Welcome to OMEN, a page dedicated to our Love-Hate relationship with all things European.
"You can't imagine how crowded it is down there..."
Roman gladiators did not ritually say "Hail Emperor, we who are about to die salute you" before combat. Two ancient Roman historians recount that in the year 52 AD, a large group of criminals condemned to fight each other to the death in a large staged naval battle on an artificial lake greeted Emperor Claudius that way; he may possibly have pardoned them as a result. That is the only recorded use of the phrase in ancient Rome.