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Notes on the Geography of Italy: Classical Rome 1: Photo 12

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The arena--287 by 180 feet--was floored with wood but became so slippery with gore that it was sprinkled with sand--arena in Latin--which explains the origin of the English word. Gibbon tells of a monk named Telemachus who came into the arena about 405 and tried to separate two warring gladiators. The crowd stoned him to death. Guilt then got the better of the crowd, Gibbon writes. "They respected the memory of Telemachus, who had deserved the honours of martyrdom; and they submitted, without a murmur, to the laws of Honorius, which abolished for ever the human sacrifices of the amphitheater." Still, animal slaughter continued for another century with crocodiles, elephants, lions and tigers.

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