The Ancients

Beast Hunts

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Episode notes

*Trigger Warning*

This episode contains graphic descriptions of violence and cruelty against animals.

The Romans were - and still are - infamous for the brutal gladiatorial contests they held in their ancient amphitheatres. But often what made their games so spectacular were the exotic animals they put on show. Viciously hunted on an industrial scale, elephants, lions, crocodiles and even rhinos were thrust onto the arena floor and slaughtered, all for the pleasure of the Roman crowds.

In today’s episode of The Ancients, Tristan talks to Caroline Freeman-Cuerdan to explore these beast hunts and the massive industry that lay behind them. Together they discover how the animals acted as both ‘hunter and hunted’ and why Roman statesmen were so obsessed with beasts from far-away lands. 

The Senior Producer was Elena Guthrie.

The Assistant Producer was Annie Coloe.

Edited by Joseph Knight.

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