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Bill Thayer

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Collecting all the individual ludus entries on pp319‑320 of

Samuel Ball Platner (as completed and revised by Thomas Ashby):
A Topographical Dictionary of Ancient Rome,
London: Oxford University Press, 1929.

 p319  Ludus Aemilius: a training school for gladiators, which was flanked at least on one side by shops of workers in bronze (Hor. A. P. 32; Porphyrio, Acron, et comm. Cruq. ad loc.). Its location is unknown, but it may possibly have been built by the Triumvir Lepidus, or his son. By the fourth century (Porphyrio, loc. cit.) it had been transformed into a bath and was known as the balneum Polycleti. This name may have been given to the whole establishment from some sign representing the famous sculptor, that had been adopted by the bronze workers of the ludus (Hor. loc. cit.), or it may have been that of the owner of the baths (Jord. I.1.413; Hermes 1875, 416‑424; RE I.593).

Ludus Dacicus: a training school for gladiators from Dacia, assigned to Region III by the Notitia and to Region II by the Curiosum. The former is probably correct, and this ludus was doubtless near the Colosseum and the other ludi (HJ 297; cf. Ludus Matutinus).

 p320  Ludus Gallicus: a training school for Gallic gladiators, in Region II and probably near the Colosseum (Not. Cur.; CIL VI.9470 (?); cf. Ludus Matutinus).

Ludus Magnus: to judge from its name, the principal training school for gladiators in Rome. It was in Region III (Not. Cur.), and is represented on a fragment (4) of the marble Plan as a rectangular court, about 60 by 90 metres in size, surrounded with small chambers and containing an elliptical enclosure. Other references (Herod. I.15.8, 16.3; CIL VI.1645, 1647 (= X.1710), 7659, 10164‑10170) give no information as to its location, but it was probably one of the four established by Domitian (Chron. 146) near the Colosseum, perhaps at the beginning of the via Labicana (HJ 298‑299) or just east of S. Clemente (Atti del Congresso Storico 1907, I.115).

Thayer's Note: See also the good photoillustrated article at Livius.Org; in addition, this photo, which shows the Ludus Magnus in relation to the Colosseum. We are looking roughly west:

[image ALT: A photograph of a rectangular pit about 15 meters wide and its length extending toward us beyond the frame of the photo, in which can be seen a number of ruined one-story brick structures; in the background a four-story stone amphitheatre, partly ruined in that the full four stories are only extant to the viewer's right. It is a view of the Ludus Magnus in Rome with the Colosseum behind it.]

Photo © Giovanni Dall'Orto 2007, by kind permission.

Ludus Matutinus: a training school for gladiators in Region III (Not. Cur.; CIL VI.352, 9470 (?), 10172, 10173, XIV. 2922; IG XIV.1330), probably near the Colosseum on the via Labicana. This ludus may possibly have been called matutinus because it was established for the training of hunters to fight in the venationes that took place in the morning (Ov. Met. XI.26; Mart. VIII.67; XIII.95; Sen. Ep. XII.7.3; Suet. Claud. 34), but this is by no means certain (cf. Pr. Reg. 121; Friedländer, Sittengeschichte II10.65; HJ 299). It was probably one of the four ludi established by Domitian (Chron. 146).

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Page updated: 6 Jun 18