Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Morituri te salutant (Those about to die salute you)

From the alien wonders of Tatooine's moisture farms to a gladiatorial amphitheatre of truly imperial proportions. El Jem is a jewel. One of the three largest amphitheatres ever built it has seating for more spectators than many modern day European football stadia - its estimated capacity of 35,000 was second only to the Colosseum of Rome (45,000). And it is in excellent condition - as you can see from the photos.

On entering the building you can almost smell the blood, sweat and animals. Beneath the gentle breeze, the roars of a now-departed crowd can be discerned by a sharp imagination. As you walk from the corridors to the arena proper the words resound in your head (even if they were never actually spoken) - "Imperator, morituri te salutant. Those about to die salute you!"

Inside you can clamber over, under, round and through most of the structure, from the seating to the underground passageways, and let your imagination run wild. Like the lions they fed the condemned to.


At 8:00 PM, Anonymous Demaeght said...

Zeer goed bewaarde ruines


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