Livia Address the Gladiators
Gather Ďround . . . Now, these games are being held in honor of my son Drusus Nero, who is worth the whole lot of you put together. Itís my intention that these games shall be remembered long after youíre all dead and forgotten, even by your nearest and dearest.† Youíre all scum and you know it. But you have a chance here, some of you, to prove that youíre a bit more than that, and for those whom death doesnít liberate, there will be plenty of freedoms handed out afterwards, to say nothing of gold plate and coin. But, I want a good show. I want my moneyís worth. I donít want any kiss in the ring stuff, and I donít want my family watching two grown men pussyfooting around each other for half an hour before one of them aims a real blow. Thereís been much of that in the past. And donít think you can fool me either because I know every trick in the book, including the pigís blood in the bladder to make it look as if one of you is dead, thereís been too much of that too lately. These games are being degraded by the increasing use of professional tricks to stay alive, and I wonít have it. So put on a good show, and there will be plenty of money for the living and a decent burial for the dead, and if not, Iíll break this guild up, and send the lot of you to the mines in Numidia. Thatís all Iíve got to say to you.