The first object which attracts his attention is a long blood-colored chrysalis, with a human head surrounded by rays, and the word Knouphus inscribed all around it in Greek characters. It is placed upon the shaft of a column, which is in turn supported by a broad pedestal. Hanging upon the walls of the chamber are medallions of polished iron representing the heads of various animals:—the head of an ox, the head of a lion, the head of an eagle, the head of a dog, and the head of an ass—again!
Shrill voices announce watermelons for sale, iced drinks, and cushions of woven grass to sit upon. From time to time there are bursts of applause. He hears the sound of footsteps above his head.
Suddenly a long roar is heard, mighty and cavernous as the roar of water in an aqueduct.
And he sees, directly opposite, behind the bars of another compartment across the arena a lion walking to and fro, then a line of sandals, bare legs, and purple fringes. Beyond are the vast circling wreaths of people, in symmetrical tiers, enlarging as they rise, from the lowest which hems in the arena to the uppermost above which masts rise to sustain a hyacinth-colored awning, suspended in air by ropes. Stairways radiating toward the centre, divide these huge circles of stone at regular intervals. The benches disappear under a host of spectators—knights, senators, soldiers, plebeians, vestals, and courtesans—in woollen hoods, in silken maniples, in fallow-colored tunics; together with aigrettes of precious stones, plumes of feathers, the fasces of lictors; and all this swarming multitude deafens and stupefies Anthony with its shoutings, its tumultuous fury, as of an enormous boiling vat. In the middle of the arena, a vase of incense smokes upon an altar.