Hey there! Sign in to have your say on this topicNew here? Join for free to post

What are some of the rarely mentioned facts about the Roman Empire?

Announcements Posted on
Would YOU be put off a uni with a high crime rate? First 50 to have their say get a £5 Amazon voucher! 27-10-2016
    • Thread Starter

    I can cover one part, the battles and fights with wild beast:

    The Colosseum in Rome is widely known to be an engineering and technological marvel of its time. But did you know that not only was it a massive stadium, but it also had a retractable roof?

    The roof, called velarium, covered about 2/3 of the stadium, including all the spectators. The way it was designed, it created an updraft for ventilation, resulting in what is described as a “cool breeze.” We aren’t actually sure how it was held up. It’s still a matter of conjecture. There are some theories, however—see: The-Colosseum.net:The Awning

    Also, the Romans didn’t just hold gladatorial combat in the Colosseum. They also held live naval battles, called Naumachia.

    That’s pretty cool. If only modern-day reenactments could be this awesome.It was a misconception that the tiger usually won, the only roman verified artifact that shows a tiger beating a lion was from Martial’s epigrams, translated to English it stated a tiger with its teeth tore a lion."Lambere securi dextram consueta magistri

    Tigris ab Hyrcano gloria rara jugo
    Steva ferum rabida laceravit dente leonem:
    Res nova, non ullis cognita temporibus.
    Ausa est tale nihil, svlvis dum vixit in altis,
    Postquam inter nos est, plus feritatis habet.

    "Translated by Anon…The rare-seen glory of the Hyrcanian land,

    A tiger, wont to lick his master's hand,
    In pieces tore a lion in his rage,
    A thing not known before in any age.
    He durst not this attempt in forests high:
    Beasts among men learn greater cruelty

    That’s the only roman artifact show casing a tiger winning.On the other hand, there quite a bit of accounts of either roman artist, roman artifacts and in terms of its location, specifically on roman soil. Here are some of the occasions most people are unbeknownst about:
    • FLORENCE (which was under control of the roman empire)


    • TURIN

    "The question whether or not a lion is the superior of a tiger in battle was recently settled during the course of a circus performance at Turin.The scene occurred while tamer Klose was putting Four lions and four tigers through their daily dozen in the middle ring high-spirited Bengal tiger suddenly attacked the lion and the gang having sounded tamer Klose became referee pluckily standing his ground while he attempted to separate the struggling beasts...Round 1 went to the tiger but the second, tan than gave his assailant blow had Signor

    Carnera been present would have made him look sick. With one stroke the lion had almost torn off one of the Bengal's hind legs meantime the other tigers and lions who were attentive ring siders the bout began to show...making the tamer-referees position all the more critical Firemen were summoned with earnest pleas to bring along the hose and finally the combatants were subdued by means of violent jets of water Circus vets took care of the wounded tiger and the crowd lustily cheered, the courageous tamer Klose told the local police that he was not going to part with the lion whose Intelligence was well any element of personal risk he him self might be taking."
    • TURIN

    Rudolf Kludsky trains this mixed group of lions and tigers in the stadium of Turin. In the same year each group of species had to be separated as the lions oftentimes attacked the tiger and even killed several specimens.
    squaresolid • [squarefocus] Tales of The Unforgotten: Tigers of...
    • VERONA:
    • VIENNA:

    Sir Thomas Lawrence's Letter-bag

    The Smithsonian magazine tried to elaborate on this, but the person who cited that romans said the tiger always won, came from a person who has no credentials in roman history, and is just a news reporter:

    Rose Eveleth


    She has never studied any roman history nor is peer to have any credibility in roman archaeological back ground. Just cites Wikipedia, a source that most masters do not rely on for validity. As she has never worked with lions or tigers, the Smithsonian already answered this question from the head keeper there:William H blackbrune

    Mr Blackburne is firm his his belief that the lion is the true King of beasts and can whip anything that walksIn contrasts but none more amazing than the golf yawning between the majesty has ferocious than is the one that lies quietly in a tiger, but it was all part of the days To this generation the name of Jumbo has become something Legendary Much of Blackburne's time as a trainer of wild animals…he likes the lion "Lions are more easily trained and straightforward than he asserts "A lion Is either good or bad.

    The lion is the king of among beasts in other ways than in looks. I once put a big tiger in a cage with a lion, chaining the lion but giving him slack enough to stand up and turn around. It was a night parade and the red fire was burned on the top of my wagon and the animals became greatly excited. The tiger pounced on the lion but I stopped the battle with the stool upon which I had been setting. Later the fight was renewed, the lion knocking the tiger down five times.The lion. In my opinion, can whip anything that walks.

    Here are some real historians:

    Ken spiro roman historian

    Next, the arena was lowered to feature combat between them as lions tore apart tigers, an went up against bears, croc’s leopards against wolves. It goes without saying that the Romans had never heard of animal rights.”

    Martin Seyer's dissertation Vienna University

    "Another subspecies very closely related to the Asian lion - the Barbary lion or Panthera leo leo - became extinct in the wild in 1922 (in Morocco). This animal the Barbary lion had been the dominant animal in the blood sports of the Roman arenas."


    Among its main areas of research are the History of the Holy Roman Empire geschichte.

    Most likely professor Seyers was correct, since alot of other cultures have had this famed most powerful lion, and they too had stated that the lion had done incredible feats:King of Sweden:


    The king, of whom I have just narrated so many anecdotes, had a very large lion‘ presented to him by one of the Barbary powers.There were at this time several bears kept by the butchers about the shambles in Stockholm, and his majesty, being anxious to witness a rencontre between one of these animals and the lion, ordered them to be brought into contact with each other. lu the lion's den there were two apartments, into one of which the bear was introduced.

    On the lion, however, getting access to that animal, he found him posted in a corner; when, going up to him, he gave him a slight rap with his paw, as if to see of what materials his visitor was composed.The bear, not liking this kind of salutation, growled, and endeavored to parry it. This made the lion angry: when, ‘ with one- fell swoop,‘ with -his paw, as the story goes, he laid the bear dead at his feet. books.google.com/

    Scientifically the lions strength is backed up by many sources

    :The african lions striking strength

    The queen of france also did this as well with a tiger:


    an exploit of this description, attended with more than ordinary peril, marked the commencement of Crichton's amour with Marguerite de Valois. A combat of animals had been commanded. Scaffoldings, reared around the court, were graced with the flower and loveliness of the land.

    A fiercely-contested fight between the ruler of the forest and the sole disputant of his sway, the striped tiger, had terminated in the defeat of the latter.With mane erect and paw heavily imposed upon the lacerated breast of his antagonist, the kingly brute, still growling with rage, glared defiance at the assemblage; when, and amid the bush of silent admiration that succeeded his victory, was heard the light musical laugh of the Queen of Navarre, and the next moment her embroidered kerchief fell at the feet of the slaughtered tiger.


    16th century artifact:

    Copper engraving by the well listedItalian artist Pietro Aquila (1650-1692 Rome). Pietro Aquila was an Italian painter and print maker of the Baroque period.


    ~Carl Borromäus Andreas Ruthart

    Died in Rome L’AquliaBorn the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation, Carl Borromäus Andreas Ruthart traveled to Italy very early on. His trace can be found in Rome and Venice between 1652 and 1659. After finishing his apprenticeship, he came to work in Antwerp in order to perfect his knowledge.

    Many of artist visit Rome, and poets alike, and they take Italian, Greek or roman art and writings and craft there own version, one of them being John gay, who visited Rome and in return to England gave a gift to the duke of a story similar to Aesop’s fables (one of the first roman poets).

    A TIGER roaming for his prey,
    Sprang on a traveler in the way;
    A lion came to claim the prize
    And soon the greedy tiger dies.
    The man then knelt, his life to crave;
    His life the lion hero gave,
    And him bespoke,—" You saw the fight
    And must confess my power and might,
    Within these woods I reign alone,
    All other beasts my sway must own."
    "True," said the man, "the strength 1 saw, All kinds of beasts full well might awe,

    "I have seen no fiercer beast than yon lion, even in the amphitheater of Rome,"

    A Tiger, roaming for his prey,
    Sprung on a Traveler in the way;
    The prostrate game a lion spies,
    And on the greedy tyrant flies:
    With mingled roar resounds the wood,
    Their teeth, their claws, distil with blood;
    Till, vanquished by the Lion's strength,
    The striped foe extends his length.
    The Man besought the shaggy lord,
    And on his knees for life implor'd:
    His life the generous hero gave.
    Together walking to his cave,
    The Lion thus bespoke his guest:
    'What hardy beast shall dare contest My matchless strength? you saw the fight, And must attest my pow'r and right. Fore'd to forego their native home, My starving slaves at distance roam.Away from things that seem mythical, or made up, alot of modern records up hold the lion was the usual winner against the tiger, well atleast the bengal tiger:

    One of the greatest lion tamers of all time: Clyde beatty

    Many roman theologians have gave up information about the lion in the roman arenas:About the romans:

    the lion is king of beasts and supreme over all other beasts. The bear, while it certainly is a predator to be feared, did not match the speed nor the strength of the Lion

    About the roman records:

    like a bear, a beast second only to the lion in its strength and fierceness,

    The bear is the strongest beast after the lion and is distinguished for its voracity, but it has none of the agility

    Lioness kills bear in roman arena:


    They also venerated certain animals, especially the most powerful of them all, the lion

    Cruel and rapacious as the others, the bear is inferior in strength and courage to the lion


    Cicero mentions a single lion that won 200 Bestariisbooks.google.com

    The gladiators halted in front of the magistrates' bench, threw their weapons into the air, and then turned to...the bear stood growling in the center of the arena, the lion march back to Round and round they whirled; little could be seen but flying sand and mangled fur. Then a pitiful cry came from the bear and blood began to flow into the sand. The lion stood over him, gnawing at the bear's throat. Out into the middle of the arena came men with nets, quietly approaching the victorious lion to throw their nets over him and drag him away.


    The lion seemed to have even beaten bears in the roman arena, and if we look at more modern records, lions have killed bears in captivity as well:
    African lion vs Grizzly Bear

    In 1235 the holy Roman emperor, Frederick 2, reputedly presented the King with the castles first lions to honor his marriage to Henry’s sister, Isabella, and quite possibly to symbolically acknowledge the power of the King himself. In 1277 Edward the 1st, built the so-called lion tower, a semi circular structure which housed the great cats. Interestingly, in 2005 archaeologists discovered the skulls of three medieval cats, two lions and a leopard, in the moat; the oldest skull has been dated to between 1280 and 1385.

    Verboeckhoven was a regular participant at the Ghent (1820 and 1824) and Brussels Salons (1827–1860). He visited the Ardennes, France, Great Britain (1826), Germany (1828) and Italy (1841).
    Eugène Joseph Verboeckhoven

    One of his pieces:

    (15th century) Edmund Spenser

    Are met at spoiling of some hungry prey,Both challenge it with equal greediness:But first the Tiger claws there on did lay;And therefore loth to loose her right away,Doth in defence there of full stoutly stond:To which the Lion strongly doth gainsay,That she to hunt the beast first took in hond;And therefore ought it have, wherever she it fond.books.google.com

    (16th century)Allen ramseyThe savage tiger feels the potent flame: The grim majestic lion growls his love To the resounding forest.—Wilder thou Than nature's wildest race, spurn'st at that power To which all nature bows.—But why of these, Of the grim lion, or the spotted lynx, Or wily serpent ?—these have sense and feeling. Even trees inanimate confess the god: See how the vine clings with a fond embrace; The mountain fir, the pine, the elm, the beech, Have each their favour'd mate: they burn, they sigh, &c

    (17th century)
    Gotthold ephraim:


    Lion kills a tiger by biting him in the throat

    Another artist who traveled to Rome was George stubbs:

    17th -18th centuryAlexander Wilson

    The shaggy lion rushes to the place, With roar tremendous seizes on his prey.Exasperate the tiger springs away.Stops short and maddens at the monarch's growl;And through his eyes darts all his furious soul.Half willed, yet half afraid to dare a bound.He eyes his loss, and roars, and tears the ground.

    Many of these lions and tigers were gifts from roman rulers to british rulers, the artist and poets reported their characteristics and traits upon what they are shown similar today displaying.
    .History of the romans:

    lions usually finished off tigers. But not even the ferocious charge of the rhinoceros could penetrate the thick hide of the elephant. The afternoon brought more variety

    (Annual Editions: Western Civilization, Volume 1, 13/e, Volume 1)
    Lions usually finished off tigers

    Western Civilization

    (Facts and Details)Decapitating ostriches with crescent-headed arrows was a favorite trick at gladiator battles. The crowds cheered and roared with laughter as the ostrich continued to run around after its head was cut off. Bears usually defeated bulls. Packs of hounds easily dispatched deers. Lions usually defeated tigers. Not even a rhino could penetrate the hide of an elephant.

    Some video evidence:heroes fought with Spartan there, For ocean's empire, and both reap'd despair So, while two tigers struggle for a prey, The mightier lion bears the spoil away.The Philomathic journal(Edward Beecher)

    Occupation : Theologian

    And slew before their wond'ring sight, A wild beast conquered in the fight. A tiger who confronting stood And from this lion sought for blood ; But in this sanguinary strife The tiger sacrificed his life. While with flesh torn from slaughtered prey

    One of the oldest if not the oldest artifact in rome, came from pompeii, and it initially showed a lion defeating a tiger in the house of faun.

    Translated from Italian, a large mosaic of a lion attacking a tiger was badly damaged:www.romanoimpero.


    Only fragments were found of the mosaic in the room next to the exedra (plate 79:15), a scene with a lion bringing down a tiger


    Hence this artifact is a replica restored of the house of faun:"
    This Exhibition was organized by the Napoleonic authorities in the Capitol in Rome."


    The interesting thing is, there are hundreds of different amphitheaters of the roman empire, these were the places they held animal and gladiatorial combats at, since there are so much, I’m sure if the proper historian was contacted, they could translate some of the roman written records into english and share more accounts and occasions of who usually won.If we look at why the lion would be so successful in combat, alot of it would be because of his mane as his added armor:
    The african lions mane:

    Oddly enough, if the lion won in the roman arenas, why would the lion not win any where else? Well, reviewing some of the worlds artifacts of the science of archaeology, it seems every culture has had a artifact similar to the romans, from chinese, british, indian, japanese, german ect, all showing the lion in a dominant position or defeating a tiger:

    So most likely this was true all around, that the lion is the more powerful animal of the two if we went on that stand point.

    In 342 AD, more people were killed in religious fights between different fractions of Christians in Constantinople, than in Pagan persecutions of Christians in whole Roman Empire.

    Can somebody verify BTW? Info comes from a book, that does not provide sources.

    The Emperor Valerian ended his life as an imperial footstool.

    What good did they do? They brought slavery and destruction to the peoples they invaded.
Write a reply…


Submit reply


Thanks for posting! You just need to create an account in order to submit the post
  1. this can't be left blank
    that username has been taken, please choose another Forgotten your password?
  2. this can't be left blank
    this email is already registered. Forgotten your password?
  3. this can't be left blank

    6 characters or longer with both numbers and letters is safer

  4. this can't be left empty
    your full birthday is required
  1. Oops, you need to agree to our Ts&Cs to register
  2. Slide to join now Processing…

Updated: August 21, 2016
TSR Support Team

We have a brilliant team of more than 60 Support Team members looking after discussions on The Student Room, helping to make it a fun, safe and useful place to hang out.

Would you rather be able to
Useful resources

The Student Room, Get Revising and Marked by Teachers are trading names of The Student Room Group Ltd.

Register Number: 04666380 (England and Wales), VAT No. 806 8067 22 Registered Office: International House, Queens Road, Brighton, BN1 3XE

Reputation gems: You get these gems as you gain rep from other members for making good contributions and giving helpful advice.