The games served as a distraction from politics in the Roman Empire and also served as a means to threaten the populace. The games were oftentimes used to scare the population into submission. Many instances of this were seen in the gladiator and beast fights in the Circus Maximus arena as well as smaller amphitheaters spread throughout the empire. Gladiators were often forced to fight to the death as well as those unfortunate enough to fight with the wild beasts brought in to the arena. Those chosen and often forced to fight in...
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...dividuals fighting in the arena. The Roman games seemed to provide a stage where opinions and concerns could be voiced to the emperor but were in fact just another example of the widespread use of censorship by the emperor.
The lesser known companion to the Circus Maximus in Ancient Rome was the grain dole which represented the Panem side of the Panem et circenses political equation. The grain dole consisted of distributing grain to the citizens at a reduced price or for no fee at all. Although the grain dole seemed as though it was a generous welfare program for the poor, the system was in fact much more complicated and restricted. The grain dole was limited to a fixed number of recipients who were enrolled on a special register. The individuals on this register were in effect owners of that place on the role and could sell or bequeath their spot on the registry
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