By Hal Marcovitz

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38 The scheming Sejanus’s real intention was to seize power for himself—he engineered the murder of Tiberius’s son and heir, Drusus, and exiled other members of the emperor’s family in order to get them out of the way as he prepared for his own rise to power. But Sejanus went too far. His plans for the assassination of the emperor found their way to Capri and the ears of Tiberius. When the emperor learned that Sejanus intended to have him assassinated, he ordered his former aide arrested and executed.

Again, the animals killed the others first—only Blandina remained alive. Finally, the Romans sent a steer into the arena. The steer attacked Blandina, tossing her into the air with its horns. A guard then finished off the girl with a dagger. Blandina was later granted sainthood by the Catholic Church. Today, the ruins of the amphitheater in Lyons have been preserved, including the stake where Blandina is said to have been bound during her ordeal. Quoted in Judith Couchman, The Mystery of the Cross: Bringing Ancient Christian Images to Life.

The Roman emissaries fled, followed close behind by a horde of angry Gauls. 7km) north of Rome, the Gauls encountered the Roman army, which had been dispatched to defend the city. The Romans were outnumbered and outfought, and the Gauls easily overran the defenders. Many of the Roman soldiers managed to escape the massacre and flee back to Rome, where they took refuge on the Capitoline, which was well fortified. Below the Capitoline fortifications, the Gauls poured into the city, looting and burning everything in sight.

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Ancient Rome by Hal Marcovitz


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