TIL Commodus once held a grand 14 day gladiatorial event with himself as the center piece. The “highlights” include him killing 100 bears in a day. The crowd was hesitant to attend the arena due to a rumour that he would start shooting random spectators in reenactment of the stymphalian birds myth

Read more: https://pressbooks.bccampus.ca/spectaclesintheromanworldsourcebook/chapter/case-study-ii-commodus-161-92-ce/

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  1. there’s also this

    >And this story was believed, too, because he had once gathered all the men in the city who had lost their feet as the result of disease or some accident, and then, after fastening about their knees some likenesses of serpents’ bodies, and giving them sponges to throw instead of stones, killed them with blows of a club, pretending that they were giants.

    It’s worth noting that reenacting ancient greek myths in violent ways wasn’t invented by Commodus, it’s was a pretty common and popular event at the arena, but it was usually used as a way to execute prisoners in extravagant ways, like they would have use machines that would make people float above the arena, dress then in wings and then drop them to their deaths, to reenact the myth of Icarus etc, but Commodus was probably the only one who took it to the next level by making completely random people unwillingly take part in that…play

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