While researching the Roman Empire, I turned my attention to the most famous arena in history: the Colosseum! Here countless slaves, condemned criminals, and prisoners of war fought to the death in order to entertain the bloodlust of the Roman populous. I learned that despite being strong warriors gladiators were mainly vegetarian because the Roman elite did not want to waste good meat on them. Also, there have been cases in which gladiators would ingest a hallucinogenic drug that made them immune to pain and fear, which made them fiercer fighters to better entertain Rome (similar to how modern athletes use steroids). Since my fantasy world takes place in an empire yet is similar to medieval Europe, I am thinking of creating locations that have combined features from both the Colosseum and medieval tournaments. Condemned criminals and prisoners of war will still compete as a death sentence, but there will be no slaves and knights will also compete. I am toying with the idea of visiting Rome this Christmas in order to better get the lay of the land, which will give me more authentic inspiration for my writing. Also, since Rome is home to the Vatican, it would be the ideal place to celebrate Christmas. It will be my very first vacation outside of my native country.



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