Carthage Amphitheatre



Midday or at noon was only for criminal executions in the amphitheatre, these included converts to Christianity. Felicitas mentioned that they were criminals.

About the Amphitheatre of Carthage: At the exterior of the amphitheatre it had high pikes (peaks). Inside, the amphitheatre’s floor was of sand. Under the amphitheatre there were tunnels. These tunnels led to prison cells (whose doors were made of metal bars), gladiator’s cells and animal’s cages. The animals, led by the gladiators, were brought out from under the amphitheatre through the tunnels that appear onto the surface in the amphitheatre or into the middle corridor of the amphitheatre.

At their martyrdom, they entered the amphitheatre by the Sanivivarian Gate, also called the Gate of Life, from their prison that was under the amphitheatre.

The gladiators formed them in a line and forced them to run, and to receive on their backs the whip.

Felicitas and Perpetua were taken back to the Sanivivarian Gate.

Saturninus and Revocatus were tied on the platform of the amphitheatre, where a leopard attacked them. Then they were brought to a raised stage of bear cages and were attacked by bears. Their mutilated bodies were thrown to the Sanivivarian Gate.

Saturus was brought to a boar tied to a pin in the ground. When the huntsman was tying him to the boar, the boar instead attacked the huntsman. Saturus was unharmed. Then he was bound to the ground near to a bear. But the bear refused to come out from his cage.

Perpetua and Felicitas were brought forth stripped naked and bound in nets whereby they could not escape. Then they were brought back to the Sanivivarian Gate, where they were clothed with unbelted tunics. The wild cow attacked Perpetua. She was tossed, and flung on her back. She saw Felicitas crushed, so she rose up and stumbled to give hand and lifted her up. Then they stood side by side.

After Perpetua and Felicitas were again brought to the Sanivivarian Gate, Saturus was at the other entrance of the amphitheatre. A leopard was set loose and attacked him.  After he was thrown in the usual place for their throats to be cut. But instead were brought on the platform of the amphitheatre.

Saturus walked the steps up to the amphitheatre’s platform, where he waited for Perpetua. Perpetua and Felicitas assisted Saturninus and Revocatus to the platform. But before they walked up the stairs of the platform, they kissed each other that is, Perpetua, Felicitas, Revocatus and Saturninus.

Perpetua and Felicitas, and their companions were martyred on the platform of the amphitheatre. This was not the usual place for the execution of Christians and criminals. They were martyred as followed: Saturus, Saturninus, Revocatus, Felicitas and Perpetua.

The Pères Blancs had placed a column with a cross on the platform to commemorate their martyrdom. The cross was later removed on the column.

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They were most probably martyred kneeling with their backs facing near the stairs. Carthage11