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Roman animal games in the UK
#1
Hi Guys,

I'm new to this site but I do have a question which can be hopefully answered, I know the Romans liked animal games and I'm wondering if they had any such events here in the UK, especially large cat games and if so which types of large cats did they use in the arena.

Sincerely Mike
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#2
(05-02-2017, 09:29 AM)imw Wrote: I know the Romans liked animal games and I'm wondering if they had any such events here in the UK

Animal fights were popular all over the empire, and there are amphitheatres in many of the major Roman towns and cities across Britain that could well have hosted them. Working out exactly what form these games or fights might have taken is not so easy; I wondered a while ago whether there was any evidence for the more exotic animals that we knew appeared in arenas in Italy and North Africa in the more northern provinces. Apparently not though.

Bones of bears, and the skull of a bull, have been found in the substructures of the amphitheatre in London. These were probably the remains of fighting animals - we know that troops on the Rhine were sometimes sent to round up bears for the arena, and these more 'local' beasts, along with wolves and wild boar, perhaps hunted from horseback, would probably have formed the main attraction for any animal shows in Britain too. In fact, bears may have been far more common and popular in arenas across the empire than the lions and other big cats we usually associate with such things.

There's a brief article about the London amphitheatre finds here: Excavation reveals ancient site of slaughter
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