Sports THE HALFTIME SHOW... ANCIENT ROMAN STYLE

Discussion in 'The Howard Stern Show' started by chrisfromvegas, Feb 7, 2016.

  1. chrisfromvegas

    chrisfromvegas HOOLIGAN VIP

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    How about a Kardashian/ Roman style Halftime show?


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    The enormous arena was empty, save for the seesaws and the dozens of condemned criminals who sat naked upon them, hands tied behind their backs. Unfamiliar with the recently invented contraptions known aspetaurua, the men tested the seesaws uneasily. One criminal would push off the ground and suddenly find himself 15 feet in the air while his partner on the other side of the seesaw descended swiftly to the ground. How strange.

    In the stands, tens of thousands of Roman citizens waited with half-bored curiosity to see what would happen next and whether it would be interesting enough to keep them in their seats until the next part of the "big show" began.


    With a flourish, trapdoors in the floor of the arena were opened, and lions, bears, wild boars and leopards rushed into the arena. The starved animals bounded toward the terrified criminals, who attempted to leap away from the beasts' snapping jaws. But as one helpless man flung himself upward and out of harm's way, his partner on the other side of the seesaw was sent crashing down into the seething mass of claws, teeth and fur.

    The crowd of Romans began to laugh at the dark antics before them. Soon, they were clapping and yelling, placing bets on which criminal would die first, which one would last longest and which one would ultimately be chosen by the largest lion, who was still prowling the outskirts of the arena's pure white sand. [See Photos of the Combat Sports Played in Ancient Rome]

    And with that, another "halftime show" of damnatio ad bestiassucceeded in serving its purpose: to keep the jaded Roman population glued to their seats, to the delight of the event's scheming organizer.


    Thanks to films like "Ben-Hur" and "Gladiator," the two most popular elements of the Roman Games are well known even to this day: the chariot races and the gladiator fights. Other elements of the Roman Games have also translated into modern times without much change: theatrical plays put on by costumed actors, concerts with trained musicians, and parades of much-cared-for exotic animals from the city's private zoos.

    But much less discussed, and indeed largely forgotten, is the spectacle that kept the Roman audiences in their seats through the sweltering midafternoon heat: the blood-spattered halftime show known asdamnatio ad bestias — literally "condemnation by beasts" — orchestrated by men known as the bestiarii.


    Managing and training this ever-changing influx of beasts was not an easy task for the bestiarii. Wild animals are born with a natural hesitancy, and without training, they would usually cower and hide when forced into the arena's center. For example, it is not a natural instinct for a lion to attack and eat a human being, let alone to do so in front of a crowd of 100,000 screaming Roman men, women and children! And yet, in Rome's ever-more-violent culture, disappointing aneditor would spell certain death for the low-ranking bestiarii.

    To meet this ever-growing pressure to keep the Roman crowds happy and engaged by bloodshed, bestiarii were forced to consistently invent new ways to kill. They devised elaborate contraptions and platforms to give prisoners the illusion they could save themselves — only to have the structures collapse at the worst possible moments, dropping the condemned into a waiting pack of starved animals. Prisoners were tied to boxes, lashed to stakes, wheeled out on dollies and nailed to crosses, and then, prior to the animals' release, the action was paused so that bets could be made in the crowd about which of the helpless men would be devoured first.

    Perhaps most popular — as well as the most difficult to pull off — were the re-creations of death scenes from famous myths and legends. A single bestiarius might spend months training an eagle in the art of removing a thrashing man's organs (a la the myth of Prometheus).

    The halftime show of damnatio ad bestias became so notorious tha

    To meet this ever-growing pressure to keep the Roman crowds happy and engaged by bloodshed, bestiarii were forced to consistently invent new ways to kill. They devised elaborate contraptions and platforms to give prisoners the illusion they could save themselves — only to have the structures collapse at the worst possible moments, dropping the condemned into a waiting pack of starved animals. Prisoners were tied to boxes, lashed to stakes, wheeled out on dollies and nailed to crosses, and then, prior to the animals' release, the action was paused so that bets could be made in the crowd about which of the helpless men would be devoured first.

    Perhaps most popular — as well as the most difficult to pull off — were the re-creations of death scenes from famous myths and legends. A single bestiarius might spend months training an eagle in the art of removing a thrashing man's organs (a la the myth of Prometheus).

    The halftime show of damnatio ad bestias became so notorious that it was common for prisoners to attempt suicide to avoid facing the horrors they knew awaited them. Roman philosopher and statesmenSeneca recorded a story of a German prisoner who, rather than be killed in a bestiarius' show, killed himself by forcing a communally used prison lavatory sponge down his throat. One prisoner who refused to walk into the arena was placed on a cart and wheeled in; the prisoner thrust his own head between the spokes of its wheels, preferring to break his own neck than to face whatever horrors the bestiarius had planned for him.

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  2. smellynugget

    smellynugget Well-Known Member

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    I'm all for it, as long as Kanye is thrown into the mix...
     
  3. suckemnuckledus

    suckemnuckledus Well-Known Member

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    Thanks Obama!!