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Buttrey, T.V., 2007. Domitian, the rhinoceros, and the date of Martial's Liber De Spectaculis. Journal of Roman Studies 97: 101-112, fig. 1

Location: Captive - Europe
Subject: History
Species: All Rhino Species

Original text on this topic:
Martial's Liber de Spectaculis is almost universally considered a work describing the remarkable 100-day games held by Titus on the inauguration of the new Flavian Amphitheatre in A.D. 80. There is in fact no internal evidence for this attribution, which has been justified by Martial's praise of the building ("it sounds new") and the inexact parallels between the description of Titus' games in Dio and the events memorialized by Martial. The highpoint of animal activities in Martial concerns the rhinoceros, not mentioned at all by Dio. Under Domitian a sudden, extensive and unparalleled issue of coins with the rhinoceros type signals the advertisement of that rare beast in his games. The coins date to A.D. 83-85. It is to that period, and to the reign of Domitian, that Martial's work should be dated.

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