Ludi Romani 2761 Munera reports (Nova Roma)
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There were unfortunately few entries in these important Munera. As we had thus just four entries, the competition table was obvious, and we were to begin the contest by the semifinals.
Direct from Circus Maximus, by our reporters P. Plautius Dives Aremoricus and Lucia Solaris Divina for CLC (Catena Ludorum Curulium)
[PPDA] Good afternoon to all, and first our apologies for the technical problem that we have now. Our whole team is trying to fix it. My neighbor and colleague Lucia Solaris Divina's microphone is out of order, and, as I am not used to share mine, I will report to you, until the microphone is fixed, all Divina's thoughts, I mean her interventions.
This year 2761, aedilis Memmius decided, for NR 10th Birthday, to offer the Munera in the Circus Maximus, in order to honor republican tradition. It is certainly not the whole campus, the whole Circus' track, that has been assigned to this event, but just the arena, i.e. the space including both Circus Primus and Intimus, from the carceres to the prima meta and the Circenses starting line.
The sky is a bit cloudy this afternoon, but the weather is mild. At 4pm, it is the ideal one to fight and sweat.
The aedile and his team have been deceived by the low enthusiasm showed by the ludi owners for these Romani Munera, though we are in NR 10th Birthday year. Only four gladiators will fight, two of them being featured by one owner, Gaul G. Petronius Dexter. Besides, the opponent that the first dextrian gladiator is going to meet is also a Gaul fighter, or, to be more correct, he belongs to a Gaul team, L. Rutilius Minervalis' one. The last entered is a C. Tullius Valerianus Germanicus' man and comes from Nova Britannia. Well, in short, Gallia has saved Rome.
1st semifinal: Hierocles (mirm.) vs. Diogenes (sec.)
Today's first pugna may be let us perplexed, for either it will be exciting, or boring, for both adversaries have almost the same profile.
Diogenes, rutilian gladiator, is a secutor, while Hierocles is a mirmillo: same equipment, except the helmet whose crest is bigger for the mirmillo. Furthermore, both men have the same height, to within one Roman digitus (6 pedes and 3 digiti), and, according what displayed the weigh-in aedilician scribes, the same weight (223,6 librae). If both fighters are well-proportioned and show an harmonious musculature, they are thus no giants or monsters. They are nearly, to within training and science of fighting, men like me or like your sister, Lucia. This said, Hierocles indeed looks rather like your sister, delicious Ursula, than me, specially when we see how big are his biceps and when we are told that he can crush nuts with just two fingers... Please, Lucia? What did you say? That your sister crushes nuts too, but not with her fingers... Well... thanks, Divina... let us go on...
What to say more, apart that both men are Reds, and fresh on the circuit, even tirones in Nova Roma central circuit. A little advantage must be granted to Diogenes, who seems having fought for a longer time than his 25 y.o. younger. The aedile has displayed an age of 27 for Diogenes, but the most directly affected apparently doubts himself about his birthday. Hierocles was born and grew up in Sparta, while Diogenes apparently comes from northern Greece, or Asia Minor, we do not exactly know.
What, Divina? Yes, you are right! Diogenes fights for Blues and Hierocles for Reds.
Ah! You just hear the trumpet. The doors of both claustra open, and both men are stepping into the arena.
The crowd, which has gathered in Circi Primus et Intimus tribunes, cheers them. The factiones supporters warm up their voices, but the mood stays kind, probably because Praesina is not represented in these Munera and that the entered are not many. Even sellers seem cool. Both gladiators are not, however. They stand now so that the sun is perpendicular to the fictive line that is joining them. This sun is shining from over the Aventine tribune. The Circus may contain today around 20 to 25,000 spectators, for the upper tribunes degrees are not all occupied.
Here falls the mappa, from Aed. P. Memmius Albucius' hand. Albucius has stepped forward on the podium towards the magisterial cella, built at the center of the carceres flat roof. And when the mappa falls, we can hear the "Pugnate!" shouted by the referee, and the outcries rising up again.
Both warriors wear the colors of their factio. Diogenes thus wears a red loincloth, the usual rather baggy secutors' loincloth, while Hierocles wears a kind of skirt whose red is the same color than my colleague's Solaris's lipstick, L. Solaris Divina being here by my side, concentrated on the fight.
Both gladiators are right-handed too, and thus hold the pugio in the right and the scutum in the left. A thick leather manica covers their right arm, and an metal ocrea protects their left tibia.
Here we see them now stepping aside. They are now keeping on the line of an invisible circle whose center is the referee, A. Lentulus Batiatus, the famous former albatus gladiator. Diogenes has relaxed his guard, and holds his scutum as he would hold a basket filled with apples, swinging it smoothly. His pugio is sleeping along his right leg. A few steps later, he comes around back.
Hierocles, who has first put himself on guard mode, left leg bent and scutum covering his body down to the knee, has relaxed, and, even if he is keeping the shield towards Diogenes, he acts as his elder.
This dances lasts at least five minutes, and a handful of people in the tribunes begin to whistle. But Diogenes stops once more, and the audience waits: is he going to keep on walking around like a caged lion? But, in an apparently insignificant move, Diogenes has grasped his scutum, even if it is still looking the ground. He shrugs his shoulders as if he was hesitating, and suddenly moves three steps forward. The public stands up as if he has been informed of a historical military victory, and Veneti cheer again.
What is going to do young Hierocles? Will he give ground or accept the challenge and come into the imaginary circle? Will he come to contact?
The Spartan has stopped, lifting insensibly his shield, as if he tried to hide the expression of his face. Younger than Diogenes, he is however less pleasing, with his flat nose marked by the heavy visor of his preferred field helmet. He is thinking... But here he has made his mind, and entering the circle, but cautiously. One step, then another... He has now bent again on guard, the gladius at chest level. One more step and both men will be within range. Diogenes seems stretching his shoulders, or sighing, while lifting his shield up to his shoulder. The shield does not protect his chest. He is sideways, watching Hierocles over his right shoulder.
Suddenly, with no particular previous warning, Diogenes just stood on his back leg out, and come immediately hitting the wood of Hierocles' scutum with his pugio's edge. At the same time, he quickly draws his own shield into the inside and striked Hierocles' arm that is holding the gladius.
Even if the Spartan is muscled, the speed and the strenght of the blow chase the arm into the inside, where the gladius is immediately jammed under Hierocles left arm, that has drawn the scutum closer to the body, after Diogenes' pugio attack.
Nobody can naturally see the eyes of young Petronius' protégé, but everybody can imagine his disarray. During a short eternity, just a handful of seconds, Hierocles finds himself crossed arms, such a momified Pharaon, with his scutum and pugio instead of a crook and a flail. But the rub is that the second one is stuck under the first one.
The spectators have understood how important was this moment. They are shouting more and more. The regular ones now expect that Diogenes pushes Hierocles with his scutum and his whole body weight, and that, both arms still jammed, Hierocles at best looses ground over 30 feet, at worst stumbles and falls on the back.
But Diogenes' next move amazes almost everyone. With the pugio that has come back at shoulder level, and now protecting himself with his scutum placed in his body axis, Diogenes takes a short and quick leap and strikes Hierocles' helmet left upper side.
From the public arises a "ohhh !", as well a surprise as an admiration one. For people now understand that Diogenes has preferred renouncing to the most obvious tactics, in favor of a formidable train. Hierocles, wholly busy covering his center and right flank and at the same time trying to release his arms, did not imagine this attack, and sure was thinking instead to the push, and how he could oppose it at best and step backward in good manner and the lowest losses.
We have heard his helmet clinging and seen his head swinging to the right. Unconsciously, he tried to protect this head, and his shield right arm arose, which had a double consequence: first his both arms got more stuck than ever, but second and overall, it opened a small breach in his central defense.
Diogenes immediately leaped forward, and, instead hitting with the right arm, slided his right iron protected wrist under Hierocles' shield and, sterilizing his own pugio, put all his first efforts in opening aside the Spartan's shield.
Yes, I know what you are going to say, Lucia: this way, he faced the risk releasing Hierocles stuck pugio arm. But see! He has just canceled this possible advantage thanks to a second but quite simultaneous move: he has pressed Hierocles upper chest and chin with his scutum.
You sure hear the public, whose shoutings are getting louder and louder.
Hierocles has sure admitted he would step backward, but not like this! His pugio, released during one or two seconds, is now jammed again under his opponent's shield. And the scutum also presses his head back, specially thanks to the mirmillo's helmet convenient angles.
Oh!!! Diogenes has now taken profit that his younger was stepping backward and did not see much anymore – and indeed, the mirmillo's helmet is not great in such a situation – to place his right leg behind Hierocles' left one, and the Laconian has fallen down in the worst attitude: the left arm stretched and the shield fully open, and now unuseful.
But in the fall, Diogenes has lapsed and has, by his own speed and strength, been thrown over behind Hierocles. The Spartan is now on the ground, fully vulnerable.
This is now a question of time. If Hierocles managed to stand up towards Diogenes, all will start over again.
Despite his little lapse, Diogenes has quickly reacted: he covers in a glance the two paces between the lying man and he, and, just before Hierocles holds up his head, gives, with his pugio pommel, a violent strike on the helmet, this time on the eyes grid. Naturally the helmet protects the Spartan, but the blow has pressed his head again on the sand and dazes him just as needed. Diogenes can then, with no more attention to Hierocles scutum or pugio, take a last short leap to place his right knee near the younger's shoulder and slide his own cold blade onto Hierocles' neck.
The experienced audience, who has well seen the last moves, has suddenly stopped shouting. The few "Veneta veneta !" that were surging out just one minute before are now dead in Blues's throats. Silence covers the Circus. This is death or life time.
We just have heard: "Amitto !", weakly said by the Spartan's voice that smothers helmet, a short breath, and probably the fear, well understandable, to leave now Rome's sweet sky for the kingdom of Hadès.
Hierocles' left hand has succeeded getting rid of its scutum, that falls swinging on the sand, and the young fighter hits now the ground with the palm of his hand. Once, twice, repeating: "Amitto !"
Silence is getting on, but people has heard the weak and muffled ordinary sound of the palm on the sand and suddenly took pity on the young gladiator. He has just lost against a stronger one. And people are thinking that a more experienced warrior would have shouted "amitto" louder, and just once, and let afterwards Fortuna doing her job.
Batiatus, the referee, has kneeled down at Hierocles' feet, the right-hand index pointing at Diogenes' gladius. This one has understood, let his shield fall, too, and just got a steadier position, the pugio still on the Spartan's neck. But his eyes now quietly travel from Batiatus black eyes to the tribunes.
Batiatus has known soon that Diogenes knew his job, and that he would wait for the People's decision. The old champion stands up, and opens his still muscular arms to the crowd, his baton in his right hand.
"Et nunc, Romani ? Jugulandus seu mittite ?" (and now, Quirites, should he be killed or will you let him go?)
Silence goes on during twenty seconds about, and one can even hear Batiatus' sandals on the arena's sand. Then rise a few "Jugula", but quick covered, as such supplications, by a breaker of "Mitte! Mitte!"
A. Lentulus Batiatus then comes back to Hierocles, standing over his helmet, between sun and man. Ponctuating his judgment with the right arm, he throws up to the Circus: "Mittatur !" (Be he released!), and, while the crowd is rejoicing, including Russati, Diogenes stands up, the pugio still in the hand. His eyes meet Batiatus' ones, who comes and grasp the winner's arm in order to wave it to the Circus Maximus.
In their back, Hierocles has kneeled up. He is not dead but not yet back among the alive. This is the first time that he has a so close brush with death. Welcome in Rome, boy... Batiatus leaves Diogenes to the crowd and its cheerings, and comes back to the young Spartan. He puts his hand on Hierocles' large shoulder, and repeats low voice : "Mitte, bone, mitte ! Exitus acta probat ! I !" (you are safe, boy! Things ends well! Go now!).
Diogenes thus goes in the Finals. Rather short fight, Divina, but so exciting, and a technical lesson, was not it ? Let us see what will offer us the second Semifinal...
2nd semifinal: Lucanus (hopl.) vs. Hanno Carth. (thr.)
Here we are back in the Maximus, P. Plautius Dives Aremoricus speaking after a short ads page, sponsored by our partner, Egidiocula, the famous blades seller, whose motto is "Aediculis seu tabernaculis, semper Egidiocula!" (At home or in the hotel, always Egidiocula!).
Let us come back direct to the fight, who has just begun, and forgive us for this. Well, Divina, I do not know if it is because of the previous fight, but this time, this Second Semi has started as an essedum in Circenses ! - Effectively. I think like you, Publi, that Lucanus has watched, and attentively, the previous fight, by his coach's side. I should better say, equaria Petronius' coach, famous former champion Spartacus. I believe that the equaria has drawn the consequences of Hierocles' defeat...
- Yes, the tactics now is wholly different : Lucanus has stepped ahead to his opponent. Let us remind for our cives, and for the others who are many on our channel during the Games period, that Lucanus, who belongs to Ludus G. Petronius Dexter, is a Latin from Aquinum, and a hoplomachus. Like all hoplomaqui, and the usual spectators forgive us this basic reminder, Lucanus fights with a spear and a shield, et grosso modo exactly the same protections than his Thraex opponent, Hanno Carthaginiensis, who fights for Blues and C. Tullius Valerianus Germanicus, whose corporation is registered in Nova Britannia, on the wild side of Mare Atlantica.
- Yes, Divina, even if the helmet is lightly different, and less streghtened up on its sides, it is the same body equipment. The shield, however...
- ..is a parma, this is to say the old hoplites' round shield, and the one that our legions equitatae well know. The parma does not thus cover as well as the scutum used by our foot legionaries.
- His diameter does not thus cover an average tall fighter's chest, and we can well see that, right now - while Lucanus has just launched a new attack with his right arm on Hanno's shoulder and that Hanno has fend off thanks his small square shield – that this parma does not cover the chest of such a tall man as our Red, who is... seven Roman feet for one digitus tall.
- Ah he is a very handsome and impressing man, Publi, a true giant, with muscles, large shoulders, and not brain enough to loose his time speaking Greek philosophy when he is with a wife. He weighs, according what I have been told, 277 librae and 10 unciae, which gives a perfect proportion for his high and height.
- ...so parma for Lucanus the hoplomachus and spear, a 6 feet spear, so smaller than its owner, without forgetting the pugio that Lucanus has slided into his belt, on his left side. This is here a major difference between the retiarius and the hoplomachus. They both get a long range weapon, but, in addition, the hoplomachus has a short hand blade.
- And on the other side, the Thraex, here Hanno carthaginiensis and his square parma, which is around 2/3 large as a secutors or a mirmillos scutum, with in his right hand the fameux sica supina, curved towards the inside, even if the weapon's curve depends naturally on the side where you point it to.
- ... but you are right, Aremorici, I have not often seen a Thraex pointing his sica towards the outside, rather than to his opponent...
- Ah ! Once again a blow given by Lucanus, that has this time slipped on the wood of the Thraex' parma.
- Please you purists forgive us, but that is true that, momre and more, people, and we too, are used to call “parmae” every small shields, in order to distinguish them of the scuta, while a parma is normally round.
- Right, Divina ! In fact, Hanno has quite some problems... he does not succeed, since twenty minutes now, to cancel the range that Lucanus' spear has defined. Indeed, Lucanus surprises me, for he uses his height with much cleverness... - ... Spartacus' advices, probably !
- Sure, no doubt that Master Spartacus has a sure got the word in Aquinum born fighter's head, some minutes before the fight began, in the locker-room : hold him constantly away, at your range !
- Do you think that this range is a key element, Publi ?
- Key... I do not know, but – yes, good try by Hanno, but he banged into the hoplo's shield – maybe not essential, but important, sure. Without spear, Lucanus will keep the advantage of a longer arm range, but the agility will be then rather on the Punic's side.
- ... who is slimmer, wirier...
- Yes, I do not know where he comes from exactly, dear Lucia, but I would not be amazed if this warrior were a mixed product from both Sicca Veneria land populations – so maybe the affection for the sica comes from there ! - and of fierce Numidian tribes. Look at this face, that evoked at the same time the cedar, Baal cult, and Heliopolis valley as the desert where Caius Marius has illustrated.
- He got him ! Lucanus just hit Hanno on the arm... or rather on the right arm wrist flaw !
- But the wound seems superficial. Yes, first blood, but it seems that the spear has just stung the skin... But you've seen Hanno's eyes...
- His grin, you mean ?
- Yes, but it meant that he was angry against himself, and perhaps against his assistants, because his gauntlet has not well covered his arm protection straps.
- He does not seem to be that hurt...
- No, I don't think so, and if ever he were, he would not show anything. See, he has even taken some time to readjust gauntlet and arm straps, avoiding in a small leap a new attack by Lucanus. And now he is walking !
- Listen to the public, Aremorici !The Veneti are recovering ! And here are the Russati shouting louder, to answer their rivals !
- Attack by Hanno to Lucanus' left foot, and Lucanus well turn his body towards the blow.. the spear.. blocked above Hanno's left shoulder... This kind of attack can well come to a successful end, but Hanno must care not being unbalanced... a slight error, and the Latin has him rocked on the sand of the arena.
- What is sure is that both men sweat well, now. See their chest, their back...
- Again an attack by the Punic, again on the left foot ! Lucanus has well seen it, and replies...
- Ohhh ! the spear !
- The spear has stuck in Hanno's parma ! In the binding running around the shield ! - He... Hanno has left away his shield, Publi ! With the spear still stuck in it. He is drawn quickly the spear and Lucanus as well...
- .. yes, and Lucanus has nearly fallen ahead, his whole body following the stuck spear. - Yes, he is bulky and sure could have resisted to Hanno's drawing, but sure he did not want to let his spear away, just during two seconds, and...
- ...and it is over! It is over, Lucia ! Incredible ! Incredible dear Quirites ! For those among you who are not watching the image, here what has just happened – and I will speak louder, for the public is shouting like ever! Lucanus has followed his spear on two steps, as if he has stumble himself, and when he realized that he was offering his whole chest to Hanno, he has been reactive enough to stretch his parma the most ahead as possible, at the same time to protect him, but also to make his position steadier.
- .. but Hanno has rolled sliding beneath, Publi !
- Yes, he hass left away his own parma, still adorned with Lucanus' spear, and as if it were a vulgar wooden stick. Then he rolled into Lucanus' feet, under and over the Latin's shield! - ..and he did not even used his sica !
- No : he just pushed backward both legs with his hands! And Lucanus has lost his base, and fall down on Hanno..
- But Hanno had calculated this, and has rolled again, on his side, this time. - Yes, in order to let Lucanus crushing both arms stretched, and the head coming kissing the ground!
- And Hanno has just to leap quick on Lucanus' back, riding him like a horse, and showing clear and high his sica!
- Mitte ! Publi, Mitte !
- Ah! This is well, Lucia, this is normal : Lucanus has well fought, this is justice, indeed!
- All happened so fast, Publi, since Hanno magic roll.
- The Carthaginian is now putting his gauntlet off, waving the crowd while looking to his wound, and stepping ahead to take Lucanus' hand to help him standing up ! The public is happy! Ah, Hanno could be a Roman! Good fight and formidable end, for wholly unpredictable. - Frankly, dear Aremorici, I could have taken a short bet on Lucanus ! - I could have too, Lucia! I thought that the physical fitness would have done the difference. So: Hanno winner, thanks to chance, but a chance that he took benefit of very cleverly. Valerianus' gladiator is waving the crowd again, shaking now hands with the judge, and looks now up to the cella, the right fist on his heart. Mittatur Lucanus, and sure owner G. Petronius Dexter is relieved : he will ends the day with both men alive !
- Concerning Hanno, he is going to heal his wound, and, I think, be sharp ready for the Finals.
- Oh, sure no doubt about it! He will be there! This man is dangerous, and Diogenes, Gaul Minervalis' secutor has to distrust him very much!
Here were reporting L. Solaris Divina and P. Plautius Dives Aremoricus reporting for CLC from Circus Maximus. We now know our Munera finalists: Diogenes secutor vs. Hanno thraex. See you all for the Finals!
Finals: Diogenes (sec.) vs. Hanno Carth. (thr.)
16 :30 - Direct from Circus Maximus, by our reporters P. Plautius Dives Aremoricus and L. Solaris Divina for CLC (Catena Ludorum Curulium). This is today a.d. XVII Kal. Octobres (Sept. 7, 2008) , M. Moravio T. Iulio being consuls in this 2761 a.u.c. 10th Birthday year! At daybreak, temperature was 12° C, but now, with the sun at its zenith, it is around 22° C. The sky, however, is very cloudy.
Here I, P. Plautius Dives Aremoricus, am sitting down on a bank of the Circus Maximus, used as amphitheatre for these munera. And now we will live a big day, the seventh of the Games, the very final fight where Secutor Diogenes will defy Thraex Hanno Carthaginiensis.
Let me feature the gladiators' owners. Diogenes is owned by L. Rutilius Minervalis, prefect of the Gauls, often staying in his beautiful Palatine villa, in Clivus Sacer. Hanno Carthaginiensis, is owned by C. Tullius Valerianus Germanicus, legate of Rhodos Insula (Rhode Island) staying alternatively in Calvaria (Cranston) and in Rome, in his domus located on via Ostiensis, Aventine.
Now, as you can see, both owners are sitting on the honorific places, beneath the cella where are standing now our aedilis, P. Memmius Albucius, and both consules, Hon. M. Moravius Piscinus and T. Iulius Sabinus, the last one chairing this finals. We also can see Vestalis Maxima Valeria Messallina which relighted the fire of Vesta during the ceremony of Nova Roma 10th Birthday, at the eve of the religious year on the Kalends of March. She is also the domina of the factio Veneta, the factio of both gladiators. Here is ready, too, Oppius Fabius Montanus, this finals' referee. Further below, just above the podium, you can see some troublemaker wearing a nice toga, who waves at the camera. I will try to know who he is. But now let us hear the music now!
The pipers and the trumpets playing a Martial march are coming into Circus Maximus with a small procession led by the Pontifex Maximus, replacing the flamen Martialis. Fl. Galerius Aurelianus is heading to the spina to make the sacrifice of the white bull previously decorated with flowers and golden ornaments.
Oh, by Jove, we have getting soaked now! And thence I cannot well see the ritual. It seems that the procession has run to the meta to get shelter in it.... The whole public is under the cloudbursts and the Circus' sand is getting wet. Ahhhh.... the rain just stopped, and.... here is the sun again... and warmer! Vobis gratias Deus Pater, Mars and Apollo! The procession has marched up on the spina and the bull is going to be slain in sacrifice to Mars, while Eolus is now blowing away the last grey clouds. You heard the short bellowing... Taurus vixit... One of my neighbors, just arrived, was wondering whether the officiant was a flamen for he did not well see, while he stepped up to us from the vomitorium, if the sacerdos is or not " apicatus ", i.e. if he is wearing the flamines' conical cap. My other neighbor, wringing toga and tunic, is informing him that the officiant is the current Pontifex Maximus.
Galerius Pontifex has nodded in our direction. Both blood and bowels are favorable, and everyone is sighing. The signs are good, the sun is back, and the finals will be given! Aed. Albucius and Consul Sabinus have exchanged a glance, and the aedile has discretly waved to an armentarius, on the track below, stepping towards the carceres. This is time! And both gates open, and, from the shadow, both champions are now stepping inside the arena under the roaring of the crowd.
The audience is now very hot, the Quirites are shouting out the names of both champions. Some women are deeply moved by these young and muscled men almost naked and ready to a brave death. One of these matronae is just behind me, and asks:
- What is the name of this marvelous man whose long shield is adorned with these splendid Veneta colors?
- He is Diogenes, replies her neighbor, who is still wringing tunic and toga. He is the secutor owned by the prefect of the Gauls, L. Rutilius. Have an eye on him, for Diogenes has many odds on him.
- Well, I'll bid five denarii on this so cute Diogenes, she adds.
Both fighters make a turn around the arena, with the helmets open on their faces and their colors proudly borne, to be better shown by the whole public. So, when they come in front of the aedilis’cella, they stop, face the magistrates and, stretching out their right arms, they pronounce the ritual sentence: "Ave Albuci, morituri te salutant." (Hail, Albucius, those who are about to die salute you). A great shiver then comes all over bleachers.
The pugna will take place in the arena, between the carceres and the spina. That leaves prettu much space left to the men to move comfortable around. All banks, bleachers, terraces, and caveae are full of crowd, men and women. They are mixed today, and everything is alright. All are shouting out some "Macte virtute!", "Feliciter Diogeni!", or "Feliciter Hannoni!". For both champions are equally placed in the big round of applause from the audience. Only the fight will give a winner and a looser.
Suddenly a trumpet sounds loudly, announcing the beginning of the final fight. The gladiators draw their helmets down and, standing face to face, begin to move and try to hit each other. Venetus secutor Diogenes protects himself with his long shield (scutum) and threatens Hanno with his short sword (gladius). Hanno Carthaginiensis is also Venetus. As a Thraex, he has no such shield protection for he just wears a parma. He just ducks the strokes, and sometimes touches with his sickle-shaped sword (sica supina) the long and sparkling Diogenes shield. Both look like wild animals or birds of prey. The whole crowd shouts its enthusiasm. People want blood and excites both men to get it.
The couple Secutor and Thraex, as you know, does not offer long and moderated fights. The only one goal of a Secutor is to disarm and knock his adversary senseless with, for example, a large, big and violent strike of his large shield while, on his side, the Thraex turns around the Secutor and, like a falcon, wait to cross through the Secutor’s defence with his special curved sword. Both, anyway, must be very awake and cautious and in other hand to be forward and daredevil. Both opposite fighting tactics are what really makes spicy such gladiators' fight. And the crowd well knows it, too.
Diogenes, the crowd's favorite, has waited that Hanno has the sun in the eyes. He then suddenly rushes into the Thraex with his large and long shield ahead. This direct move is cheered and clapped by the trembling and excited crowd, but Goddess Fortuna was not with the Secutor at this time, because the Thraex dodges the stroke. Twirling around Diogenes, he manage, with his curved sword, cutting the shield strap which slips down out of Diogenes’arm. The Secutor is not protected any more against Hanno Carthaginiensis, who glances his opponent, kicking the shield aside with a slight smile. A Secutor, as his name tells us, is suppose to pursue his adversary but, in this case, he is to step backward if he wants to survive.
“I am about to lose five denarii”, whines the matrona behind me.
Nevertheless Diogenes refuses to go on fleeing and tries to resist to the of the Thraex just with his gladius. But Hanno's main target is to prevent Diogenes to get back his shield, if ever he could use it normally again. So, he watches standing between the shield and Diogenes, and succeeds to push his opponents a few steps backward, just to have time enough to turn to the shield, to seize without leaving aside his own equipment, and to throw it outside the arena, above the podium, on the first ranks of seats, just beneath the cella where stand the officials. Happily, no spectator is injured. The father and the son who have received the shield have now stood it in front of them, proudly, waiting the end of the Finals to give it back to Diogenes, or, at worst, to his Ludus.
Now the crowd has understood that Diogenes is vulnerable. A great wave of what some Asian sectators might call “compassion” comes all over the bleachers. Diogenes seems a bit breathless and, indeed, he has not reacted when Hanno has turned and taken the scutum away. He would probably have time enough then to rush on the Thraex and give him a few difficulties. Furthermore, blood is going on bleeding from his left shoulder and sure weakens him.
No, Diogenes seems having not enough shrewdness any longer, and the judge has understood it. He leaps between both men, and there is what the crowd was hoping.
In the caveae, thousands of thumbs are up, now. People are satisfied by their Finals and do not want the death of the champion. In the cella, Aedilis Memmius turns the head to Consul Iulius Sabinus. We may read on the Consul's lips the two syllabs: “Mitte”. Then the aedilis steps forward, the left hand holding the folds of his toga, and stretches ahead his right thumb up. The crowd begins getting agitated, but waits the last word: Fabius Montanus judge's one. This one turns round himself, and shouts clear: ”Hanno victor, Diogenes mittatur! ”. The crowd roars a last time and applauds during one minute. People are satisfied.
Diogenes, who had just put one knee on the ground when Montanus referee had stopped the fight, stands up now and steps forward to embrace Hanno. This is one is satisfied to, for, thanks to a surgery blow, has won this so honorific Finals with no harm and loss.
Yes, Lucia? Ah, yes! Remember this citizen, which I called a troublemaker, this man wawing to the camera. In fact he is the respectable and honorable G. Petronius Dexter, Mirmillo Hierocles and Hoplomachus Lucanus' owner, both defeated on the semi-finals.
True, if I well remember, these are his first Ludi, and he seems so happy being here, in the Circus Maximus! Both gladiators are stepping up to the official cella, under the applaudes. Is coming, ten feet behind, Lucanus Petronii, who is thus the third of these historical Romani 10th Birthday Munera, Lucanus the hoplomacus. Consul Sabinus will reward the winner, Hanno, and his owner, Valerianus Germanicus who comes now first of the group of Ludi owners. Albucius aedilis will congratule Diogenes and Minervalis, who is his own praefectus in Gallia, and former governor besides. Last, Praetoriana Scholastica will thank Lucanus and Petronius for their first participation. My colleague Divina tells me that, apparently, and because there were just four entries, the fourth, young Hierocles, same Petronius owner, will be associated. So, here is the end! Gallia has three fighters in this contest and has not won! Honor to Nova Britannia and Gaius Tullius Valerianus Germanicus, whose name, along with Hanno Carthaginiensis, will be forever written in golden letters on Nova Roma Fasti!
It is 17:45 now and P. Plautius Dives Aremoricus and L. Solaris Divina were speaking from the Circus Maximus for C.L.C (Catena Ludorum Curulium), Nova Roma Ludi TV Channel. Thanks to everyone for having watching or listening us.
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