by Elizabeth Ellen Carter
Not that I have anything personally against them, but I thought it would be more interesting to look at life as it might have been on a day-to-day basis, so the only gladiator featuring in Dark Heart, is the wonderful secondary character Albus.
And yes, some gladiators did get to retire. But their skill and reputation were so renowned that they were often offered huge amounts of money to return to the sport – in fact, Emperor Tiberius offered several retired gladiators 100,000 sesterces each to return to the arena.
It’s very much like trying to coax champion sports stars out of retirement today.
Most gladiators were prisoners of war, slaves bought for the purpose, or criminals condemned to serve in the schools damnati ad ludos – literally meaning ‘damned (found guilty) to the games’.
Gladiators weren’t the only ones at risk. Until the reign of Augustus (27BC-14AD) , spectators viewed the games from temporary wooden grandstands – and occasionally they would collapse killing hundreds, even thousands of people.
During the time of Tiberius (Augustus’s son and successor) one wooden amphitheater collapsed and depending on which source you read, between 20,000 (Suetonius) and 50,000 (Tacitus) spectators were crushed to death.
Starting at Baiae wasn’t accentual either. The city was an integral part Portus Julius, home port of the Western Imperial Fleet of ancient Rome.
Nestled in the volcanic region of Vesuvius – yes, that Vesuvius of Pompeii fame – Baiae used the volcanic hot springs for their baths and spas.
Sadly there is very little to see of this historic resort town. Much of Baiae has slid into the sea as a result of landslips and earthquakes and what remains of the town itself are ruins.
The good news for today's divers is a Baiae makes a fascinating underwater adventure with plenty of statues and mosaics preserved by the sea.
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Elizabeth's New Sexy Ancient Rome-ance: Dark Heart
Rome, 235 A.D.
A series of ritual murders of young boys recalls memories of Rome’s most wicked emperor. Magistrate Marcus Cornelius Drusus has discovered the cult extends to the very heart of Roman society.
Despite his personal wealth and authority, Marcus is a slave to his past – conflicted by his status as an adopted son, bitterly betrayed by his wife and forced to give up his child.
Kyna knows all about betrayal. Sold into slavery by her husband to pay a gambling debt, she found herself in Rome, far from her home in Britannia. Bought by a doctor, she is taught his trade and is about to gain her freedom when her mentor is murdered by the cult.
When the same group makes an attempt on her life, Kyna is forced to give up her freedom and accept Marcus’ protection. With no one to trust but each other, mutual attraction ignites into passion.But how far will Marcus go for vengeance when he learns the cult’s next victim is his son?
Can the woman who is free in her heart heal the man who is a slave in his?
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