Those About To Die
~A Story Of Gladitorial Rome
By Daniel P. Mannix
So many sources were used in preparing this volume that it would be impossible to name them all. In many cases, only a single reference was taken from a book.
However, some of the main works dealing with gladiatorial games are listed in the Bibliography. Some of the sequences, especially the description of the shows at the time of Carpophorus, are a compendium of many sources.
In describing how Carpophorus trained the animals that had relations with women, I used Apuleius and also the technique employed by a Mexican gentleman I met in Tia Juana who was making 16mm. stag films on the subject.
The description of the venatores' battle with the lions and tigers is a combination of original sources, J. A. Hunter's account of Masai warriors spearing lions, and comments from Mel Koontz and Marbel Stark, both of whom are professional lion tamers. The crocodile wrestling is described by Strabo, but I added material told me by a Seminole Indian who wrestled alligators in Florida.
The gladiatorial combats are all taken from contemporary accounts or from graffiti (wall drawings) in Pompeii. The bullfights are from graffiti of the fights, contemporary descriptions, the murals in Cnossus, incidents I've observed in Spanish bullfights, and suggestions made by Pete Patterson, who is a rodeo clown.
The battle between the Essedarii and the Greek Hop-lites is a combination of Tacitus' description of British war chariots, Hogarth's description of the Hoplite phalanx in Philip and Alexander of Macedon, extracts from Mason's Roping, and the manner in which a British square was handled in the early nineteenth century. The elephant fights come from contemporary sources as Capt. Fitz-Bemard, who saw war elephants in action in India.
The description of Chilo's tavern is taken from, Macedeo Maiuri's Pompeii and my own notes on a wine shop there. The conversation between the men is nearly all from Petronius' Satyricon.
Although my account of Carpophorus' death is completely fictitious, polar bears were seen in the arena, possibly as early as Nero's reign. The Romans did believe that the narwhal's horn was that of a unicorn. The narwhal, being a mammal like a whale or porpoise, can produce ivory.
© 1958 by Daniel P. Mannix
Used with permission
Those About To Die