Tag Archives: Austria

There is an ongoing rescue of a caver in one of Europe’s deepest cave.

Breaking: There is an ongoing rescue of a caver in one of Europe’s deepest cave.

A team is trying to rescue a 52-year-old man injured in a rock fall in a 1,000m-deep (3,280ft) cave in Germany, in an operation that could take days. The Riesending cave is Germany’s deepest and it took one of the man’s companions up to 12 hours to return to the surface to raise the alarm. Some 200 people are involved in the operation, near Berchtesgaden in southern Germany. The first rescuers reached the man in the vertical cave on Monday.

The archeological discovery of a gladiator school in Austria has revealed many details about their daily lives.

The archeological discovery of a gladiator school in Austria has revealed many details about their daily lives.

Discovered at the site of Carnuntum outside Vienna, Austria, the gladiatorial school, or ludus gladiatorius, is the first one discovered outside the city of Rome. Now hidden beneath a pasture, the gladiator school was entirely mapped with noninvasive earth-sensing technologies. The discovery, reported Tuesday evening by the journal Antiquity, makes clear what sort of lives these famous ancient warriors led during the second century A.D. in the Roman Empire. “It was a prison; they were prisoners,” says University of Vienna archaeologist Wolfgang Neubauer, who led the study team. “They lived in cells, in a fortress with only one gate out.” The discovery shows that even outside Rome gladiators were “big business,” Neubauer says. At least 80 gladiators, likely more, lived in the large, two-story facility equipped with a practice arena in its central courtyard. The site also included heated floors for winter training, baths, infirmaries, plumbing, and a nearby graveyard. …

“They weren’t killed very often, they were too valuable,” Neubauer says. “Lots of other people were likely killed at the amphitheater, people not trained to fight. And there was lots of bloodshed. But the combat between gladiators was the point of them performing, not them killing each other.”

The article unfortunately doesn’t explain the last quote. If the gladiator battles did not end in death — as movies portray them — what then was the nature of their performances?

ELISABETH SABADITSCH-WOLFF’s November 23 court hearing

As the court proceedings occurred during Thanksgiving week, I am late reporting this: On November 23 Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff had her court hearing in Austria, where she faces imprisonment for speaking out against Islam. You can see a very detailed report of the hearing here. The next hearing is now scheduled for January 18, 2011.

All in all, this whole trial is a travesty of justice. Sabaditsch-Wolff merely quoted the Koran in describing why she considers it a threat. More importantly, doesn’t freedom of speech mean freedom of speech? That some Muslims were offended by her comments is completely irrelevant.

You can send money to Sabaditsch-Wolff’s legal fund here.