Associations and social life in Roman Africa: collegia, curiae and sodalitates venationum
01 / 2011 - unknown
In comparison with gladiator combat and public executions, the venationes (staged animal fights) have received little scholarly attention. Moreover, despite abundant evidence for arena spectacles in the Roman provinces, most studies focus on the situation in the city of Rome. This research project aims to investigate the meaning and function of venationes in a provincial civic context, that of Roman Africa (0 - 400 AD). The African case is particularly interesting because the wild animals (ferae africanae) were captured in the inlands of North-Africa and exported throughout the Empire by African professionals. Considering this close personal involvement in the organization of beast fights and the physicalproximity of the wild animals, it seems likely that the Africans' disposition towards venationes differed from that of other provincials or urban Romans. I attempt not only to reach a better understanding of the venatio in Roman-African civic life, but also to differentiate between amphitheater games in Rome and in this particular provincial context.