Hail Caesar, we who are about to die salute you! And die the gladiators did. In a vast marble Colosseum larger than Yankee Stadium, the people of Rome, patrician and commoner, flocked to see gladiators mangled beneath the hoofs and wheels of horses and chariots, slaughtered by half-starved wild beasts, and butchered by well-armed and armored professionals. With the Empire in decline, death and torture became the only spectacles that satisfied the decadent Romans' longing. The Emperor Trajan gave one set of games that lasted 122 days; at its end, 11,000 people and 10,000 animals had been killed. The people of Rome loved it-and they wanted more.