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Nero, Chapter 11: Entertainment
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He [Note 1] gave many entertainments of different kinds: the Juvenales, chariot races in the Circus, stage-plays, and a gladiatorial show. At the first-mentioned, he had even old men of consular rank and aged matrons take part. For the games in the Circus he assigned places to the equites apart from the rest, and even matched chariots drawn by four camels. At the plays which he gave for the Eternity of the Empire," which by his order were called the Ludi Maximi, parts were taken by several men and women of both the orders; a well known Roman eques mounted an elephant and rode down a rope; a Roman play of Afranius, too, was staged, entitled "The Fire," and the actors were allowed to carry off the furniture of the burning Curia and keep it. Every day all kinds of presents were thrown to the people; these included a thousand birds of every kind each day, various kinds of food, tickets for grain, clothing, gold, silver, precious stones, pearls, paintings, slaves, beasts of burden, and even trained wild animals; finally, ships, blocks of houses, and farms. |
Note 1: he = Nero
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Curia:Division of the Roman people for the Assembly, worship and military purposes.