii' - of which there were plenty, would be used, - and there was a backlog, (as usual), of condemned criminals who had been sent to the arena for execution by the local city magistrates.
Theon had managed to choose the fittest looking of these to replace the previous 'real' gladiator.
He was of equal height, with the same athletic musculature and, as he was wearing a Corinthian style helmet, anyone having attended the previous Games (and there would be many), would presume that it was the same individual.
The performances in Marcus' arena, as can be seen, were renowned for their attention to detail, and this tableaux was no exception.
Petronius checked the young man over carefully, and agreed with Theon that the choice was well made.
From then until the Games, the young 'noxii' would be kept 'incommunicado' so that he would not have any knowledge of the fate that awaited him - which was all the better for his final 'performance', and tended to avoid the possibility of pre-Games suicide.


'Faunus Takes the Reins' - As he was giving his approval for the 'new' Hector, Petronius was informed of the arrival of the chariots from the villa.
One was slightly 'broken down', and possibly a favourite of Gnaeus' misspent youth.
The other was in reasonable condition.
Deciding, not surprisingly, to take the chariot in better condition, Petronius then had the problem of finding someone to give the chariot - and more importantly the horses - a trial run round the arena.
While Theon was trying to find some one with some experience of chariot driving, an arena slave began by taking the horses by their bridles and walking them round the arena.
At this point the horses began to 'play up' - probably 'spooked' by the enclosed nature of the arena and the number of people - workmen and cleaners were still busy in various parts of the arena.
The unfortunate slave was unable to do anything with the horses, which were rearing up quite dangerously.
Petronius, who was an excellent horseman then took over, hoping to be able to calm them.
At that point it seemed that the tableaux was in danger of being abandoned, as Petronius could not risk the horses misbehaving in front of an arena full people, including Titus and high ranking Magistrates and Senators.
At that point Faunus came forward.
"Let me help you...", he said to Petronius, very simply.
"And I suppose you know what the problem is !", Petronius said derisively.
"Yes...", Faunus said quietly.
Petronius shook his head, and looked to Marcus.
"They could trample him.", Petronius said - warning Marcus.
"Let him try.", Marcus replied surprisingly calmly.
"Go on then - but if you get hurt don't blame me.", Petronius said, dismissing the arena slave.
"I won't blame you, Petronius, because I won't get hurt.", Faunus said, as he slowly approached the wildly rearing horses.
Aurarius and Adonios, who had been lounging around, idly watching what was going on, suddenly started paying attention - along with Glaux.
The boys were wondering anxiously what Faunus was going to do, but Glaux knew well what was about to happen.
As Faunus approached the horses he stared at each on of them in turn, and slowly the horses began  to calm.
When he was close enough - he reach out and allowed each one to sniff his outstretched palms.
He then concentrated on the 'lead' horse (in any pair there is always one who 'leads'), fondling its head, and running his hand down the horse's neck, down the the shoulder and along the back.
He then walked to the front of the pair, and did the same to the second horse.
By then both horses were completely calm.
He then began whispering into the 'lead' horse's ear.
Then finally, he went to the rear of the equipage, and very gently mounted the tail-board.
The 'lead' horse's only reaction was to quietly snort.
Faunus then took his place in the centre of the chariot, and gently flicked the reins.
Simultaneously both horses began to slowly walk round the arena.
Petronius looked stunned.
"Who is this boy ?", he asked, to no one in particular.
"No one knows....that's the problem...", Marcus said.
Faunus Drives the Chariot Round the Arena
"Well no matter - it seems that we have got our tableaux." Petronius said admiringly.
Faunus then turned the horses, and brought the chariot back to where Petronius and Marcus were standing.
"Can you make them go any faster ?", Petronius asked.
"No problem - but stand back - because if you stay there I won't be to blame if you get hurt.", Faunus said, deliberately mimicking Petronius previous, condescending, warning.
Marcus and Petronius sensibly took a few steps backward, and Faunus firmly flicked the reins.
The horses, in perfect obedience, increased their pace, and the chariot began circling the arena.
After a few more flicks of the reins the sped increased quite dramatically.
"That's enough, Faunus.
You've made your point.", Petronius shouted.
Faunus obediently began to slow, making one more circuit, and eventually pulled up right beside were Marcus was standing.
"The're good horses.", Faunus said smiling, as he smoothly dismounted.
Petronius turned to Marcus.
"That's the first time that I've seen a chariot driven in the this amphitheatre - quite a sight..."
"So where did you learn how to drive a chariot ?", Marcus then asked, thoroughly intrigued.
"' just one of those things I can do - and it helps if you can understand what the horses are telling you - and also if you can talk to them.", Faunus said in a matter of fact manner.
"And you, of course can - I mean understand the horses, and talk to them.", Marcus said, smiling.
"Yes....why not ?", Faunus replied, apparently unable to understand how odd the conversation was becoming.
"So can you teach some of the arena slaves how to get these horses to respond ? - as Paris, (Achilles), will need a driver for the actual tableaux." Petronius asked
(Ancient Greek warriors were too 'aristocratic' to drive their own chariots, and always had a driver)
"Unfortunately - no...", Faunus replied, bluntly.
"It is a skill that takes many years to master.", Faunus continued.
"So that's ruined that ! - No tableaux !", Marcus said, obviously disappointed.
"Well....", and Faunus smiled, "I could be the driver."
"You would do this ?", Petronius asked, looking very surprised.
"Yes....Why not ?.... as long as I wasn't expected to kill anyone....and no one tried to kill me...which they couldn't, anyway.", Faunus replied.
Adonios found it very hard not to laugh at this conversation because, whenever Faunus was talking to Petronius, Petronius always ended up looking very foolish.
Adonios didn't think that Faunus did this on purpose -  it was just his way of speaking.
"Well of course - just the driver..", Petronius said.
Faunus nodded, smiling enigmatically - the way fauns do....
"So tomorrow you must be here in the morning, and practice - with a 'noxii' tied to the tail-board.", Petronius said, trying to be businesslike.
And again Faunus nodded.
As the afternoon wore on, Aurarius and Adonios asked for permission to return the the villa in order to try on the new tunics that the tailors, by then, should have finished.
As they were not serving any real function at the arena, the boys were allowed to go, and Faunus, taking Glaux, went with them.
As they rode back to the villa,  Adonios couldn't help but ask Faunus how he had managed to calm down the horses, and drive the chariot.
Faunus, however, was not giving away any secrets, other than what he had already explained to Petronius.
On arriving at the villa, Aurarius and Adonios each had a fitting of their new tunics - meanwhile Faunus, seeming in a rather reflective mood, took Glaux out to one of the peristyle gardens - apparently for a 'chat'.
Everything, it seemed was, at that point, in place for the Ludi.
Lucius, Marcus' Latin tutor, had come up with yet another of his Latin 'panegyrics' - to be chanted by a boy's chorus at the opening of the Games - and practising was well under way.
A panegyric is a formal written verse, delivered in high praise of a person or thing, and is a generally highly studied and undiscriminating eulogy, not expected to be critical. Unlike the Greeks, the Romans generally confined the panegyric to the living - and in this case a celebration of the virtues and achievements of the reigning emperor - Vespasian.
At the same time Petronius was rehearsing the opening pompa in the arena.
Rehearsal for the Pompa
The procession in the arena at  Baiae always began with the priests of Apollo, followed by the animals to be sacrificed, garlanded and with gilded horns, and then included slave-boys carrying golden bowls and perfumes, and then the statues of the god or gods, carried on litters (fercula), with their attributes. In most Pompa, following the litters of the gods would traditionally be the magistrate who presided over the Games, and wore the traditional attire of the triumphing general (triumphator), but Marcus, as Gnaeus before him, did not favour this custom, as it appeared to relegate the Dominus to a 'performer' in the Games, and therefore he always remained in high up in the Pulvinar, along with his Tribune, Master of the Arena, and any special guests (such as Titus). At the end of the procession came the 'performers' in the games, which included the combatants, in various types of 'parade armour', and also dancers, singers and mimes.
The following morning all the main elements of the Games, along with Faunus practice drives, were being rehearsed in the arena, while Marcus, sensing that Petronius had everything under control, 'took the morning off', and went with Titus to see whatever progress was being made with Tutus' new villa.
At the same time Terentius was making a thorough inspection of all the building works that had been completed in the arena, and was making arrangements for suitable payments.
Quintus, Marcus' Senior Secretary, was busy as ever, sending out invitations to attend the Ludi to various influential individuals, while at the same time writing to confirm that the Priests of Apollo at Cumae would be on hand to make the appropriate sacrifices at the opening and closing of the Games.
And then it was just a matter of waiting.

'Games for the Hope of Vespasian' - The Day of the Games finally arrived - warm, bright and sunny.
Marcus took his early ientaculum (breakfast) with Titus in one of the peristyle gardens, rather formally, with Aurarius and Adonios, resplendent in their new tunics in attendance.
Glaux, of course, was there, but behaving himself unusually well, perched on the side of Titus' table, and waiting patiently for the odd little scrap of meat that he was offered.
Titus was much taken with the gossip that he had heard about Faunus managing the chariot horses in the arena previously.
Of course Titus had some question about Faunus, and Marcus had to be careful with his answers.
The gist of Marcus' explanation was that Faunus was a great nephew of Gnaeus, and that he lived at the Villa Pastoralis in Tibur and that, in return for supervising the villa when Marcus was not using it, Marcus was having him privately educated, and to improve the boy's education he would be accompanying Marcus on his visit to Athens.
As to where Faunus had picked up the skill of managing a chariot, Marcus admitted that he had no idea, but then he indicated that he had no contact with Faunus prior to the death of Gnaeus Gracchus (the 'late' Dominus).
These answers seemed to satisfy Titus, who was looking forward to the tableaux of the death of Hector, taking place in the arena later in the day, in which Faunus would appear as Achilles' chariot driver.
As explained earlier, a public Ludi normally began with a 'Pompa'.
In Rome, the pompa would wind it's way round the city before arriving at the location of the Games (usually the Forum Roman before the completion of the Flavian Amphitheatre).
The origins of the Pompa lay with the Roman Triumphus - an event celebrating the achievements of a victorious Roman General.
It was therefore usual for the magistrate responsible for the Ludi to take part in the procession - taking the place of the victorious general - and even dressing the part.
This practice was never followed by Gnaeus Gracchus, (or later by Marcus), - as Gnaeus considered such a practice to be overweening and ostentatious, and Marcus agreed.
Marcus, who had been granted the magisterial rank of 'Praetor', with six lictors, (two within the 'pomerium'), on his assumption of Senatorial rank, was content to ride on horseback, with an appropriate escort, from the Villa Auream to the Amphitheatre in Baiae, and then to review the Pompa from the Pulvinar (Imperial Box).
A lictor's task was to attend as bodyguards to magistrates who held imperium. They carried rods decorated with fasces and, outside the pomerium, with axes that symbolized the power to carry out capital punishment.
Senator Marcus Octavianus Gracchus with Lictors
The pomerium or pomoerium was a religious boundary around the city of Rome and cities controlled by Rome. In legal terms, Rome existed only within its pomerium; everything beyond it was simply territory (ager) belonging to Rome
Lictors followed the magistrate wherever he went, including the Forum, his house, temples, and the baths. If there was a crowd, the lictors opened the way and kept their master safe, pushing all aside except for Roman matrons, who were accorded special honour. They also had to stand beside the magistrate whenever he addressed the crowd. Lictors also had legal and penal duties; they could, at their master's command, arrest Roman citizens and punish them. The degree of magistrate's 'imperium' was symbolised by the number of lictors escorting him.
Gnaeus Gracchus was not well known in Baiae, even some time after he had built his magnificent villa and settled on the coast.
After building his Amphitheatre and holding Ludi he was still not a prominent citizen, despite the fact that over the years he 'bought up' most of the town.
However, after his opulent funeral and the spectacular Munera, his adopted son and heir became more prominently known, and with the accession of Vespasian - followed by ever more lavish Ludi, Marcus had become the leading citizen in the city, and this was subsequently confirmed by his Magisterial and Senatorial rank.
Still, however, he tried hard to keep a low profile, and hence his relatively low key entry into the town on the day of the Ludi.
Titus also, not wishing to attract too much attention, until he finally reached his place in the Pulvinar, rode in a carriage with his numerous tribunes as outriders.
Just in case you've forgotten what the pulvinar is.....the pulvinar (plural pulvinaria) was a special couch, (the word actually means cushion) originally used for displaying images of the gods, that they might receive offerings at ceremonies such as the lectisternium or supplicatio.  By extension, 'pulvinar' can also mean the platform housing several of these couches and their images. In the amphitheatre at Baiae the Pulvinar was originally the Editor's box (the Editor - in this case Gnaeus Gracchus), where the individual sponsoring the Games was provided with a separate private enclosure for himself and his guests. Later, with imperial interest in the Games at Baiae, the Editor's box was enlarged and given the title 'Pulvinar' - 'Imperial Box'.
Terentius, Novius and Demetrius, followed Marcus in their own carriage, and finally the 'boys', not trusted to ride adequately, were crammed into a final carriage.
Accompanying Marcus, on this very auspicious morning, (Novius had checked when making a morning sacrifice), was Petronius in full armour as Tribune, and behind them came Faunus, carrying Glaux on his wrist.
Petronius was not entirely happy at Faunus having such a prominent position, but Faunus had made it clear that if he didn't accompany them, then there would be no one to drive the chariot for the Tableaux.
The streets leading to the amphitheatre were crowded, and 'en-fête', and there was generally a jubilant atmosphere as the festival was one of 'hope' for good things to come during the reign of the new Emperor.
Arriving at the main entrance, Marcus and Petronius were helped off their mounts by slaves, while Faunus, as usual, showed off by athletically dismounting with no assistance, and without even disturbing Glaux.
Then the carriages slowly arrived, with considerable applause as the crowd, seeing the Praetorians, realized that the individual emerging from the first carriage was a member of the Imperial family - although most of the spectators was unsure if it was the Emperor himself, his eldest son Titus, or youngest son Domitian.
Then Terentius, Novius, and Demetrius were assisted from their carriage - and finally the boys emerged, handsomely dressed in their new clothes.
Theon then escorted everyone to the 'receptio praetorium' (main reception hall), where various dignitaries, and Senators who had been invited to the Games, were waiting to greet Marcus and Titus (it was a type of grand 'supplicatio').
At that point there was a shot pause while Marcus withdrew to a private room the change from his riding clothes into his Senatorial toga (it was quite impossible to ride while wearing a toga).
Then Marcus and Titus had 'made the rounds' of the guests, and some time later slaves escorted the dignitaries and Senators to the newly constructed area overlooking the arena, while Terentius, Novius, Demetrius made their way to the Pulvinar, closely followed by Marcus and Titus, escorted by Aurarius and Adonios.
At the same time slaves lit the massive porphyry and gilded bronze incense burners either side of the Pulvinar, sending huge clouds of sweet scented smoke across the arena,
When Marcus and Titus appeared in the Pulvinar, the applause from the audience in the amphitheatre reached a crescendo as the tubas blared (a Roman tuba is not like a modern tuba, but rather a normal trumpet without valves).
Opening Fanfare
Pompa of the Ludi Spes Vespasianum
At the same time the huge gilded bronze gates of the 'Porta Sanavivaria', which bore the inscription dedicating the amphitheatre to the God Apollo, opened to allow the Pompa (opening procession) to enter the arena.
After the Pompa, the cult statue of the patron goddess of the Games - 'Spes' - was installed on a temporary altar below the Pulvinar in preparation for the sacrifices, while the boy's choir chanted Lucius' panegyric dedicated to Vespasian.
Petronius then rose to his feet, and from the Pulvinar declared the commencement of the Sacred Ludi Spes Vespasianum.
There then followed a brief speech by Marcus, as 'Editor' of the Games.
"May I first greet our honoured guest, nobilissimus Caesar Titus Flavius Vespasianus, who has graced us with his presence.
May I also greet our distinguished guests, Magistrates, Senators and Priests of our Patron God Apollo - and greet the citizens of the city of Baiae, on this auspicious day when we celebrate our great hope born of the enlightened rule of our new Emperor, Titus Flāvius Caesar Vespasiānus Augustus.
May the sacrifices commence, and the Games begin !"
With the conclusion of Marcus' brief greeting, the trumpets blared once again, and below the Pulvinar the sacrifices began.
Doves over the Amphitheatre
At the same time the flame was lit on the summit of the amphitheatre to indicate to the whole town that the Games were in progress, and doves were released as a sign of the peace that the establishment of Flavian rule had brought to the Empire.
For the sacrifice two young steers were used - both unblemished and pure white, garlanded and with gilded horns, (a steer is a castrated young bull).
Such animals are sacred to Apollo, as the amphitheatre was dedicated to Apollo.
The auspices, taken after the sacrifices, were good, and so the Games could proceed.

Greek inscription from from the first century B.C.E.: 

"A boxer's victory is gained in blood..."

'Boxers' - The Games began with a new innovation, 'Pugilatus' (boxing), introduced by Marcus as a result of his continuing interest in Hellenic culture, and in particular his study with his Greek tutor,  Aristarchos, of Homer's Iliad.
Boxing (Greek: πυγμαχία 'pygmachia', "fist fighting") in the Classical world dates back to at least the 8th century BCE (Homer's Iliad), and was practised in a variety of social contexts in different Greek city-states. Most extant sources about ancient Greek boxing are fragmentary or legendary, making it difficult to reconstruct the rules, customs and history surrounding this activity in great detail. Still, it is clear that gloved boxing bouts were a significant part of ancient Greek athletic culture throughout the early classical period. At that time boxers fought while standing and wearing gloves with spikes and wrappings on their arms below the elbows. Boxing was among the contests held in memorial of Achilles' slain friend Patroclus. It was in commemoration of Patroclus that the Greeks later introduced boxing to the Olympic Games in BCE 688.  In the Roman world boxing was known as 'Pugilatus', and was even more ruthless than the version of the sport that the Greeks participated in. The leather straps around the hands could be utilised, but were often replaced by what were effectively leather knuckledusters known as 'caestus' that had metal inserted into them to cause maximum damage to an opponent. Unsurprisingly, boxing matches in Rome often ended in the death of the loser, and while some Romans were willing participants, boxing fights in the arena were usually fought between unwilling participants such as slaves. 
In Greek and Etruscan tradition boxers and wrestlers also usually wore a 'kynodesmē' (Greek: κυνοδέσμη, English translation: 'dog tie' - 'dog' being slang for penis). This was a cord, or more commonly a leather strip, that was worn by athletes to prevent the exposure of the glans. It was tied tightly around the 'akroposthion', the part of the foreskin that extended beyond the glans. It could either be attached to a waist band, to expose the scrotum, or tied to the base of the penis, so that the penis appeared to curl upwards. The public exposure of the penis head was regarded by the Greeks and Etruscans as dishonourable and shameful, something only seen in slaves and barbarians. Modesty and decency demanded that men who showed themselves naked in a public setting, such as athletes or actors, must conceal their glans. In the Roman Games, as slaves were commonly used, such exposure was encouraged rather than avoided, and the 'kynodesmē' used consisted of a waistband, with, with two loops attached - one passing tightly round the penis, and the other passing tightly round the root of the genitals, behind the scrotum. The object in this case was to make the genitals more prominent, and induce an erection.

Despite Gnaeus Gracchus' undoubted admiration for Octavian Augustus, he had never included boxing in the program of sports in the amphitheatre at Baiae.
Octavian Augustus
The first Roman Emperor, Octavian Augustus (ruled 27 BC-14 AD), loved boxing, whether it was an official match with a referee, or simply a street brawl. “His chief delight was to watch boxing, particularly when the fighters were Italians — and not merely professional bouts, in which he often used to pit Italians against Greeks, but slogging matches between untrained roughs in narrow City alleys…."
The reason for Gnaeus not including boxing in the Games at Baiae, according to Petronius, was that the 'late Dominus' had considered that a liking for boxing was very much a 'plebeian' (lower class) taste, and so was not suitable for an Amphitheatre favoured mainly  by wealthy 'patricians'.
However, as the 'Ludi Spes Vespasianum' was a 'Ludi Publica' (Public Games), with a large plebeian following, Marcus considered that the inclusion of boxing would be appropriate, and highly popular.
Therefore, some months previously, Marcus had Terentius buy a Greek slave called Kallikrates, to act as 'gymnastês' (one who was skilled in the athletic arts - a coach - also known as a 'paidotribê'), to coach and train a group of slaves to take part in boxing contests, and also act as 'referendarius' (referee) during contests in the arena.
RULES of ROMAN ARENA BOXING: The object of the contest was to either knock out the opponent or force him to submit, which was indicated with a raised index finger. The fight would continue until a submission or knock out was achieved. There were no rounds and participants could keep punching even if their opponent was knocked to the sand.  Other rules included no clinching, scratching, or biting, but other than that, it was essentially a free for all. In some cases kicking was also allowed. Generally, there was no rule against hitting an opponent when he was down. Leather knuckledusters, known as 'caestus' that had metal inserted into them to cause maximum damage to an opponent were worn, but apart from that no clothing,  except for a tainia (a headband, ribbon, or fillet) was permitted. The cestae, which were leather straps, which in some cases had lead studs embedded in them, and could inflict horrific injuries. In the arena at Baiaehe simple leather cestae were used for training, but for Ludi cestae with lead studs, and occasionally cestae with steel spikes were normally used. When the spikes were used, the fights were usually short, with the defeated boxer losing his eyes, getting his arms and chest ripped, and in many cases being defeated by having his belly sliced open, and ending up screaming and squirming on the sand, disembowelled, with his steaming guts hanging out of his hideously ripped belly. 
At the Ludi, the initial response of the audience was extremely enthusiastic as first the two naked boxers entered the arena.
Some of the patricians in the audience, particularly the Magistrates and Senators feigned a certain indifference, and mild boredom at the prospect of watching  two sweating, naked slaves pound one another into a bloody mess on the arena sand but, like the great Octavian, they would soon become fascinated by the violent spectacle.
Petronius had scheduled these contests to be 'usque ad mortem' (to the death), using the simple logic that the injuries caused by boxing - even from one contest - were usually so disfiguring that a mutilated, and by then ugly slave was not worth keeping, and anyway the 'plebs' always like to watch a good, bloody kill.


The first fight was between 'Praxis' and 'Stelios' (often boxers were given suitable Greek names for their appearances in the arena - even if they were not Greek - mainly because they habitually fought naked, which was a Greek rather that a Roman custom.)
Stelios has the meaning of 'tower'- indicating firmness and strength, and Praxis can have the meaning of 'exercise' - indicating a certain athleticism.
In Classical boxing (unlike modern boxing) there were no weight divisions.
In the arena it was the Arena Master (Petronius), or one of his senior assistants who decided which boxers would be matched.
Roman boxers came in two main types: slim and fast - but relatively light punchers, or muscular and heavy - who were hard punchers, but relatively slow.
Stelios was, as his name suggests, quite hefty, whereas Praxis was slim and athletic, and promised to be fast on his feet, and fast with his punching.
Kallikrates accompanied the two young boxers, and would remain in the background, ready to enforce the rules, (such as they were - see above), if they were broken.

this section is under construction....


The second fight was to be between Pugnax and Lysus.
Pugnax was a tough, muscular boxer.
Lysus was the very much a boy - young, slim and dark haired.
He was physically not the typical Roman boxer, as Roman boxers tended to be heavy and thick-set
Most of the bets were on Pugnax, as he was more experienced, heavier and better muscled.
Some of the spectators, however, bet (illegally) on Lysus – some because he was 'cute' and some, more seriously, because he was young and fit and probably more agile than Pugnax.


After some preliminary posing by the two fighters, as they tried to encourage sections of the audience to support and possibly bet on them, the fight began in the usual way, with the two boxers nervously sparring.
Pugnax Lands a 'Killer Blow'
Pugnax, as his name suggests was a 'pugnacious' fighter during his training in the Ludus, and so it was not surprising that young Lysus was nervous, as he tested Pugnax's defences, probing for a weakness in his well-muscled opponent that would give him the chance to defeat Pugnax and leave the arena alive.
Pugnax, however, had been a 'street fighter' before he was bought by an agent of Terentius, and was far too experienced for Lysus, and after a number of abortive attacks from the youngster, Pugnax finally delivered one of his 'killer blows' to Lysus head, and knocked the boy to the sand.
In accordance with the rules, Pugnax stood to one side while Kallikrates asked Lysus, who was kneeling on the sand, holding his head, if he wanted to continue with the fight, of if he wanted to surrender to Pugnax and take whatever was coming to him - which in this fight would mean his death.
After a few moments, during which young Lysus tried to clear his head, the boy nodded that he obviously wanted to go on, and unsteadily got feet
The audience, of course, realised that Lysus was outclassed, and he would probably end up with his brains beaten out, lying dead on the sand.
Lysus, however, new he had to go on fighting in the hope that he would have some stroke of luck, and get the better of Pugnax
Predictably, as soon as the fight was restarted by the Kallikrates, Pugnax was able to land another vicious punch to Lysus' head.
The poor boy grunted, and his legs turned to jelly as he slowly slumped down onto the sand for a second time
This time Pugnax didn't keep to the rules and step back from his fallen opponent.
Instead he laid into the naked boy, who was kneeling on the sand, by striking repeatedly on his head, while Lysus desperately tried to raise his gloved hands to protect himself.
Kallikrates immediately jumped forward and slapped Pugnax on the shoulder, to alert him to the fact that he was breaking the rules,and after a few punches Pugnax relented and stood back.
Lysus, however, was now badly disorientated by Pugnax repeated attacks to his head, and knelt on the sand, cross-eyed, and obviously stunned.
Kallikrates again asked Lysus if he was able to go on.
The brave lad signalled that he was ready to fight again, and Kallikrates, although he knew that Lysus had lost the fight, gave the unfortunate boy a little time to recover so that he could at least have a slim chance of taking the fight to Pugnax
Unsteadily the naked boy got up off the sand, as the audience became quiet as they waited expectantly for the next attack by Pugnax which would probably bring the surrender from Lysus that would signal the end for the young boxer
Once again the two boxers began sparring, as Pugnax looked for the opening which would allow him to give the punch that would be so devastating that Lysus would surrender the fight.
Then everyone's surprise, and Lysus' horror, Pugnax next blow was to the poor lads groin. 
Such a punch was technically illegal, but as Lysus had obviously lost the fight, Kallikrates saw no point in intervening.
As Lysus squealed “Fuck !....', the poor lad fell squirming to the sand,clutching at his crushed genitals.
Shit ! My fuckin' bollocks ! -
I give !”, young Lysus squealed, as he struggled on the sand, with his hips raise high, while Kallikrates slapped Pugnax across the chest as a 'token' punishment for his infringement of the rules.
At this point Kallikrates had a difficult choice to make.
While Pugnax had committed a foul,at the same time Lysus had 'given' the fight to Pugnax. 
While technically Pugnax should have been disqualified, and the fight given to Lysus, the boy was obviously 'finished', and the audience, from their applause, were obviously supporting Pugnax.
Then an order came from the Pulvinar that Pugnax was to be reprimanded, but the boy was to be the loser, and was to be 'finished off'.
When Kallikrates told Pugnax that he had been given the fight he ginned widely and raised his hand in triumph, while the crowd cheered.
Meanwhile, Lysus was too busy coping with the pain in his groin to really register that his fate had been sealed.
Pugnax, who was already highly aroused, told the arena slaves to turn Lysus over onto his belly. Pugnax then roughly kicked the young lad's legs apart, exposing the boy's anus.
Pugnax then got down onto his knees behind the terrified boy.
No ! Don't fuck me – please !”, young Lysus whined as one of the arena-slaves helped Pugnax, whose hands were still gloved, to penetrate the squirming lad.
Not up my fuckin' arse-'ole !...", young Lysus finally squealed as Pugnax, with the audience looking on, fascinated, roughly buggered young Lysus, while the boy screamed and squealed, both with the pain and the humiliation of being publicly raped.
It didn't take Pugnax long to have his way with the helpless young lad, and as he reached his climax he pulled his swollen penis out of the wriggling lad and squirted his seed over the humiliated boy's sweaty, trembling buttocks
The arena slaves then turned Lysus over onto his back, and were pleased to see that being buggered had got Lysus very aroused.
The audience obviously wanted to see the boy 'abused' before he was killed, so they were only too happy to watch the arena-slaves as they masturbated the naked young boxer.
Fuck off !”, Lysus grunted, as one of the slaves grabbed hold of his stiff, waving 'member'. 
But Lysus was horribly 'aroused', and as soon as the arena-slave started pumping his swollen 'tool' he was unable to stop himself responding.
Meanwhile, Pugnax went over to Perseus and Nerva - two boxers who were to fight next - to boast about his victory over his young opponent, and gloat about raping the boy.
It didn't take long for the arena-slaves to bring Lysus to a 'climax'.
Oh no ! I'm gonna spunk-up !”, Lysus groaned as the arena-slaves worked on his disgustingly stiff penis.
And finally the squirming boy's high-pitched groans, as he squirted his 'thick 'seed' all over his glistening, trembling, hairless belly, caught Pugnax attention, and brought him back to where the panting boy was lying
The slaves were waiting for Pugnax instructions, while Lysus, who was still dribbling semen onto his belly, looked up pathetically.


No more ! Please, Pugnax ! Just let me go back to the Ludus !”, Lysus pleaded, hoping that by some miracle he would be allowed to leave the arena alive to fight another day.
Cut off his privates !”, Pugnax told the arena-slaves, curtly.
Oh shit no !”, Lysus whimpered, “Not that ! Not my bollocks !”. 
Young Lysus looked to the Kallikrates in the hopes that he would be reprieved.
He was a cute boy, and it seemed cruel to emasculate and kill him when he was not too badly injured, but orders had come from the Pulvianr, and so Kallikrates had no say over what was happening, and Lysus fate was sealed.
Lysus then struggled to sit up, and was probably going to try and escape from the arena.
He didn't get far, however, as Pugnax kicked the poor lad in the head
Lysus immediately flopped back onto the sand, mumbling incoherently to himself,and he made no more attempts to defend himself as one of the arena slaves spread the boy's legs, and grabbed hold of Lysus' penis and testicles.
Please don't do this ! Not my prick as well !“, Lysus groaned, as looked up at the bulging, hairy scrotum, and hugely erect penis of his cruel opponent, Pugnax, who stood over him watching and gloating. 
All poor Lysus could do, however, was to lie helplessly as the arena-slave used his knife to slice off his plump scrotum and limp penis.
As the knife sliced through the hairy root of his genitals, the naked boy squealed pathetically, and then flopped back on the sand, completely emasculated.
The arena slave then got to his feet, held up the emasculated boy's severed, bloody genitals, while the udience applauded, and then dropped the useless 'sex-parts' next to the squirming, whimpering boy.


Shit ! I got no fuckin' privates !”, Lysus squealed, as he fumbled about on the sand trying to retrieve his severed 'parts'
Pugnax then grabbed the sexless boy by his hair.
Oh shit, no ! Don't fuckin' finish me !”,Lysus then moaned.
The boy knew he was now going to be beaten to death, but having just been emasculated, he didn't have the strength, or will, to resist.
Pugnax then knelt down and started punching Lysus in the head while the audience applauded.
Lysus was being 'finished-off', and it was events like this that the audience really came to see.
First Pugnax knocked out most of Lysus's teeth, and broke his nose. 
As Lysus squealed,Pugnax then burst the one of the boy's eyeballs, which left the eyeball hanging out on Lysus's cheek. 
Then the right eye was burst and splattered on the sand, and Lysus was left blind.
Fuck ! I can't see !”, Lysus spluttered from his bloody mouth, as he squirmed under the rain on blows that were descending on his head
No!....please....please ! Help !...”, were the poor, mutilated boy's final words, as Pugnax broke the naked young eunuch's skull
Lysus instantlu went into convulsions, and as Pugnax got to his feet,the naked boy wriggled obscenely on the sand, urinating from the bloody stump where his penis had been, and noisily defecating on the sand in his final agony.
Finally Lysus, toothless and with horrifically bloody, empty eye-sockets, grunted and lay still. 
Pugnax then bestrode the prone,mutilated boy, and raised his fist in a sign of victory while the audience applauded, and a purse of coins was tossed down from the Pulvinar.
The arena-slaves then stuffed Lysus's eyeballs and genitals into his toothless mouth, and hung the naked, mutilated corpse from the arena wall, and while the audience continued to cheer, and the other boxers went to look at the pathetic remains of the second victim of the day at the Games.

images are in course of preparation.....

adapted and re-published with new images, with permission from an original story: © Copyright Paul Lawrence 2009


Perseus was slightly older than Nerva, and was a huge specimen: very tall, and with massively bulging muscles.
He had dark hair and rugged features.
His whole body was completely shaved and oiled.
The younger boxer, Nerva, was decidedly more handsome that his taller opponent, and had black, curly hair.
Like Perseus, Nerva had been completely shaved and oiled, except for his neatly trimmed, oiled, dark 'bush'.
As in all these boxing contests, the fighters were supervised by their referee, the recently acquired Kallikrates, who was also their trainer.
As in the previous contest,  Kallikrates carried a cane, which he used to beat any boxer who infringed the rules.


The two naked boxers entered the arena to the polite applause of the crowd.
In the fight between Perseus and Nerva, however, ordinary leather cestae but with metal studs were to be used, as Petronius wanted the winning boxer to survive without being too badly marked.
While the more sophisticated individuals in the audience feigned disinterest in the heavily muscled, and remarkably 'well-endowed' naked fighters, the plebeians, (lower orders), looked forward to seeing these big 'horny studs' slugging it out in the arena
Perseus and Nerva started to 'square-up' to each other while Kallikrates reminded them briefly of the rules.
The two boxers then started fighting while young Praxis, the defeated and castrated boxer, who had his face punched to pulp in the previous contest, still struggled fitfully, as he hung from the arena-wall, dying painfully and slowly.
Stelios, the victor of the previous fight, who had not, as yet, left the arena, looked on.
As the naked boxers sparred, their heavy genitals jerked and swung about, and the stimulation and excitement of fighting naked soon got both fighters 'aroused' so that after a few minutes they were both fully erect.
After 'trading' a few light punches, Perseus eventually landed a really hard punch to Nerva's head.
Shit !”, Nerva grunted loudly, as his head jerked back.
Perseus Punches Nervas' Head
Then the handsome, dark-haired lad slowly crumpled to his knees - not 'knocked-out', but very dazed.
Like Stelios before him, Perseus then deliberately broke the rules by grabbing Nerva in order to hold him.
Shit ! Le'go !” , Nerva screamed, as Perseus then slammed his completely helpless opponent with repeated blows to his head.
Kallikrates immediately gave Perseus a stern warning, and it was obvious, from the expression on the referee's face, that he was sick and tired of  young boxers breaking the rules, and turning his boxing matches into Pankration wrestling sessions.
At first it seemed that Perseus was following Kallikrates' instructions, as he released Nerva's arm, and stopped punching him.
Perseus, however, had no intention of following the rules, and he then pushed Nerva on to his back, spun him round on the sand, and then pulled him up by one ankle.
Perseus, of course, was very strong, and he had no trouble in pulling Nerva right up, so that  the boy's shoulders are not even on the sand.
Perseus Punches Nerva in the Groin
Nerva was then hanging upside down, with his legs spread wide, and guessed almost immediately what Perseus was going to do next.
Shit no ! Don't fuckin' do it !”, Nerva screamed, but Perseus ignored his helpless opponent, and landed a devastating blow to Nerva's exposed and unprotected groin, horribly squashing the young lad's smooth bulky balls.
Cunt !“, Nerva squealed hysterically, as he writhed up obscenely. 
My fuckin' bollocks - they're fucked !”, Nerva groaned as Perseus landed a second blow to the squirming boy's exposed testicles.
As the second crushing blow landed, young Nerva lost control of his bladder, and a spray of steaming urine jetted from his stiff jerking penis, and splashed onto his face, and onto his muscular, ridged belly and muscular slabs of pectoral muscle.
Immediately Kallikrates landed his cane on Perseus' shoulder, and called in arena-slaves to stop the fight.
Perseus, realized that Kallikrates intended to  impose the rules strictly, and so he released Nerva, who dropped back on to the sand, his stiff 'tool' having shrunk immediately to a tiny, wrinkled sausage, as he clutched at his crushed testicles with his gloved hands, squirming in naked and rather wet agony, while the crowd cheered ecstatically.
While Nerva managed to get to his knees, and squat on the sand, groaning and nursing his aching balls with his gloved hands, Kallikrates gave Perseus a good 'dressing down', telling him that he was now going to give Nerva a 'free hand', and that if Perseus tried to resist he would be immediately 'finished-off' by being fatally speared by an arena-slave.


With a spear pointed menacingly at his chest, Perseus realised that it was useless to argue, an meekly allowed himself to be pushed down onto his knees on the sand.
At this point almost everyone in the audience were getting really excited, as they now would have the opportunity to see one boxer having a 'free hand' to 'beat-up' his opponent, who would not be allowed to retaliate - and this would almost certainly mean the defeat of Perseus, and quite probably his death.
By the time Perseus had been forced down onto his knees, Nerva had managed to get to his feet, and out of earshot of Perseus, Kallikrates told Nerva to give Perseus a brief beating, after which, if he could still get 'hard', he would be allowed to bugger his disgraced opponent, if he wanted to, and as a warning to the other boxer he would allow Perseus to be castrated and killed.
Nerva was more than satisfied.
Although he preferred fucking young boys, he was quite happy to make a spectacle of himself if he meant that he could 'get his own back' by publicly humiliate his opponent.
Nerva, who by then was getting really 'horny' as he anticipated raping Perseus', then grabbed poor Perseus by the hair, and proceeded to beat his defenceless opponent round the head, while Kallikrates slapped Perseus' stiff penis and his tightly held testicles with his cane, telling the naked boxer to get rid of his 'hard-on'.
Perseus, however, obviously had a masochistic streak, because, despite getting his head and his balls beaten, he appeared to get even more 'horny' - with his huge, stiff cock swelling and straining upward.
Eventually Kallikrates told young Nerva to stop, and called over an arena-slave to strip Perseus of his  cestae and arm-guards.
Seeing Perseus stripped of even the little that he was wearing, so that he was truly stark naked, told the crowd that this particular boxer was 'finished', and the crowd watched even more intently as Perseus was ordered by Kallikrates  to 'jerk-off' in order to get relieved of his inappropriate 'hard-on'.
As Perseus had been excruciatingly 'hard' for the whole of the fight, he was secretly relieved to be able to have an opportunity get rid of his erection, but of course to maintain his dignity and masculinity he loudly protested to the ref.
"Fuck no, ref !", Perseus shouted indignantly, "I'm not beatin' my fuckin' meat for these cunts !"...and that, of course, did not go down well with the audience - who had already taken against Perseus.
The presence of an arena-slave armed with a spear, however, meant that his feigned objections  were ignored, and so Perseus started 'working' on his huge, bulging penis, while using his free hand to 'play' with his heavy, shaved balls.
The audience obviously enjoyed every minute of the spectacle, watching in stunned silence as the  naked fighter 'beat his meat', (despite anything that he had said about masturbating earlier).
Meanwhile, Nerva, who despite his previous injury, was now 'hard' again, looked on, grinning.
"Oh - shit - I'm - fuckin' - cummin' !", Perseus eventually groaned, and leaned back, looking down at his huge cock, as he let repeated spurts of thick, creamy spunk explode from his gaping cock-slit and splatter onto the sand.
Once Perseus has stopped groaning, and squirting out his 'seed', the arena-slaves grabbed hold of him and dragged him over to where two stakes have been hammered into the sand.
"Fuck no ! Watcha ya fuckin' doin' - cunts ?", Perseus protested, as the arena-slaves then tied Perseus wrists and ankles to ropes hanging from the stakes, and bent him over.
By then Perseus was really scared, and started begging the slaves for mercy.
"Please no, lads ! Let me go ! Don't torture me or nothin' !".
Kallikrates then told the slaves to impale Perseus' exposed anus with a baton.
"No you cunts ! Not up my fuckin' arse-hole !", naked Perseus screamed at the arena slaves and at the ref, as he squirmed helplessly between the two stakes.
The arena slaves then purposely let the helpless, naked boxer struggle and squirm obscenely, with his limp cock flopping about, for a minute or so, so that the 'plebs' in the audience could have a good laugh.
Then, an arena slave tried to centre the bulbous end of the stake on Perseus' tightly clenched anus.
It was difficult, as Perseus was jerking about so much, but eventually Perseus let out a high-pitched grunt, and the slave, realized he has 'hit the spot', and started forcing the tip of the baton against naked boxer's anal 'ring' - which Perseus was desperately trying to clamp shut.
"No, please ! Don't push it into me !",Perseus begged pathetically, as he managed to hold his 'ring' tight for about a few seconds.
For Perseus those seconds were like eternity, and the slaves became impatient, with one slave holding the naked boxer's shoulders, while the other slave struggled to penetrate Perseus' anus.
Eventually, of course, Perseus had to give up.
"Shit ! It's goin' right up me ! I'm fuckin' skewered !", Perseus groaned, as the bulky head of baton slowly disappeared into his pink, tightly puckered arse-hole.
The audience, happy to see the cheating boxer penetrated, and thus thoroughly humiliated, applauded loudly.
At the same time Perseus groaned and squirmed obscenely, and his prick started to stiffen and swell once again.
Kallikrates then told the slave who had impaled Perseus to bugger Perseus with the baton, and soon Perseus was jerking back and forth, as the slave pulled the baton in and out of Perseus' straining arse-hole.
"Oh shit ! No ! - Don't fuck my hole !....", Perseus moaned, as he was roughly dildo-fucked by the young arena-slave.
Once the fucking got under way, Perseus' cock became extremely 'hard', and very swollen, with all the veins standing out, and his foreskin pulled right back, uncovering his glistening, dark pink 'helmet'.
With each thrust the young slave made, Perseus' prick, dangling a long thick string of sticky 'pre-cum', slapped up against his tanned, glistening belly.
The slapping of his exposed 'helmet' against his belly, and the stimulation of his prostate, as the thrusting baton was driven deep inside him was simply too much for Perseus, and he soon felt his  virile 'seed' uncontrollably rising in his groin.
"Fuckin' shit - I think ... NO ! .... I think I'm gonna cum !", Perseus groaned.
This, of course encouraged the arena slave to thrust faster, and more deeply into the struggling boxer's tight arse-hole.
Then Perseus felt the orgasm sweeping over him.
"Oh fuck !... Yes !... Yes !....", Perseus groaned loudly, to no one in particular, and his tanned sweating body started to shudder violently as it was held tightly between the two posts.
"F..U..C..K !...", he then blurted out as a huge rope of creamy spunk lazily squirted from his incredibly stiff prick, and splattered down onto the sand about a meter away.
This was immediately followed by six more squirts, each squirt being ejected with a loudly groan of 'Fuck !..', and each with slightly less force.
While Perseus was still groaning 'Fuck !' and 'cumming', the arena-slave pulled the dildo out of Perseus' anus, causing Perseus to grunt loudly, and Nerva then immediately took over, ramming the full length of his huge thick prick up Perseus' now gaping arse-hole, forcing Perseus to give a second grunt
"You CUNT ! I'm still fuckin' cummin' !", Perseus grunted, wide eyed and shocked that his twitching, anus was once again filled - and this time with a hot prick.
Nerva then gave Perseus' a good 'shafting'.
Once again Perseus was jerking back and forth as young Nerva deeply 'ploughed' his naked opponent's most 'private part'.
"Come on, Perseus !.... Let's see you cum again !", Nerva panted, as he pleased the audience with his energetic thrusting.
Perseus, however, despite the fact that he was a really 'horny' stud, couldn't 'cum' again so quickly.
Nerva, on the other hand, had been horny since the beginning of the fight, and once he got his prick up Perseus' hot arse he found it almost impossible to stop himself 'cumming' really quickly.
"Shit ! I'm cummin' !", Nerva groaned loudly, as he pulled his jerking prick out of Perseus' anus, and started to squirt a huge 'load' of creamy spunk all over Perseus' muscular, sweaty buttocks.
One rope after another of hot spunk slopped over Perseus' arse, trickling slowly down his thighs and down his arse-crack.
"Well, Perseus. - Say 'thank you'. After all, I have 'serviced' you well !", Nerva said mockingly, slapping Perseus on his bent back.
"Fuck off, cunt !", Perseus grunted, obviously disgusted at what had just happened.
"Just fuckin' untie me - you cunt !", Perseus said angrily, as he struggled against he ropes that were holding him in his undignified position, with his head down and his backside held high.
By then the 'plebs' crowd were laughing and jeering, however, as they could easily see that, despite his protests, Perseus was appallingly 'aroused', and was actually desperate for relief from his unbearably strong erection.
On a further instruction from Kallikrates, another arena- slave went round behind Perseus with a baton.
"No ! Please ! Don't shove that - ", the next two words came out at a much higher pitch, - "up me !...", because the baton had been rammed back up his anus.
Because Perseus had just ejaculated, his penis was beginning to go soft and limp, but as soon as the baton was rammed up into his rectum, he started to get erect again, and he was left tied between the two posts, standing upright, with his huge, stiff penis poking up at about forty-five degrees, and dribbling a long string of 'cum'.
Kallikrates then turned to young Nerva.
"Right, Nerva ! - He punched you a couple of times in the groin, so now it's your turn !...And it doesn't matter how much you injure him, as you're going to 'finish' him off at the end anyway."
"No ! Please ! You can't do this !", Perseus screamed, as Nerva prepared to punch him in the balls.
"Not my balls ! Anything but my bollocks !... Please..NO !", Perseus continued to babble.
Nerva, remembering the vicious attack by Perseus on his balls, ignored his helpless opponent's pleas, and brought fist up right between Perseus' legs, as the audience applauded.
"CUNT !", Perseus squealed horribly, his cry rising above the applause, as his balls were crushed.
The poor naked boxer instantly brought his knees together as he writhed in agony, unable to escape as he was firmly tied to the stakes.
Immediately an arena-slave kicked Perseus' knees apart and, at the same time, encouraged Nerva to continue the beating.
"Cunt ! You fucked up my fuckin' bollocks ! ..... You made me a fuckin' eunuch ", Perseus screamed as Nerva weighed in with another vicious blow.
After that Perseus just shrieked, unable to scream anything coherently, as Nerva continued to beat his crotch until, unable to take any more punishment, the poor naked boxer sunk to his knees.
As Perseus went down, the baton up his anus hit the sand and got rammed further up, into his guts, while his huge erection collapsed, leaving his prick looking like a large, swollen, wrinkled sausage, as it flopped about on his hugely swollen, and now darkening scrotum.
The arena-slaves then untied Perseus, and dragged the groaning boxer to the centre of the arena, laying him out on the sand, on his back, with his legs spread and the dildo poking obscenely from his exposed anus.
The crowd were pleased to see that the groaning boxer started to become erect again, despite the beating that his testicles had just taken.
Of course poor Perseus didn't get as 'hard' as he had been earlier, but his penis swelled and lengthened almost to it's previous eleven or twelve inches, but was unable to rise up fully, and simply lay on his sweaty, heaving belly.
This was what was known as 'terminal priapism'.
As a result of being violently hit in the groin and perineum the blood vessels feeding Perseus' huge penis had become swollen and caused him to become permanently erect.
Nerva was then handed a spear, while the arena-slaves held Perseus wrists and ankles.
"Right ! The crowd are getting tired of this now so we'd better finish him off ! So first emasculate him, - you know, balls and then cock, - but do it slowly, - the crowd like that !".
Perseus, of course, heard this, and reacted instantly.
"No please ! Not my fuckin 'privates' !", he groaned, looking up pathetically at the referee and young Nerva. "Don't castrate me !".
"What's it fuckin' matter !", Nerva retorted. "There's only some mangled pulp in your fat, swollen 'ball-bag' now. Your already a eunuch - it just a matter of finishing the job - and then 'finishing' you !"
Perseus looked down towards his battered groin, with it's huge cock lying lazily on his well-muscled, twitching belly.
He then looked up at the referee and Nerva.
He looked like he was going to start crying - but then he started babbling incoherently.
"No ! No ! Please ! Please Nerva ! No ! Not my fuckin' 'bits' ! Not me with no fuckin' bollocks ! They're all I got - that an' my cock !".
The audience, however, were getting restless - wanting to see the obviously completely defeated and helpless boxer 'finished off'.
Then, when Perseus finally realised that Nerva, the audience, Kallikrates, and everyone else in the arena were intent on his being emasculated and 'finished-off', Perseus completely lost his nerve and struggled to get up, but the muscles in his legs and his belly were useless, and any way he as firmly held by the arena-slaves, so he simply wriggled obscenely on the sand, desperately trying to avoid being speared by his unrelenting opponent.
And as he struggled his erection grew, and in moments his stiff, heavily veined penis was standing proud of his belly.
Avoiding his opponent's stiffening prick, Nerva then speared Perseus low down in the belly, piercing his bladder.
Immediately bloody piss sprayed from his defiantly stiff, waving cock.
"Oh shit ! No !", Perseus squeaked, as he looked with protruding, staring eyes at the fountain of red-stained urine squirting from his huge, shiny dark 'helmet'.


Nerva's spear then came down again, piercing Perseus' bulging, shaved scrotum, which was dark and swollen as a result of the intensive 'ball-torture' he had received..
The baton, which was poking out of Perseus' anus jerked up as his 'ring' tightened, and his hips lifted up off the sand.
"Shit ! My fuckin ball-bag !", Perseus moaned.
Nerva found it quite difficult to castrated Perseus with a spear.
Having pierced the naked boxer's scrotum, he then prodded around, feeling for the cords and muscles which attached Perseus' testicles to his groin.
This was also quite difficult as the beating that Nerva had given to Perseus' groin a little earlier had practically pulverized the poor fighter's testicles, although his spermatic cords, and blood vessels were still intact, as far as Nerva could tell.
These Nerva deftly sliced, eliciting a grunted "Cunt !" from Perseus.
Perseus' mangled testicles, at that point were loose in his scrotum, and he was effectively castrated, and therefore a eunuch.
The audience, however, could not see that,  - unlike Nerva, the referee and the arena-slaves, who could see that the vestiges of Perseus' heavy, but mangled balls were now loose inside his scrotum, and their weight was dragging down his drooping 'ball-bag'.
That, however, was not enough for the audience.
They wanted to see Perseus' balls, or his 'ball-bag' still containing his balls, on the sand, and his hairy crotch 'clipped' !
Nerva, of course realized this, and was quite happy to oblige.
Perseus, himself, didn't seem to realize that he had actually been already, technically, castrated.
In actual fact, he probably had very little sensation of pain in his testicles and scrotum after the beating he had received earlier from Nerva, which is why he had shown very little reaction, much to the disappointment of the audience, when his cords had been cut.
"No ! Not my fuckin 'nuts' ! Please !", Perseus begged plaintively.
"Stop bein' fuckin' stupid !", Nerva retorted. "You're already a fuckin' eunuch, - I cut your cords - so choppin' 'em off makes no fuckin' difference !"
Perseus stared wide-eyed at Perseus. "Fuck ! I'm a fuckin' eunuch !", he moaned, looking down to where his balls were scraping the sand in his horribly distended scrotum, lying between his outstretched legs, and to one side of the baton still poking out of his horribly stretched anus.
Nerva couldn't be bothered with any more chat, however, and the audience were getting restless, so he brought the spear blade down beside Perseus' left thigh, (as he lay on his back on the sand), and twisting it round sharply, he brought it across, cutting right through the root of Perseus' pink, shaved scrotum.
Perseus' hips bucked, more because his upper thighs had been nicked in the process, rather than from the pain of loosing his manhood.
"Oh shit ! You've cut em' off !", Perseus moaned, rather pointlessly, to no one in particular.
"Yeh ! Satisfied ?", Nerva asked, half in jest and half petulantly, bending over his prostrate and castrated opponent -  "Now you really are a fuckin' eunuch !".
Perseus was losing blood quite fast, from the wound in his belly and the new wound in his groin.
He was also right about the fact that Perseus had no balls, but the naked fighter, amazingly, still had an erect penis.
This however was probably not from his libido, but because the blood vessels had been blocked by swelling caused by the bruising to his groin.
Perseus, of course, would have to be killed because he was now slowly bleeding to death.
Contrary to what you may read in other accounts, (more often fantasies, rather than real accounts), while the Romans were able to 'patch up' wounded fighters, usually by cauterizing the damaged or cut blood vessels, this was in most cases unsuccessful, as dirty weapons, loincloths, armour and sand contaminated with blood faeces, semen, and internal organs and secretions, usually infected the wounds, and most fighters who were treated thus usually died of shock or septicaemia.
Usually it was easier, and cheaper, to take the easiest, and with the audience, the most popular way out, and have the wounded fighter spectacularly killed at the end of the fight - after all the kind of slaves who fought in the arena were 'two a penny'.
"Right ! Cut off his penis - let him squirm for a while for the 'plebs' - and then 'finish' him !", Kallikrates told Nerva dryly.
Nerva was then given a curved knife by one of the arena-slaves.
At the thought of completely castrating Perseus Nerva started to get 'hard' again as he approached his struggling opponent.
Perseus, however, was held down by the arena-slaves, and anyway he now had very little energy left to resist.
"Oh no ! Not my prick as well !", Perseus moaned, looking at his huge 'tool', which was lying on his bloodstained, heaving belly.
"You won't need no cock if you got no balls !", Nerva quipped nonchalantly, trying to make it all seem normal.
"Shit ! No !", Perseus pleaded, squirming, as Nerva went down on one knee and grabbed hold of the huge, still stiff 'tool'.
Nerva first gave Perseus' huge bit of 'meat' a few tugs, just to pump it up a bit harder.
Perseus instantly went wide-eyed.
Perseus was obviously going a bit hysterical, but men in the arena often got obscenely horny just before they were mutilated or killed, even after, (like Perseus), they had lost their balls.
Nerva then started to slice through the huge, veined column of Perseus' prick.
Immediately Perseus buttocks lifted off the sand, and the baton poking out of his anus started jerking up and down.
When Nerva was halfway through Perseus' cock, the shrieking fighter's hips were pushed right up, and he was balancing on his shoulder-blades and his hips.
"CUNT ! Cut it quick - if you're gonna !", Perseus squealed, as Nerva finally pulled the wobbling penis from the trembling fighter's golden, hairy groin.
As Nerva started to get to his feet, holding his prized trophy, there was a huge squirt of spunk from the bloody stump where Perseus' penis had been, which travelled in an arc and landed on the end rapidly jerking baton poking out of Perseus arse-hole.
"Oh shit ! - I got no fuckin' cock !", Perseus groaned, as the applauded and the 'plebs' laughed as the naked, completely castrated boxer 'danced' on his shoulders and heels, pumping out repeated ropes of spunk in his final - and last ever - orgasm.
Nerva, who was still holding Perseus' severed penis, and Kallikrates looked on amazed.


"Finish him now - while he still having his orgasm - the audience will like it !", the referee said quickly, handing Nerva back his spear.
Nerva straight away threw Perseus' useless penis down onto the sand and, grabbing the spear, went over to where Perseus was jerking his hips, and jerking the baton in his twitching anus.
"Cunt !.. Cunt !.. Cunt ! ....... I'm fuckin' cummin' !", Perseus was grunting, as he squirted out the last of his useless 'seed' from the urethral opening in the stubby bloody stump poking from the blond,curly hairs of his groin.
Before Perseus even knew what was happening, Nerva speared him in the neck, instantly severing the naked eunuch's wind-pipe.
The last thing that Perseus had ever said was 'Oh shit !....' as he was speared..
After that, all he could do was gurgle, as blood frothed out of his mouth and nose.
Despite that he remained on his shoulders and heels, still dribbling out the last of his spunk, as he slowly started to drown in his own blood.
The arena slaves had release him, and one trembling hand grabbed at his groin, possibly searching for his severed 'boy-parts', while the other had jerked up spasmodically, as it tried to stem the flow of blood from his slashed neck.
For a few minutes Perseus squirmed in his final agony, staring pleadingly and wide-eyed, unable to believe what was happening to him, while the crowd cheered and applauded.
Nerva, the referee and the arena-slaves all looked on, waiting for the struggling naked boxer to finally breathe his last.
Perseus was doomed to slowly drown in his own blood and, gurgling horribly, Perseus finally dropped back onto the sand, lifeless, and the baton flopped downwards as his once tight anus gaped open and began to dribble liquid excrement.
The audience then applauded Nerva as the victor, while the arena slaves trussed up Perseus' impaled, castrated, naked, and bloody corpse.
Perseus' shaved, severed scrotum, containing the boxer's loose and pulped testicles, was hung round the neck of the defeated boxer's corpse, and the still swollen and huge penis, dribbling the last of Perseus' 'cum', was shoved into the corpse's gaping mouth.
Finally, what had been Perseus, the boxer, was hung naked, dead and humiliated from the arena-wall.

images are in course of preparation.....

adapted and re-published with new images, with permission from an original story: © Copyright Paul Lawrence 2009


'Thoughts from Faunus' - There was a considerable pause as arena-slave worked hard, roping-up the corpse of Perseus and hanging him, temporarily, from the arena wall.
Also the sand had to be changed - with considerable quantities of fresh sand being brought into the arena.
Perfume burners were also arranged close to where the two naked corpses were hanging, and needed to be lit and tended until the sweet aroma of the incense wafted up to clear the air in the front rows of seats, reserved for the patricians.
While all this was going on, Adonios, with Glaux, and crept down the concealed staircase that connected the Pulvinar to the floor of the arena.
There he found Faunus, who had apparently had been watching the boxing, prior to going to the Ludus to prepare the horses that were to draw the chariot in the tableaux.
"What are you doing down here ?", Faunus asked, when he saw  Adonios.
"Oh...I got tired of all the killing, and the losers being horribly humiliated.... so I came down here.
There's a little place here, where you can't see the arena, and you can sit on one of the steps and get away from it all.", Adonios explained rather despondently.
"You don't like the Games, do you ?", Faunus commented, questioningly.
"No...not very much.", Adonios said, sitting on his little step.
"Well I can't talk much now, as I need to get things sorted out with the chariot horses......but if you want, come and see me tonight in the gardens at the villa....and we can talk.", Faunus said gently.
"And don't worry - I'll make sure that Marcus doesn't miss you...", Faunus said, with a smile.
Adonios nodded.
"Now don't stay here too long otherwise you will be missed in the Pulvinar...", Faunus warned.
"Don't worry....I'll go back in a minute....and thanks....",  Adonios said.


All the while that Adonios and Faunus had been talking, music had been playing as the next presentation in the arena was being prepared.
The audience had obviously enjoyed the Pugillatores (Boxers), but Petronius had decided to vary the program at this point by reverting to the more usual gladiators - but with a 'twist'.....


Having introduced a new feature into the Ludi at Baiae with the Pugillatores (boxers), Petronius had now introduced a new class or type of gladiator.
These gladiators were known as 'Scissores' (Knife Fighters).
In modern times, very little is known about this type of gladiator besides the name, (a problem which, however, also applies to many other types of gladiator because of the very limited information available from contemporary writers, and the unreliable representations to be found in Roman 'art' - for more details about this problem, see: 'The Truth About Gladiators'). The name, in Latin, literally means "cutter, cleaver, render" (from 'scindo'). A German historian and 'experimental' archaeologist has propagated an idea, based on an unlabelled, unclear image that he decided might be a 'scissor' (see left), that this type of gladiator fought using a weapon consisting of a hardened steel tube that encased the gladiator's entire forearm, with the hand end capped off and a semicircular blade attached to it. A handle inside the tube might have allowed the gladiator to maintain control in the heat of combat. This weapon might have been deadly, as the gladiator could use his protected arm to block his opponent's blows and quickly counter-attack. The relief in question is dated about 200 years after the 'Story of Gracchus', and is therefore not really relevant to our story. The term 'Scissores' was also applied to gladiators of the period, not very often exhibited, but relevant to our story, who fought with a pair of long knives, usually against other 'Scissorii', and this is the 'new' type of gladiator that Petronius introduced to the 'Ludi Spes Vespasianum'.
The knife fighters (Scissorii) who were to appear in the arena were armed not with 'pugiones' (small Roman daggers), but with the longer, and more fearsome 'Parazonium'.
A parazonium is a long triangular dagger, wide at the hilt end and coming to a point. In the Roman art, it is frequently carried by 'Virtus', (in Roman mythology, 'Virtus' was the God of bravery and military strength, the personification of the Roman virtue of 'virtus' (manliness). The Greek equivalent deity was 'Arete'.)  It is also sometimes  carried by the God Mars, or the Goddess Roma, or the Emperor, giving them the aura of courage. The Roman Parazonium blade tended to be triangular and approximately 15"-19" long.
If you wish to purchase your own Parazonium, or other Roman weapons and armour, go to: Kult of Athena
What was unusual about this form of combat featuring the Scissorii was that both fighters would be armed with a pair of parazonia, and so no shield was used.
Also, as there was no possibility of hand-to hand fighting, (unless one knife was dropped), the fights would be fast moving.
The Scissorii wore only a brief linen or 'slink leather' loincloth, wrist guards, and a leather harness, - without a Cingulum (wide protective waist belt), and so disembowelments were common.

('Slink leather' is leather made from the skin of unborn calves, and is very expensive but extremely soft. Mainly used for gloves, it was used in Marcus' arena for very accurately cut and supple loincloths.)

What the audience looked for in 'knife fights' were stabs to the face, and particularly to the neck, (often producing an almost instant death), which was also usually the case with stabs to the chest - if the heart was pierced.
Disembowelments, which were easy to perform with two knives slashing cross-ways on the exposed belly, (with no cingulum for protection) were common, and popular, although death from disembowelling, while spectacular, was usually a very slow process, and disembowelled fighters, having satisfied the audience by agonisingly displaying their exposed 'vitals', were usually 'finished-off' by have their throat cut.


Acutus and Sectio - Scissorii
The  Scissorii were called Acutus (having the meaning 'sharp'), and Sectio 'cutting', - two appropriate names, chosen by Petronius, for the first two Scissorii to appear in the arena at Baiae.Petronius, prior to leaving for Tibur, had left instructions for a group of gladiatorial slaves to be trained by Theon in the art of knife fighting.
On his return, Petronius had 'auditioned' the slaves in question, and had chosen four to appear in the 'Ludi Spes Vespasianum' - and two of the chosen slaves were Sectio and Acutus, who were about to enter the arena - for what would be for both, the first, and for one, the last fight as Scissorii.
Knife fights were, by their very nature, fast-moving.
The fighters, (and we can't really call them gladiators because they didn't use a sword - a gladius), were usually slim, young and unencumbered by armour, helmets of shields.
Sectio (wearing a patterned loincloth), and Acutus (wearing a pale blue, soft leather loincloth) sparred nervously as the fight opened.
They had taken part in numerous practice fights, with wooden knives, with the blades covered in wet red paint (an easy method for their trainer to observe if they had made any significant contact), so they had a good idea of each-other's fighting style.
Acutus was undoubtedly the more dominant fighter, and this soon showed as he was able to slowly  advance against his opponent - a key strategy in this type of combat.
As Sectio  retreated from the circling blades of his aggressive opponent, he obviously was unable to see where he was going, and eventually he backed into the arena wall, between two of the porphyry obelisks that ringed the arena.
In such a position he was trapped, but he continued gamely to  try to defend himself.
Acutus and Sectio - Scissorii
Eventually Acutus was able to get in close, and aimed his two knives at Sectio's throat.
Sectio instinctively stretched up, eventually gong on 'tiptoe', in an attempt to get away from the razor sharp tips of the two knives.
Acutus then moved in very close, pushing the points of the blades up against the underside of Sectio's jaw.
Sectio raised a hand in a plea for mercy, which was instantly rejected by the occupants of the Pulvinar.
The amphitheatre then fell silent as the audience waited to see how Acutus would 'finish' Sectio.
Acutus was clever, seeking to ingratiate himself with the occupants of the Pulvianr.
Instead of simply slitting Sectio's throat - which would have been the conventional way of ending the combat - he instead brought his knee forcefully up into Sectio's unprotected groin.
Defeat of Sectio
As Sectio's balls were crushed, the boy let out a groan, instinctively brought his knees together, and began to double-up, jerking forward and unintentionally impaling his jaw on the two viciously sharp knives.
At the same time Acutus jerked the knives upward, forcing the blade through the roof of the boy's mouth, and into his brain.
Instantly Sectio began convulsing.
Acutus, sensibly, let go of the knives and stood back as Sectio collapsed to his knees and, still convulsing and jerking wildly, slid down sideways, and ended up lying on the sand by the arena wall.
In his final moments Sectio predictably and involuntarily emptied his bowels and bladder, while  Acutus accepted the excited applause of the audience.
At the same time a small bag of coin was thrown down from the Pulvinar to the handsome victor who, as he had hoped, had been favourably noticed by Marcus and Petronius, - and it also seemed that 'knife-fighting' had turned out to be a popular event.
Meanwhile the corpse of Sectio, still impaled with the two parazonia, was roped up and dragged from the arena.


The fighters for the second combat were Vesanus and Sollers.......
Once again, the Latin 'arena names' were chosen by Petronius - Vesanus means 'frenzied' - presumably referring to the slave's style of fighting - and Sollers means 'lithe', as a description of the slave's physique.
Although the 'arena names' were Latin, neither of the fighters was from Italia.
It was common for slaves, even in normal service, to be given names that were essentially descriptive. This was partly because there was a dearth of Roman first names, and also because it was not thought fitting to give a slave the honour of bearing a 'true' Roman name. As explained previously, slaves were routinely 're-named', firstly in order to assert the master's authority, and secondly to attempt to eradicate the slave's original identity and sense of individuality and 'person-hood'. To the Romans, slaves were legally 'things' - not people.
As soon as the sand had been cleared of the blood and mess left by the killing of Section, the two new fighters entered the arena.
This was the second, and for this Ludi, the last of the 'knife fights'.
If this fight proved to be as popular as the previous fight, Marcus had decided that he would regularly include such combats in forthcoming Ludi.
Petronius had developed a 'standard' look for the Scissorii - arm coverings, a very brief loincloth, held in place by a narrow waist-cloth and belt, leather, steel studded wrist guards, and a simple leather shoulder harness (decorative rather than protective).
Theon gave the order for the two Scissorii to fight and, as in the previous combat, the two boys began by sparring nervously as the fight opened.
The pace soon quickened as Vesanus forced his way forward, causing Sollers, (just like the now dead Sectio, in the previous fight) to back away.
The secret of creating a good attack in such fights was immediately apparent to the audience, including Titus, who was fascinated by this unusual display.
It seemed that a barrage of whirling swings, with two knives created a seemingly impenetrable barrier, against which an opponent had no choice but to retreat.
The intention of this manoeuvre was to create a certain sense of confusion and bewilderment that would sufficiently distract the fighter being attacked, so that the attacker could then mount some decisive strokes that would disable, of even kill his opponent.
It did not look elegant, but was undoubtedly effective, as Acutus had already shown.
As a confused Sollers backed away, towards the arena wall, Vesanus advanced, and made two crossways slices with his knives, aimed at Sollers' unprotected abdomen.
"Fuck ...!", Sollers instantly, as two thin red lines, forming a long, neat X appeared on his heaving belly.
The audience, seeing what had happened, applauded, as Sollers staggered back.
The question was - 'had Vesanus cut deep enough, or were the red marks just scratches ?'.
If the cuts were deep enough, then the results would soon show as the cuts opened and allowed the contents of Sollers' abdominal cavity to  be forced out - effectively disembowelling the unfortunate lad.
Immediately Sollers was in a complete panic.
Foolishly he dropped both his parazonia (knives) onto the sand, leaving himself completely disarmed and unable to defend himself.
He undoubtedly realized that Vesanus had managed to sever his abdominal muscles and that, at that point, there was nothing supporting his internal organs, and that as soon as the cuts opened up his bowels would slither out onto the sand.
""Shit !.....My fuckin' belly....!", Sollers groaned pathetically, as he grabbed at his stomach, trying to prevent his guts from falling out.
He then did he worst thing possible - but it was an instinctive reaction to being injured in the mid-section.
Sollers bent forward, as a result of the pain he was experiencing, but the actual result was that his belly split open, and his bloody guts began to emerge from his gaping wound.
"Oh fuck !....", Sollers grunted, as he desperately attempted to grab at the slimy coils of his guts.
Partly bent over, still grabbing at his slowly emerging guts, and apparently ignoring Vesanus - who just stood watching him - Sollers started to stagger across the arena, apparently making for the 'Porta Sanavivaria', despite the fact that the doors were firmly closed.
Arena-slaves, however, didn't let him get far and, grabbing hold of him, forced him to stand up.
As they did so, Sollers screamed, as almost the entire contents of his belly slowly flopped out onto the arena sand.
Vesanus then walked over to the terrified boy, handed one of his parazonia to an arena-slave, and then casually cut away the boy's loincloth.
As the cloth came away, Sollers' thick, semi-erect penis jerked up, and sprayed out some urine.
"No !....Please !..... Just fuckin' finish me !.... ", Sollers' pleaded in a high pitched whine, guessing what was about to be done to him.
While the arena slaves held the trembling boy, Vesanus then sliced off Sollers' by then fully erect penis.
"Oh shit !....My cock !....", Sollers squealed, as semen squirted from the bloody stump of what had been his penis.
Vesanus then sadistically grabbed hold of Sollers' dangling, well-filled, shaved scrotum.
"No !.... Not my fuckin' balls as well !........", Sollers groaned.
Vesanus made no reply, but simply castrated the helpless lad, leaving Sollers with nothing between his legs.
"Fuck !... My bollocks !....", Sollers moaned as Vesanus was given his other Parazonium by an arena-slave.
Vesanus then had trembling, emasculated Sollers bent over.
Using one Parazonium, Vesanus rammed the long, triangular blade deeply into Sollers' anus.
"Fuckin' shit !.... My arsehole !......", Sollers squealed, hysterically.
The arena slaves then pulled Sollers upright, as the last of his guts flopped out of his gaping belly
"Arsehole !......", however, was the last thing that Sollers ever said, as Vesanus, using his other parazonium immediately slashed the horribly mutilated boy across his neck.
Immediately blood sprayed from the gaping cut.
The arena-slaves then let go of the dying lad, who crumpled up on the sand, convulsing and slowly drowning in his own blood.

images are in course of preparation....

for more information about the Roman Games go to:

  'and the story continues -
Everyone, (except those fighters who were killed in the first part of the Ludi), has prandium (lunch). Then the 'Ludi Spes Vespasianum' continues, with some wrestling, executions, more gladiators, and the tableaux of the 'Death of Hector', with Faunus driving Achilles' chariot....
(Ludi Spes Vespasianum - The Games at Baiae - Conclusion')
Please note that this chapter may contain sexually explicit and violent images and text.
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