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"The Romans staged spectacles of fighting gladiators, a practice they were given by the Etruscans, not merely at their festivals and in their theatres, but also at their banquets. That is, some would invite their friends to dinner and to other pleasant pastimes, but in addition they might witness two or three pairs of gladiators. When they were all sated with dining and drink, they called in the gladiators. No sooner did one have his throat cut than the masters applauded with delight."
Nicolaus of Damascus, Athletica (IV.153)
References: Gladiator Fight during a Meal at Pompeii (1880) by Francesco Netti (1880) is in the Museo di Capodimonte (Naples); Nicolaus of Damascus is quoted by Alfonso Manas in "New Evidence of Female Gladiators: The Bronze Statuette at the Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe of Hamburg" (2011) in The International Journal of the History of Sport, 28(18), 2726–2752.
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