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Those About to Die by Daniel P. Mannix
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Those About to Die

by Daniel P. Mannix

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I wasn't aware gladiator games had spectator shows of animals (from drunken chimpanzees, zebras, baboons to wild boars) raping condemned women as part of their entertainment in the arena, until I read this book. There were actually men (the bestiarii) who trained wild beast to not only kill and eat people, but sexually violate them as well! Author Daniel P. Mannix offers up plenty of shocking events in this absorbing read, which you probably never learnt about in ancient history class. Example: condemned men were put on seesaws in the arena and then hungry lions & other wild beast were let loose. The men seesawed desperately back and forth trying to stay on the up-side, so that they wouldn't be eaten. Can you imagine? It must have been the quickest seesawing one had ever seen. This provided great amusement for the arena crowd as did other countless sadistic pre-game shows.

Of course the principal focus is on the gladiators themselves. There is a lot of fascinating information about the day to day lives of the gladiators, Romans, and the political power houses behind the scenes, however some of the additional spectacles going on during the games were just as interesting, if not more fascinating. I couldn't put the book down. ( )
1 vote CindyBytes | Jul 11, 2009 |
I was a kid when I read this book and still remember its contents more than 30 years later. It was that graphic! I have yet to read another book so graphic or hear history of this time explained this way.
  vincentrodriguez | Jul 30, 2008 |
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