Chapter LI - Ludi Spes Vespasianum - Conclusio

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 Scissorii - Knife Fighters
The 'Ludi Spes Vespasianum' began well, with propitious sacrifices, and a magnificent pompa, concluding with the installation of a 'cult statue' to the Goddess Spes (Hope).
This Ludi featured innovations on the part of Marcus and Petronius. The first of these innovations consisted of three boxing contests, all of which proved very popular with the audience.
The second innovation involved the introduction of a new type of gladiator (new at least to the arena at Baiae). The 'Scissorii' were not, strictly speaking 'gladiators', as they did not use a 'gladius', but rather a pair of parazonia - 'knives' with long triangular blades. The newly trained slaves fought very well with these fearsome weapons and, like the boxing, the 'Scissorii' proved very popular with the audience. Encouraged by the positive response in the amphitheatre, Marcus decided that both events should be included often in future Ludi.

While those who had slipped out for a bite to eat settled back into their seats, and while the guests in the Senator's Box, and the special guests in the Pulvinar returned from their elaborate refreshments, 'so called' comedy acts were under way in the arena.
Comedy acts involving mock fights, often between 'cuckolded' husbands and virile young 'bucks over a frustrated young wife, or an irate father catching a slave 'in flagrante delicto' with his pretty young son, took place in the arena, in order to fill in time between serious presentations. Popular with 'plebs', but not with patricians, (and particularly, not popular at Baiae, with Marcus), these enactments were, to modern eyes, remarkably explicit - with the sex scenes not being simulated, but genuine and raucus. Such presentations, toned down by christian morality, eventually, over the centuries, morphed into 'Commedia dell'arte', circus clowns and even 'Punch and Judy').
The second part of the Ludi Spes Vespasianum opened with the Roman Pancratium.
Now in case you have not been viewing previous chapters, we shall 'recap' here, ('recap' - from the Latin 'recapitulationem' - to sum up), regarding the 'Roman' Pancratium.
Pancratium Wrestling
At Rome the pancratium is first mentioned in the Ludi given by the Emperor Caligula (Dion Cass. LIX.13), and after that time it became extremely popular. Whether this was because of its brutality, or the fact that the contestants fought naked is difficult to say. (Many Romans found the nudity in the pancratium and boxing problematic although, as such contests became more common, such nudity became more acceptable, particularly as the contestants were slaves. The Latin name pancratium - from the Greek (παγκράτιον), is composed of πᾶν and κράτος, and accordingly signifies an activity in which all the powers of the fighter were called into action. The pancratium was one of the contests which were exhibited at all the great festivals of Greece; it consisted of boxing and wrestling (πυγμὴ and πάλη) with no rules. The Greeks made a distinction between the boy's pankration, and the men's pankration, although there were in those groupings no weight distinctions or divisions. While slaves were not permitted to take part in the pankration in Greece, in Rome slaves were used almost exclusively in the Ludi. Because of this, boys were sometimes matched against adults - which was considered acceptable, as slaves had no rights, and an uneven match was permitted. There were no rounds, and the fighting continued until one fighter was unable to continue, or was killed. It was possible for a fighter to accept defeat, and appeal for mercy, but his was rarely given.
In Greek and Etruscan tradition pankration wrestlers 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 leather 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. 
As was usual, when Petronius arranged such a program, the adult fighters came first, usually starting with the heavier, slower men.
At the end of the pancratium display there would be boy's combats, which were the most popular, as the boys were fast and inventive with their moves.


The first Pancratium combat was between Δαμιανός (Damianos) and Λέανδρος (Leandros)
Both these fighters were well-built, as befitted a cross between a boxer and a wrestler.
Both the fighters were Thracians, probably captured bandits or pirates, who had been sold by the Roman military on the understanding that they would be used in the arena.
Although not actually Greeks, in accordance with custom, on being acquired, both fighters had been renamed with Greek names, as they were destined to become pancratium fighters
The Thracians - Θρᾷκες - Latin: Thraci - were a group of Indo-European tribes inhabiting a large area in Eastern and South-eastern Europe. They spoke the Thracian language - a scarcely attested branch of the Indo-European language family. The first historical record of the Thracians is found in the Iliad, where they are described as allies of the Trojans in the Trojan War against the Greeks (which was a reason why Marcus was interested in them - being an avid student of Homer.) In Greek mythology, Thrax was regarded as one of the reputed sons of the god Ares. In the 'Alcestis', Euripides mentions that Ares (Roman Mars) was regarded as the patron of Thrace. Thracians were regarded as warlike, and ferocious, and were seen as 'barbarians' by Greeks and Romans - and so were ideal for the arena.
Damianos - Δαμιανός and Leandros -Λέανδρος
The first of the combatants to enter the arena was Damianos (the name meaning 'to subdue' and euphemistically 'to kill'.
Stark naked, except for his slave collar and two leather wrist bands, he was dark haired, but all his body hair had been shaved, as was the custom for this kind of Greek-style action.
He was tall - but not too tall so as to be gangly - and in fact he was perfectly proportioned - a credit to Petronius and Theon and all the work that they must have put the boy through in the Ludus gymnasion.
Proportioned like a Hellenic sculpture - the ideal ephebe - and well muscled, but not the vulgar, overwrought muscularity of the Hercules type.
He obviously immediately gained the audience's attention - and was given a brief round of applause before he even did anything.
Marcus, watching the lad from the privacy of the Pulvinar thought quietly to himself that it would be a great pity if this lad lost his bout, and ended up dead on the arena sand.
Leandros -Λέανδρος - (the name derived from 'lion') was shorter than Damianos, slightly less well muscled and a little younger.
He entered the arena a few moments after Damianos.
Leandros received little recognition from the audience as he was not so well muscled and well proportioned as his opponent, Damianos.
Both fighters bowed to the Pulvinar, and Petronius waved them on, wanting to get the new contests under way.
As was usual in conventional pancratium bouts an  'arbiter' (Latin for 'referee' - or diaititís - διαιτητής in Greek) was present but this, being the Roman pancratium, (and as in the boxing and wrestling), there was almost nothing for him to do.
The audience expected 'fouls', and expected the  'arbiter' to intervene, but they also expected that after being admonished verbally, or struck with a cane, the fighting, and the fouling would continue.
How to fight in the Pancratium: When two pancratiastae begin their contest, the first object is to gain a favourable position, and each fighter tries to make the other stand so that the sun might shines in his face, or that some other problem might prevent his fighting sucessfully. This sparring is only the introduction to the real contest. When the real contest begins, each of the fighters might commence by boxing, or by wrestling, according to his preferred style of fighting. The eventual victory, however, is not decided until one of the fighters is killed, or raises a hand, thereby indicating that he is unable to continue the contest. It usually happens that one of the fighters, is able to make his opponent fall to the sand, and the wrestling, which then begins, (which is called ἀνακλινοπάλη), continues until one of the fighters admits defeat, or is strangled, or killed in some other way (usually a broken neck or broken back). - A lively description of a struggle of this kind is given by Philostratus. - Sometimes one of the fighters falls down on his back on purpose so that he might avoid attacks by his antagonist more easily, and this is perhaps the technique called 'ὑπτιασμός'. The usual method of making a fighter fall is to put one foot behind his, and then to push him backward, or to grab him round his body so that the upper part, being the heavier, will make the fighter lose his balance, and fall. Hence the expressions μέσον λαμβάνειν, μεσολαβεῖν, μέσον αἱρεῖν, τὰ μέσα ἔχειν, διὰ μηρῶν σπᾷν. Using the teeth and butting with the head are considered by some to be unfair fighting (κακομαχεῖν), as is eye gouging (νόμος ἐναγώνιος): Lucian.
As has been previously described (see above), Damianos and Leandros began by carefully circling one another, but as it was around noon, no advantage could be gained from the position of the sun, which was almost overhead.
Leandros, who fancied himself as a pugilist then started throwing punches at Damianos, who skilfully avoided them by ducking and weaving, but avoided tiring himself by making any attempt to return the initial attack.
Damianos was well aware that many pancratium fight were lost when one fighter became exhausted after making too many enthusiastic attacks at the outset.
A good fighter, as his coach stressed, should pace himself carefully.
The danger, of course, with punching was that a poorly deflected punch to the head could end in a knock-out, or alternatively a punch to the groin could produce a disabling injury ('low blows' were permitted - although not entirely approved of by the 'purists'.).
For that reason Damianos, avoiding Leandros' punches, managed to trip his slightly younger opponent, pushing him over onto his back.
This enabled Damianos to start wrestling - a form of combat at which he excelled.
Once on the sand the 'scrapping' really began, with knees, elbows and fists all being used by both fighters.
Damianos managed to get on top most of the time, although it should be remembered that this was not the kind of bout where pinning your opponent on his back could win a fight.
Definitely not..... this was a fight to the point of surrender - or preferably a fight to the death.
Leandros to begin with managed to elbow Damianos in the guts a few time, which nearly winded him, but Damianos was able to respond by kneeing his opponent in outsides of his thighs, in an attempt to weaken his legs, and make a kick less likely.
Grabbing at one another intently, both fighters became considerably 'aroused', as they tumbled across the sand, desperately trying to establish a 'muscle snapping', or 'bone breaking' hold.
Damianos then concentrated on leg weakening holds, as he had a simple plan to totally incapacitate Leandros, which would leave him open to being 'abused' and subsequently 'finished off'.
The leg locks, and the punches to the upper legs soon paid off, slowing Leandros down, and keeping him on the sand.
Having weakened his opponent, Damianos pinned his naked opponent on his back, and smacked him across the head with his elbow.
With Leandros slightly stunned, Damianos got to his feet, bent down and grabbed both of Leandros' ankles.
Disorientated, and with his legs practically useless, there was nothing that Leandros could do except lie on the sand helplessly grunting "No !....".
Damianos then lifted Leandros' legs high, and spread them wide.
It was obvious to everyone, including Leandros, what Damianos was intending to do....
"Fuck ! No !.... Not that !....", Leandros  cried out....
Still holding Leandros' legs high and wide, by his ankles, Damianos then performed a spectacular 'knee drop' on the unfortunate lad's exposed and undefended groin.
Leandros had raised one arm in a pathetic gesture of help, while his other hand was moving to cover his exposed testicles and semi-erect penis - but too late.
His high pitched scream, as Damianos' full weight landed on his balls, could probably be heard all the way to the beach.
Leandros, although still held by his ankles by Damianos, twists and writhes upwards, grabbing at his crushed testicles.
Damianos, however, manages to control his hysterical, flailing opponent and spreads the lad's legs for a second time.
Damianos then stamps twice on Leandros' crotch.
The first time Leandros is attempting to protect his genitals with his hands.
That, however, proves quite useless, and he ends up with a number of fractured and broken fingers.
The second time, Leandros has completely given up, and simply squeals pathetically as he takes his punishment.
Damianos then drops Leandros' legs, leaving his opponent, who then rolls over onto his belly, in a pathetic attempt to hide his ruined genitals.
Damianos looks to Theon.
Theon presumed that probably both Leandros'  testicles have been ruptured.....although he wouldn't know the term - not being medically trained like the Greek physician Agathon.
However, from his own experience, he well knew that a well muscled wrestler performing a knee drop on his opponent's groin, would result in either death, or the complete destruction of the opponent's genitals.
Even today, with modern antibiotics and surgical techniques, severe testicular rupture can be fatal in some cases, if not treated with seventy-two hours, and even then, often lead to sterility and impotence. At the time of our story, Leandros would be dead within a day or so of the Ludi.
(note: please don't try this move at home, or anywhere else, for that matter - you have been warned...).
Knowing the inevitable outcome of Leandros' injuries, Theon gave Damianos' a free hand with his defeated opponent.
As a result of the fight Damianos was excessively 'aroused'.
He strode up to Leandros, who was lying on his belly moaning.
Leandros looked up as Damianos approached, his huge stiff cock wobbling from side to side with each step he took.
" !".....Leandros moaned, as Damianos stood over him.
Damianos was so excited that he was dribbling 'precum' from his jerking prick, some of which trickled onto Leandros face.
Damianos then turned Leandros over, and pulled him up, so that he was partially off the sand, and on his hands and knees.
Damianos then went behind  his trembling opponent - knelt down, and guided his cock towards Leandros' arse-hole.
"No !... You can't do this !", Leandros groaned, shaking his head, as he felt himself being roughly penetrated.
Meliton Watches Damianos Rape Leandros
Meanwhile, Damianos' young friend - another wrestler called Meliton ('honey'), sneaked into the arena to jealously watch Damianos rape Leandros.
"Oh fuck !..." Leandros moaned, as Damianos crudely and repeatedly thrust his huge member into his helpless and agonised opponent.
The problem for Leandros was that as Damianos thrust into him, it made his balls - or what was left of them - swing, causing him the most excruciating pain.
"Please ! Stop !.....It hurts...!", Leandros spluttered - but to no avail, as Damianos was losing control, and simply needed to 'cum'.
"SHIT....!", Damianos eventually cried out, as he pumped his spunk into his squirming, naked opponent.
Damianos then fell forward, crushing Leandros' under him, and in the process crushing - yet again - Leandros already mangled balls.
Damianos then rose to his feet, and prepared to 'finish off ' his completely helpless opponent.
Approaching Leandros from behind, he wrapped his own arm round Leandros' neck, and began to squeeze.
This was an effective way of strangling an opponent, by constricting the windpipe (trachea).
Leandros desperately tried to prise away Damianos' arm as it crushed his windpipe, but he had little strength left.
Slowly he began to lose conciousness, while at the same time he became ridiculously 'aroused'.
At the same time his left had dropped down from Damianos' arm, and flopped onto his stiff, jerking penis.
As his brain was slowly deprived of oxygen, a deliciously sensuous and erotic feeling flooded over him, and he began to slowly use his hand to stimulate his bulging organ.
Within moments his trachea was ruptured and crushed, and in his final moments, as his legs jerked and kicked convulsively, he squirted the last of his copious, thick seed over his heaving, sweaty belly.
The last thing, however, he was aware of was the sound of the audience applauding, and the almost unendurable intensity of his last ever orgasm.
Damianos saw the ejaculated spunk splatter onto Leandros' belly, followed by a spray of steaming urine, and felt the boy's muscular body shudder, and then go limp - and he knew that he, Damianos, was then the victor, and his young opponent Leandros was no more.
Damianos then rose to his feet, raised his right arm, to signal his victory, and placed his foot on Leandros' chest.
Quickly arena-slaves roped up Leandros' ankles, and while Damianos strode off towards the Porta Sanavivaria, Leandros' naked and abused corpse was dragged unceremoniously to Porta Libitina, and thence to the Spoliarium.

more images to be added......


'Punishments and Executions' - The 'Supplicia' or 'public punishments' - almost always ending in death for the condemned, so they were, in reality, executions - were undoubtedly the most popular part of any public Games - particularly with the plebs (the lower orders).
One of the main reasons for this popularity was the fact that most free Romans, (including freed slaves), lived in constant fear of the possibility of a the vast slave population that lived among them, and feared the possibility of slave revolts, and a repetition of the 'Servile Wars' of the past.

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The public punishment and executions of runaway and criminal slaves helped to calm such fears by indicating to the Roman citizenry that such slaves were inevitably captured and firmly dealt with.
Almost always the condemned prisoners were all slaves who had committed various crimes (often as part of a bid to escape servitude) - and had been condemned to the arena by the local magistracy.
Having been condemned they were then sent to the nearest arena, with an order that they were to be executed within a set time. The manner od their execution was usually left to the Editor (organiser) of the Games.
In the case of the arena at Baiae, the organiser was the freedman Petronius, acting for Marcus Octavianus Gracchus.
Petronius, however, very much relied on 'Vulcan' - the slave-blacksmith (who, if you have been reading this story from the beginning, you would have met in Chapter III).
Vulcan at his Forge
(adapted - with permission - from an original image by Zac Sawyer)
'Vulcan' was a mute slave - but he was immensely grateful to his original master - Gnaeus Gracchus (Marcus' adoptive father), for rescuing him from destitution and starvation, and for teaching him to read and write, (which enabled him to communicate - when necessary).
The result of being 'acquired' in such a manner had produced a character fiercely loyal to the patrician class, and dedicated to punishing any who would oppose the authority of their masters - and so he spent endless hours creating fiendish devices to be used for the torture and execution of miscreant slaves.
As such, Petronius had little to do but allow 'Vulcan' to inspect the condemned prisoners, and after having been told of their criminal activities, 'Vulcan' was left to design suitable means of retribution.
To quote, (anachronistically, and with a nod to W S Gilbert) - 'his object all sublime - he would achieve in time - to make the punishment fir the crime.'
And so 'Vulcan's' numerous pieces of iron-work, on which the unfortunate slaves would be chained tied and impaled, were put in place in the arena by the sweating arena-slaves, while the audience was left to speculate on how such devices would actually be used.


For 'Vulcan' there were only three possible punishments for sexual crimes - 'ani figuratur obscena stipitem egerunt' (a nice Latin phrase used to describe anal impaling), 'castratura' (castration), and 'inpurorum' (emasculation) - or a combination of such punishments.
Such punishments would not normally produce a quick death - so the actual means of execution could - eventually - involve slitting the throat of the condemned slave - breaking the neck, garotting, or decapitation.
To start things off, the first slave was to be impaled.
Contemporary textural evidence for Roman impaling is to be found in the writings of Seneca  ('Ad Lucilium Epistulae Morales'): 'Video istic cruces ne unius quidem generis sed aliter ab aliis fabricatas; capite quidam conuersos in terram suspendere, alii per obscena stipitem egerunt, alii brachia patibulo explicuerunt; video fidiculas, video uerbera ...' - (some individuals suspended their victims with heads inverted toward the ground; some drove a stake (stipes) through their excretory organs and genitals; others stretched out their victims' arms on a patibulum [cross bar]...')
'Vulcan' had been shown some papyrus by Petronius which described various devices which ha been created by Greeks in Alexandria.
Roman 'Screw Oil Press'
Diagram of Horizontal to Vertical Gearing
Archaeological finds and pictorial evidence of screw mechanisms only appear in the Hellenistic period, and the standard view holds the device to be a Greek invention, most probably by the 3rd century BC polymath Archimedes. Though resembling a screw, however, this is not a screw in the usual sense of the word. Earlier, the screw had been described by the Greek mathematician Archytas of Tarentum (428–350 BC). By the 1st century BC, wooden screws were commonly used throughout the Mediterranean world in screw presses for pressing olive oil from olives and pressing juice from grapes in wine-making. A screw thread, often shortened to thread, is a helical structure used to convert between rotational and linear movement or force. A screw thread is a ridge wrapped around a cylinder. The mechanical advantage of a screw thread depends on its lead, which is the linear distance the screw travels in one revolution.
 'Vulcan's' interest in the diagrams of a 'screw' he had been shown by Petronius, was in it's ability to forcefully move an object linearly, by converting rotary motion to linear motion, as in the lead-screw of a 'jack'.
'Vulcan's' Impaling Machine - Waiting for a Victim
The use of such a screw allowed a condemned slave to be impaled very slowly and in a controlled manner - (see cut-away diagrammatic image on left).
'Vulcan' had copied this kind of mechanism, and it had been incorporated into a wooden plinth (painted to resemble marble), which was to be bolted into the sand covered, wooden floor of the arena, below the frame on which the convicted slave was to be chained.
The slave in question, who was the first to be punished in this way, was not a particularly attractive specimen, but once he was striped naked he showed promise, being quite 'well endowed'.
The slave had reportedly attempted to rape one of the young daughters of his master, while she was bathing.
Apparently, he hadn't succeeded - which didn't really surprise Petronius.
Petronius didn't think the lad was very 'bright', and suspected that he had been 'put up' to the attempted rape by some of the other slaves - possibly as a 'lark'.
Equally, 'Infelicis' may have been an embarrassment, and a problem for his fellow slaves, and the whole situation had been 'engineered' as a means of ridding themselves of a troublesome member of the household - it was not an unknown ploy.
The city magistrates, of course, as they were only dealing with a slave, would not be inclined to look into the matter very deeply, and as the slave-boy's master wanted his family's honour swiftly restored, the unfortunate lad was, with little ado, condemned to be tortured and executed in the arena, despite his loud protestations of innocence.
'Infelicis', (as Petronius had nicknamed him - 'Unlucky'), didn't seem to think he had done anything wrong (probably imagining  - or having been told - that the girl wanted his 'attentions').
Now, however, he was going to pay for his stupidity although, as he hadn't penetrated the girl, he would probably not be emasculated - not that would count for very much, as he would be killed at the conclusion of his impaling. - if he had not already died from the torture.
He was first chained by his wrists to the iron frame provided by 'Vulcan'.
The arena-slaves then spread the boys legs, effectively dislocating his hips.
The boy obviously started screaming, as a dislocated hip was very painful - and having both hip-joints dislocated was doubly so.
The dislocation caused intense pain in the groin, and the boy lost the use, and almost all feeling in his legs.
The naked boy was by then completely helpless, and his legs were spread unbelievably wide, and then then his ankles were chained to the iron frame.
The frame was then placed over the wooden plinth - which was bolted to the arena floor -  and which contained the screw mechanism which was connected to the impaling shaft.
Because there was considerable space under the sand covered, wooden floor of the arena, most of the impaling shaft was out of sight, and would only appear when the wheel connected to the screw mechanism was turned.
The next step, before the impaling began, was to rope up the boy's genitals.
This was done for two reasons.
The first was  in the hopes of provoking an erection, and the second was to facilitate matters if it came to the boy's emasculation - although in this case the slave would probably be spared the pain and humiliation of losing his 'manhood' - unless, of course, Petronius changed his mind.
The rope was tied round the boy's waist, and then round his penis, and then round his scrotum, separating his testicles, and then the rope was taken between his legs, and up the back, to be secured to the part of the rope round his waist.
The effect of this roping made the lead's genitals look more prominent, and the rope held the, at present, flaccid penis upright, against the boys' belly.
Once the condemned slave was tightly chained, an arena slave pushed the lad's hips forwards, so that his anus was directly above the rounded steel knob of the iron impaling stake.
Another arena-slave, at the same time, was bending over the wheel which protruded from the 'faux marble' plinth that hide the geared mechanism that would raise the impaling stake from the dark voids that existed under the arena's sand covered, stout wooden flooring.
Within moments the steel knob of the impaling stake had made contact with the slave's twitching anus.
The boy involuntarily jerk for ward and upward, in a futile attempt to avoid being penetrated by the cold steel.

Everything was going well for the 'Ludi Spes Vespasianum'.
Marcus, however, seemed disinterested in the proceedings, despite Titus' regular appreciative comments - but as he watched the unlucky slave-boy's impalement get under way, Marcus' thoughts were elsewhere.
Equally, Adonios was distracted, - concerned that Glaux appeared to be deeply asleep, and was also twittering, occasionally, as if experiencing some intense dream - that if, if owls dream - but then Glaux was no ordinary owl.
Meanwhile, Faunus was sitting quietly in the Ludus, talking to his horses - preparing them for the blare of the tubas (Roman military trumpets), and the applause of the audience.
So.....Marcus, we can say, was thinking about his boyhood in Athens -  Adonios was worried about Glaux, and Faunus was taking care of his new equine friends - 'Velox' and 'Zephyro'.


'Punishments and Executions - Continued' - It was perhaps ironic that young 'Infelicis' was being painfully and humiliatingly tortured and executed - and yet the organiser of the Games was not even paying any attention to the boy's sufferings.
Titus, however, was avidly watching - and keeping to mind the various complex presentations produced by Petronius and 'Vulcan' - most of which would be reproduced in the great amphitheatre, which was still being constructed in Rome, - the Colosseum.
And the audience - consisting mainly - at this 'public Ludi' in Baiae - of 'plebs', were fascinated at the cruel ingenuity on display.
Glykon is Mechanically Fucked
This latest, 'mechanised' device for impaling - another weird example of Roman 'high-tech' - was not the first impaling device that 'Vulcan's' dark and twisted ingenuity had produced.
For the 'Ludi Ad Auspicari Novam Aetatem', some considerable time before, 'Vulcan' had created a machine designed to publicly and mechanically 'fuck' the young conspirator, (and one time door-keeper), Glykon.
This was not strictly speaking an impaling device, but it relied, in a similar way to the device being used to torture 'Infelicis', on the conversion of rotary movement to linear movement (see above).
The 'machine' was not, however, intended to kill Glykon, but rather to be an appallingly painful humiliation.
Subsequently, after being publicly and painfully humiliated, Glykon was hung with ropes, emasculated, and finally executed by disembowelling.
The 'machine', after that Ludi, had been retained, and was then carefully stored in the Ludus, awaiting another occasion when its unique function would be considered appropriate for an unfortunate condemned slave.
 The Impaling of 'Infelicis'
Impaling can be a somewhat static affair, and so, to offer the audience an added distraction, two condemned slaves, guilty of crimes of violence, were to be displayed in the arena, at the same time that 'Infelicis' was being impaled, and forced to show just how violent they could be.
Each slave, armed with only very sharp and deadly gladius, but naked, apart from a tiny leopard-skin thong, was required to fight his opponent to the death.
The winner would then be summarily despatched by one of the arena-slaves.
While the two condemned slaves - rather unsuccessfully 'impersonating' gladiators - nervously sparred, it was obvious to Theon, (Petronius' deputy in the arena), that this new method of impaling that was being  used, for the first time, on 'Infelicis' was lacking in 'attention grabbing' aspects, and the audience were beginning to get bored with the whole procedure.
Theon's solution was to instruct one of the arena slave to slap 'Infelicis' scrotum, which was well displayed as a result of the previous, skilful roping.
Predictably, 'Infelicis' squealed and instinctively jerked himself upwards with his arms, which were chained to the upper crossbar.
The unfortunate slave's legs were, of course by then effectively paralysed after both his hips had been dislocated, and provided no support for him.
The young slave, however, was unable to maintain his raised position, and almost immediately slumped back down onto the impaling stake.
The result of course was that the naked slave appeared to be noisily fucking himself on the impaling stake - and that quickly drew the attention of the audience.
And so the poor lad was subjected to repeated slaps to his balls - which in itself was painful and humiliating - and in addition suffered the further indignity and discomfort of being fucked by the impaling shaft.
"Oh shit !.... My bollocks !.....", 'Infelicis' moaned, as he slowly jerked up and down on the impaling sake, while constantly dribbling a string of glistening 'pre-cum' from his stiff prick.
Meanwhile the two slave who had been condemned to fight one another had actually come into contact, with a clash of their gladiī, and it was clear that both slaves were by then determined to kill their opponent - in the mistaken presumption that the winner would be permitted to walk free - an outcome that they had been encouraged to believe, but was obviously contrary to what would actually happen.
An Arena Slave Prepares to Decapitate 'Infelicis'
So....while 'Infelicis' continued to moan and groan as his testicles were repeatedly beaten, while time and again he jerked himself up and down on the impaling stake, Euphranor and Meliton slogged it out in a desperate, but useless attempt to avoid execution.
Neither was a real swordsman - both were pampered 'famuli' (house-slaves), and not fighters - and their crimes were not crimes of violence, but of cheating and pilfering - but Euphranor was faster and more agile.
In a move of considerable dexterity Euphranor avoided Meliton's mindless slashing and rammed the sharp point into Meliton's belly - straight through the shocked lad's navel.
Theon instantly ordered Euphranor to let go of his gladius.
In response, Meliton dropped his own gladius, and grabbed hold of the blade that had penetrated his belly, cutting his hands in the process.
"Oh fuck !...." Meliton groaned, looking down in shocked disbelief at the huge blade poking out of his sweaty abdomen.
At the same time he turned his back on Euphranor, and staggered off, seemingly having lost all interest in the fight, and resigned to his fate.
One of the arena slaves then handed Euphranor Meliton's gladius, and told him to 'finish off' his opponent.
Meliton Decapitated
Seeing this as his opportunity to win his freedom, Euphranor walked up behind Meliton and sliced off the skewered boy's head.
While the young slave's head fell to the sand and rolled away, Meliton's headless body flopped down onto its knees, spraying blood from the severed neck.
Then the body fell forwards and, as the haft of the gladius hit the sand, it forced the blade right through the bloody trunk of the corpse, leaving the body kneeling with the shoulders on the sand, and urine dribbling down from the tiny thong.
Meanwhile, Euphranor hadn't noticed that an arena-slave was standing behind him with a gladius.
Then.....while  Euphranor foolishly accepted the applause of the audience, the arena slave sliced off  Euphranor's head, which flew off, and bounced on the sand.
Euphranor, undoubtedly completely unaware of what had happened to him, simply collapsed in an untidy, bloody heap, farting noisily and gurgling as blood gushed from his neck.
Meanwhile,  naked, impaled 'Infelicis' was in serious trouble.
The impaling stake had by then ruptured his rectum and part of his colon, and had also damaged his bladder, but had been skilfully guided to the rear, where it would not damage any essential organs.
In this situation, while there was substantial internal haemorrhaging, an individual could survive for some considerable time.
Apart from the internal injuries, 'Infelicis' had continued to fuck himself as his testicles were repeatedly slapped, and the stake in his anus, which was putting pressure on his prostate, had caused him to become intolerably 'aroused', resulting in ejaculations and repeated orgasms.
As a result 'Infelicis' was 'drained' and exhausted and could feel the stake forcing its way deeper and deeper inside him.
Eventually the internal bleeding became so severe that 'Infelicis' began to vomit blood, and when his diaphragm was displaced, he began to suffocate.
At that point, as he began to lose conciousness, the same arena-slave who had decapitated Euphranor sliced off 'Infelicis' head.
As he died, 'Infelicis' belly bulged, and he sprayed out some urine over himself, but he remained upright as he was almost completely impaled.
The 'tidy-up' began quickly, with the two  headless 'mock gladiators' being dragged to the 'Porta Libitina'.
With 'Vulcans'' new impaling making, removing the skewered corpse of  'Infelicis' was easier than when using conventional impaling methods, as it was simply a matter of turning the wheel of the machine 'counter- clockwise' (not that such a phrase would have much meaning at the time, as there were very few 'clocks' with dials in existence).
Once the stake was removed, it was then just a matter of unchaining the headless corpse, and dragging it, as with Euphranor and Meliton, through the 'Porta Libitina'.


'The Games Continue' - More executions followed, but Marcus continued to show little interest in the proceedings - until it was time for the 'grand finale' - the tableaux from Homer's 'Iliad' - which would include Faunus - in his début as Achilles' chariot driver.
This tableaux had been a 'pet' project of Marcus and Petronius when they were both slaves, during the time when the 'late Dominus' was still alive.
It was a project which had, for various reasons, had been repeatedly abandoned until now.
Not only did Marcus want to see the eventual staging of this tale from ancient Greece ('ancient' even to the Romans), but he was also intrigued to see how Faunus would play his part.
All the armour and equipment had been stored in the Ludus from the previous Games held in Baiae, when the first part of the Tableaux had been performed.
This second part of the Tableaux was relatively brief, with a short melee between the 'Greek' and 'Trojan' warriors, which culminates in the wounding of 'Hector' by 'Achilles' (in the original story by Homer, 'Hector' is killed at this point - but the story has been adapted for the Games so that the audience can be treated to a more 'gory' ending).
'Hector', who is frantically begging for mercy, is then stripped naked, tied to the rear of Achilles' chariot (driven by Faunus), and subsequently mutilated and killed as he is dragged around the arena.
While 'Hector's' naked corpse is being mangled, the remaining, leaderless, defeated 'Trojans' are captured and disarmed.
The 'Trojans' are then stripped naked, bound, mutilated and killed -  in most cases by decapitation or having their throats cut.
Finally Faunus brings 'Achilles' chariot to a standstill in front of the Pulvinar.
Cheering 'Greek' warriors, to the applause of the audience, come forward to congratulate 'Achilles', while the gory remains of what had been 'Hector' are turned over to reveal that the naked body has been emasculated and disembowelled as a result of being dragged round the arena.
Petronius, not surprisingly, is very pleased at the highly successful and spectacular conclusion at the end of the Ludi.
Marcus, however, is still distracted with thoughts of the beckoning, boundless sea, but puts on a good show of congratulating his friend.
Finally Petronius calls Faunus up to the Pulvinar - presents him to the audience, and congratulates the rather bemused Faun on his appearance in the arena.
And why bemused ?
Because Faunus, reading Petronius' thoughts, realizes that Petronius has finally come to respect and like Faunus.....
And then Marcus gives a farewell wave to the audience, and leaves the Pulvinar with his suite, to a glorious fanfare and tumultuous applause, while a herald announces the ending of the Ludi (Games).
 images to this section be added soon......

  'and the story continues -
Marcus and his suite return to the Villa Auream, where frantic preparation are being made for the journey to Greece. After a farewell meal, Marcus and his immediate entourage travel by coaches to Brundisium to board the Naval Galley provided by Titus for their journey....
('To the Home of the Gods')

Please note that this chapter may contain sexually explicit and violent images and text.
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  1. Really nice chapter! Damianos and Leandros fight is so interesting: well fitted man, no weapon, nice cock ready to be used ... I hope winner can have fun then with a younger boy came from a following match...
    I can suggest a new execution way... where more noxii are lined and only one will be saved (to fight for his life, then)... one by one they were fucked, emasculated or killed from behind.. so they have a little hope... and crowd can be decisive to choose the surviver...
    thanks. I hope there will be a lot of pics of Damianos-Leandros match!

    1. Well, ‘Anonymous’, glad you liked the start of this contest between Damianos and Leandros.
      Just to reveal a little - the winner gets to have a ‘victory fuck’ before ‘finishing off’ his opponent - but maybe also an opportunity with a younger lad ?
      At the moment we are working on the images - which is always very time-consuming, unlike the text.
      Nice idea on the executions ….. we’ll see if we can include that later.
      As Marcus has been off in Rome and Tibur for some time, there should be a good ‘backlog’ of nasty but cute ‘noxii’ that have been sent by the local magistrates.