Sjef van Tilborg, «The Danger at Midday: Death Threats in the Apocalypse», Vol. 85 (2004) 1-23
This paper proposes a new suggestion in the discussion regarding possible death threats in the Apocalypse. It makes a comparison between relevant texts from the Apocalypse and what happens during festival days when rich civilians entertain their co-citizens with (gladiatorial) games. At the end of the morning and during the break special fights are organized. Condemned persons are forced to fight against wild animals or against each other to be killed by the animals or by fire. The paper shows that a number of texts from the Apocalypse are better understood, when they are read against this background.
The Danger at Midday: Death Threats in the Apocalypse 7
In the area that the Apocalypse covers, we find the same pattern.
The following inscriptions are relevant:
â€“ mention of bullfights over two days (Inscr. Perg., 523; ROBERT,
â€“ depiction of a man with a whip; a wild animal jumping up
against him (Alt. Pergamon, Sculptures, 342; ROBERT, 264).
â€“ a relief with a horseman who hunts after animals (BUCKLER,
Sardis, 162; ROBERT, 137);
â€“ over three days there were kunhgesiva: a number of animals
depicted: a bull, deer, wolves(?) (BUCKLER, Sardis, 82; ROBERT, 138).
â€“ over three days there were kunhgesiva: on the depiction a bull is
attacked by a bear; a beast on the ground with the legs up; a bull which
gets round its neck a collar tied by a man (Inscr Smyrna, 863; ROBERT,
â€“ a bestiarius who is on a hunt with a pickaxe; there is an
indication of how many beasts have been killed; the number itself has
been lost (Inscr Smyrna, 837; ROBERT, 230);
â€“ a bestiarius who attacks a bull with a knife; there is an indication
of how many beasts have been killed; the number itself has been lost
(Inscr Smyrna, 838; ROBERT, 229);
â€“ a bullfight over two days; depiction of the bullfight (Inscr
Smyrna, 835; ROBERT, 234);
â€“ depiction of fights between animals (ROBERT, 236).
â€“ in the time of Trajan Ti. Fl. Montanos is honored among other
things because of his kunhgesiva and monomaciva (Inscr Eph VI-
2061.2; ROBERT, 198);
â€“ M. Aur. Mindos Mattidianos is honored among other things
because he caused 25 wild animals from Libya to be killed (zw'/a
Libukav) (Inscr Eph III-627; VII-1-3056; ROBERT, 198);
â€“ Aurelius [ ] in the course of 13 days made wild animals from
Lybia (zw'/a Libukav) to be killed (Inscr Eph VII-1-3071; ROBERT, 199);
â€“ Aurelius Dafnos in the course of 13 days made wild animals
from Libya (zw'/a Libukav) to be killed (Inscr Eph VII-1-3070; ROBERT,
â€“ depiction with four strips: limb of a human being; a lion roars
over an armed man; lion eats his thigh; in the fourth block: ajnhrevqh
(= carried off to be buried) (ROBERT, 219).