Last man standing Naval Ship battles called Naumachia took place in the Colosseum – they’d flood the center of the Arena with water from the aqueducts and send their ships to war in the Colosseum. Outfitted in full gear – they’d torch each other’s ships and push for absolute destruction, it was a spectacle unlike any other.
The Colosseum was center stage for fights between elephants, lions, rhinos, and other exotic animals. Prisoners were sentenced to death and fed to the lions – enemies of the state were sentenced to be crushed by the elephants. The crowds loved the brutality and the destruction – it was for the people. Entertainment never before seen at this scale – the uproars were deafening and the punishments were excruciating.
Not to mention the gladiatorial games and the barbaric sacrificial – gut wrenching – destructive battles that took place on the grounds of the Colosseum. Fighting for their lives – for the rewards – and sometimes for their freedoms – gladiators were often slaves who had no other choice but to fight for their lives. Battling to the death, it often became the final choice of the emperor – influenced by the crowd – to decide the fate of the runner-up. As such, the Colosseum was extremely influential in Roman culture and entertainment – which is why its restoration was so vital – and thus the precedent for commemoration.
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