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The Day Commmodus Killed A Rhino Analysis

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The Day Commmodus Killed A Rhino Analysis
In Jerry Toner’s book The Day Commodus Killed a Rhino: Understanding the Roman Games, the reader is introduced into the violent, blood thirsty society that is the Roman Empire. In the prologue to the book, Toner writes “One modern writer described these ‘bloodthirsty human holocausts’ as ‘by far the nastiest blood-sport ever invented. He claimed that ‘the two most quantitatively destructive institutions in History are Nazism and the Roman Gladiators’.” The Roman Empire, as a whole, was a violent society. Their violence though, was something that was celebrated and embodied by Romans. In Jerry Toner’s book The Day Commodus Killed a Rhino: Understanding the Roman Games, it becomes evident through the Romans “bread and circus” society, that being …show more content…
Likewise, being violent natured was simply who they were as a society.
When reading about the Roman gladiator games as well as the chariot races and theater events, it can be quite difficult to truly envision what it was like for the participants and the spectators of such events. The participants in such activities were overall viewed as low-class citizens. Gladiators, charioteers and actors in the theater all “had little more status than slaves.” The participants of the games were meant to entertain the spectators, and nothing else. Besides the fact that the participants were seen as low class, they also faced very brutal conditions in the games. The gladiators and charioteers were susceptible to violent, gory deaths. For gladiators, often times their throats were cut and the knives eventually made their way to the gladiator’s hearts. Another possible outcome for gladiators, was being ripped to pieces by various animals. Whether their death came by combat with another gladiator or by animal, it was nothing short of gruesome. This gruesomeness though, was enjoyed by many. Chariot
…show more content…
Coordinating these games on such a large scale was no easy task. Likewise, is important to note the different resources that it took to pull off these games. Perhaps the most important resource that was required to pull off the games was money. Without funding, the Romans would have never been able to quench their thirst for bloodshed. While Commodus’s games themselves only cost 12,000 denarii, the emperor Symmachus spent as much as 20,000,000 denarii to put on his games. Two other resources that were crucial to the games development were animals and arenas. In many emperor’s games, thousands upon thousands of animals were killed. The animals that were showcased in the gladiator aspect of the games, the chariot races and the theatrical aspect of the games included: lions, tigers, leopards, ostriches, elephants, rhinoceros, and giraffes. All of these animals were used at the Roman’s expense. Without them, the games could not have taken place. Lastly, another resource that was important to the development of the Roman’s violent games, were the arenas. Arenas had to be built for the gladiator games, the chariot races, and even the theatrical performances. Arenas that were used for the games began to be built as permanent structures as the games became a more important part of the Roman society. On page 50, Toner writes “Amphitheaters had originally been made of wood but now huge permanent

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