Excavations at a site on the Appian Way in Italy have revealed that Roman emperor Commodus may have had an unusual feature in his garden: a miniature colosseum.
An oval-shaped structure discovered next to the emperor's private quarters is thought to have been a sporting arena that was used for gladiatorial contests.
Commodus was a keen fighter. He often took part in public games and, according to contemporary accounts, killed wild animals "at home". He also liked to steal properties from his peers. His Appian Way villa originally belonged to the Quintilius brothers, and was extensively redesigned by Commodus after he had had them put to death.
The site has recently been opened to the public.