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1 Val. Maximus, B. ix. c. 2, gives an account of the brutality of Hannibal on this occasion, in forcing the Roman captives to fight against each other, until only one was left; but he does not make mention of the combat with the elephant.—B.
2 Florus, B. i. c. 18, states, that this was practised in the later engagements with Pyrrhus, and that by these means the elephants were either destroyed or rendered useless. Cuvier remarks, that the trunk is composed of small muscles and fatty matter, enveloped by a tendinous membrane, and covered with skin.—B.
3 A.U.C. 678.—B.
4 "Venus the Conqueror." This temple was dedicated by Pompey, after his conquests in the East, in his second consulship, B.C. 55.
5 Pliny here refers to an art, practised among the Romans, of throwing up a shield into the air, in such a manner that, after performing a circuit, it would fall down on a certain spot; this trick is also alluded to by Martial, B. ix. Ep. 39.—B. The exercise with the boomerang, which was known to the ancient Assyrians, and has been borrowed in modern times from the people of Australasia, seems to have been somewhat similar to this.
6 "Clathri." These were gratings of iron trellis-work, placed in front of the lowest row of the spectators, to protect them from the wild beasts. This exhibition took place in Pompey's Amphitheatre, in the Campus Mar- tius. The arena of the amphitheatre was mostly surrounded by a wall, distinguished by the name of "podium," which was generally about eighteen feet in height, and the top of which was protected by this trellis-work. In the present instance, however, the "podium" can hardly have been so much as eighteen feet in height.
7 "Euripis." Julius Cæsar caused a canal, ten feet wide, to be formed in the Circus Maximus, around the bottom of the "podium," to protect the spectators from the wild beasts. These "euripi" probably took their name from the narrow channel so called, which lay between Bœotia and the island of Eubœa.
8 We learn, however, from Lampridius, in his Life of Heliogabalus, that this euripus was afterwards restored to the Circus.
9 Tacitus and Suetonius mention this separation of the equites from the rest of the spectators: it took place A.U.C. 816.—B. Up to the time of Augustus, A.U.C. 758, the senators, equites, and people sat indiscriminately in the Circus; but that emperor, and after him Claudius, Nero, and Domitian, separated the senators and the equites from the commons.
10 There are coins which bear the figure of an elephant and the word Cæsar, probably struck in commemoration of these games.—B.
11 The practice of placing towers filled with soldiers on the backs of the elephants is alluded to by Lucretius, B. v. 1. 1301, and by Juvenal, Sat. xii. 1. 110.—B. It still prevails in India.
12 "Consummatione gladiatorum." There is some doubt about the exact meaning of this. It may mean, "at the conclusion of the gladiatorial games," as exhibited; or, what is more probable, "as the crowning exploit of the gladiators," who wished thereby to secure their manumission, which was granted after remarkable feats of valour. Cælius Rhodiginus, B. xi. c. 11, prefers this last meaning: Dalechamps, with whom Ajasson coincides, the first.
13 "Postea singulis." Those who coincide with Dalechamps and Ajasson, as to the meaning, would read it, that at the end of the gladiatorial games, the elephants fought singly one against another, the gladiators having retired from the arena.
14 Pliny here uses the word "manu," "hand," which although, as he afterwards remarks, it may not be an inappropriate metaphor, could scarcely be admitted in our language.—B.
15 This trait has been observed in all ages; the elephant has been known to remove with its trunk a child lying in its way, and in danger of being injured. It appears to have an instinctive dread of trampling on a living animal; the same has also been observed in the horse.—B.
16 "Hordeo succo;" the exact meaning has been the subject of much discussion; it probably refers to some preparation of barley used by the ancients, perhaps a maceration of the corn in water; it is scarcely to be supposed, however, that the words are to be taken literally.—B.
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