Aspendos Gladiator School Closed!

From Hurriyet:

The closure of a “gladiator school” in the Mediterranean province of Antalya has forced would-be combatants to fight for jobs in other professions.

The Aspendos Gladiator School, where Roman-era gladiator fights were re-enacted, did not open its doors this tourism season due to concerns over low interest. The silence in the 800-capacity arena, built near the ancient theater of Aspendos, forced the performers portraying the gladiators, who were mostly from villages nearby, to seek jobs elsewhere.

Many of the performers who were once engaged in sword fights and re-enacted execution scenes, now work as waiters in hotels and restaurants in the region.

The Aspendos Gladiator School hosted its first “gladiator fight” one year ago on a stage transformed to resemble a Roman-era arena for the performance. However, organizers of the event were disappointed with the paltry audience and the limited interest in the performance.
The Aspendos Gladiator School Consultant Mehmet Bıcıoğlu expected to see interest increase in subsequent performances. “We plan to continue the performances for the next five years. This is a unique undertaking in the world,” he said at the time.

Gladiator fights were typically staged between slaves, or slaves and ferocious animals, as a form of entertainment in the Roman era. The dramatized fights in Aspendos were presented with hand-made clothes and weapons.

[insert quip about making sure you tip well here]

Our previous coverage:

… and here are a couple vids of the action … vocalizations appear to be a required course:

NASA Wants You to Help With a Latin Twitter Feed!

From the mailbag:

[M]y name is Ari and I work for a NASA mission called HiRISE, a camera on board the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter that takes high resolution images of Mars. (

We have an outreach effort called “The HiTranslate Project,” where we seek out volunteers to translate titles into various foreign languages; we have several Twitter feeds devoted to each specific language that we have volunteers for. But we are looking to create a Latin language feed that would be the most unique NASA resource. It would put Latin in a modern context to show the continued usefulness of the language especially as an educational resource.

If you know of people who might be interested in translating titles into Latin, we would appreciate any help. We do think this is a unique opportunity and we hope to get it moving.

Thank you,

Ari Espinoza
Coordinator, HiTranslate Project
HiRISE Media
The University of Arizona

If you’re interested, drop me a line and I’ll forward your message to Mr Espinosa. This could be an interesting ongoing thing for one or more senior Latin classes …

Total War Rome II Trailers

A new trailer for one of the most hyped PC games in ages (and yes, I’m buying into it) … this trailer could actually be used in a class when discussing Hannibal’s options (with some pedantry thrown in, of course):

I can’t remember if back in February I posted this one, which includes the Battle of the Teutoburg Forest (with a scene that looks an awful lot like the opening of Gladiator):

Mindy Kaling on Latin

Tip o’ the pileus to Sarah Bond for pointing us to an interview with Mindy Kaling over at Warby Parker … inter alia:

Favorite school subject

Latin. I loved ancient Rome. It was so violent and sexy and interesting: things like Mount Vesuvius erupting and the remains of Pompeii. When you’re in seventh grade, that’s as close as you get to sex.

via: Dispatches from Warby Parker HQ

… which is one reason I fear proposed legislation in the UK … how many Classics sites/blogs (including this one) will be blocked?