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Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Gladiators prepare for battle in Antalya

Gladiators, are you ready? Visitors to Turkey's southern resort region Antalya will have the chance to watch gladiators fight slaves to the death. Well, maybe not to death ... and they're not real slaves, but still.

 From today, dramatisations of Roman-style blood sports will be staged at Aspendos's ancient arena twice each week.


Eighty performers will fight each other on the arena's dusty floor. Dressed in authentic costumes and armed with handmade weapons, the event is thought to be the first of its kind in modern Turkey.

Ancient fights were usually staged between gladiators and slaves, or slaves and wild animals. This passed for entertainment in the Roman era, with thousands turning out and baying for blood, a lot like a modern-day football game, when you think about it.

 The modern-day gladiators have been trained in sword fighting, dance and (most intriguingly) dance, to ensure the scenes are as authentic as possible.

 A consultant for the Aspendos Gladiator Arena says the performances will do a great deal to boost tourism and holiday homes in Antalya. T

he performances will start at 9 p.m. on Wednesdays and Saturdays and will run until the end of November. Tickets cost 25 Lira.

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