Signs of the Times
"...the most common meaning of 'editor' (from the Latin 'ex dato,' for 'out' and 'give') is one who pulls together materials, sorts what will be used from all the rest, corrects errors and pays attention to presentation, then gives out, or publishes, the finished product. On the other hand, the term editor was also used in ancient Rome to designate those responsible for producing the vast, bloody gladiatorial spectacles in the amphitheater for the Romans to enjoy" (Sissela Bok, from a speech before the American Society of Newspaper Editors, The Boston Globe, April 13, 1998).
"The 'editor ludorum' sent emissaries to track down lions, tigers, and other wild animals from around the farthest reaches of the Roman Empire to take part in wild beast hunts in the arena. He worked with those who oversaw the training of the gladiators who were to fight to the death and who lined up slaves and convicts to be slaughtered in combat or to be 'thrown to the beasts.' The editor then pulled together all that was to go into the public spectacle and offered to crowds, which could include many thousands of cheering spectators and fans - the 'amatores'" (Sissela Bok, from a speech before the American Society of Newspaper Editors, The Boston Globe, April 13, 1998).
"Various games or 'ludi' took place in the amphitheatres. The most common were the 'venationes' or hunts: these were fights between gladiators and ferocious beasts. Among the most famous spectacles were the battles between the gladiators themselves. Various schools were set up for training of these men, who, each time they competed, would stake their own prestige and ability" (Loretta Santini, Pompeii, Narni-Terni, Italia: Pluigraf, 1998).
"The gladiators were for the most part slaves and prisoners of war who were seeking to win their freedom by taking part in these combats. The infamous and tragic slaughter of the Christians was perpetrated in none other than [the arena above]. The performances put on in the amphitheatre sometimes included naval battles and other such competitions" (Loretta Santini, Pompeii, Narni-Terni, Italia: Pluigraf, 1998).
"All in all it provided the chief source of entertainment for the society of that time. The Roman Magistrates themselves, as a ploy to win the favour of the people and for their own electoral propaganda, used to finance the games" (Loretta Santini, Pompeii, Narni-Terni, Italia: Pluigraf, 1998).
I hope you enjoy the spectacle!
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