• @RightHandOfIkaros
    link
    English
    4621 days ago

    And then he was killed, probably.

    No way anyone got away with selling fake anything to the empress.

    • @PugJesusOP
      link
      English
      4321 days ago

      There are two options to my thinking:

      1. The cheat was once wealthy, and being stripped of his worldly possessions and humiliated in the arena was considered enough.

      2. As the legal status of combatants in the arena was generally considered to be unfree/enslaved, the fact that he was made into a slave was bad enough (or they sent him to the mines afterwards to work him to death).

      Can’t imagine they’d pass up on an opportunity to have him eaten in front of a roaring crowd if they were just gonna kill him!

      • @[email protected]
        link
        fedilink
        English
        2821 days ago

        I tried to fact check the original anecdote. Turns out there is a source for this, it appears to be from Historia Augusta, a collection of biographies of Roman emperors in the 2nd and 3rd century CE. However, it’s highly debated about how reliable the work is — when it was written is highly debated but it seems to be from the 4th or 5th century CE (which by itself isn’t too big of a problem), and the author seems to be using it to make points about contemporary issues, sort of as a parody. It’s not clear to modern scholars which parts are grounded in the sources and what has been added for flair .

        Anyway, here’s another story that immediately precedes the chicken one in Historia Augusta:

        “Gallienus was, moreover, exceedingly clever, and I would do well to add a few examples of his sharp wit here. Once, when he had a huge bull sent into the amphitheater and the gladiator who was sent to kill him proved unable to kill the bull even after being brought out ten times, Gallienus sent the man a crown. When everyone began to murmur and wonder what the world was coming to for a totally incompetent person to be crowned, Gallienus ordered a herald to announce, ‘It is a difficult thing not to wound a bull so many times.’ "

        Based on that, actually, I wouldn’t be surprised if the merchant in the original story was allowed to live. Partly because as you say, the humiliation may have been seen as punishment enough, but also it’s plausible that the merchant ended up being a sort of monument to Gallienus’ cleverness. This is just speculation though — if the author of Historia Augusta took liberties with history to tell a good story, then I see nothing wrong with my fun headcanons

    • THCDenton
      link
      420 days ago

      I hope it was in good jest.

  • @over_clox
    link
    28
    edit-2
    21 days ago

    I would have been slightly more entertained if it had been a sloth or a raccoon, or even a house cat LOL!

    But yes, if this really happened back then, I can only imagine the audience busting out in laughter! 😂🤣

    Edit: spelling. Damn autocorrect.

    • @Dasus
      link
      2621 days ago

      Raccoons are native to North America and sloths are to Central and South America.

      So yeah prolly would’ve been more entertaining, lol.

      • @over_clox
        link
        1321 days ago

        LOL, wasn’t even thinking of native species to the area at the time, just thinking with my silly noodle cap on 👍 🍝

      • @ours
        link
        English
        420 days ago

        “What is that horrible creature!?! Look at those terrible claws!”

    • @[email protected]
      link
      fedilink
      English
      7
      edit-2
      21 days ago

      Well it had to match the emperors name, gallina means chicken in spanish at least so he is emperor chickens

  • wanderer
    cake
    link
    English
    520 days ago

    Was the emperor some kind of chicken? Gallienus is awfully similar to gallus.