Analysis Of Damnatio Ad Besta

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The narrative that accompanies this image is similar to that of many other pictures representing Christian Martyrdom in the Ancient Roman arena. The young woman on the left, is a Christian Martyr who had been sentenced to death for treason against her Emperor. She refused to acknowledge him as divine and would not renounce her blasphemous religion when she was rounded up and questioned by the Romans, which is why she ended up in the arena facing certain death. This particular narrative is very similar to the story of Perpetua, another honoured Christian Martyr and Blaudina. These two women also went through what the character in the painting faced, and remained true to their causes, which also cost them their lives. Similarly to Perpetua the woman in the image is covered…show more content…
This type of image is extremely prevalent when researching Ancient Roman Damnatio ad Bestas, which is a part of the reason why I chose to create it. However, historically speaking this image is not one hundred percent accurate. Although it is true Christian Martyrs did die through execution, and many were put to death by ‘beast’, there is no specific evidence supporting that any single Christian was decapitated by a lion in the Roman arena. More often then no, these rare and exotic animals were used in animal shows to appease the public, and were generally not put at risk to be in the same arena as humans and be potentially harmed. Although that does not mean that Christians were never killed by lions, there was just no specific evidence supporting this particular claim. Many in fact were killed by other types of ‘beasts’ such as charging cows (Perpetua), and there is evidence that others were killed by lions before, but there was no association to these victims being
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