Thursday, September 08, 2011

Massive gladiator school is found under Austrian town

A ROMAN gladiator school where men were trained to fight to the death in the arena has been found by archaeologists on the outskirts of the Austrian capital, Vienna - the first to be discovered outside Italy.

Ground-penetrating radar was used to identify the site of the school at a Roman settlement called Carnuntum, a town of 50,000 people 30 miles east of Vienna that flourished about 1,700 years ago. It was a major military and trade outpost linking the far-flung Roman empire's Asian boundaries to its central and northern European lands.
The academy was one of 100 created to train the fighters who were pitted against each other - and against wild animals - for the entertainment of emperors, senators and commoners alike.

The new find rivals the Ludus Magnus, the largest of Rome's gladiatorial training schools, in its structure, though the archaeologists said the Austrian site is even more detailed than the well-known Roman ruin - down to the remains of a thick wooden post in the middle of the training area, a "mock enemy" that trainee gladiators hacked and slashed away at centuries ago.

More at Scotsman

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