Although there isn't a trace of ClassCon in the Reuters piece, there is something 'Roman' about it, no?:

The rousing trumpet music, the swish of the cape and the shouts of "Ole!" as the bull charges are all familiar to anyone who has seen a bullfight.

The unnerving thing in the bullring at this dusty central Mexican town is that bull and bullfighter are standing eye to eye, both about four feet high.

The Mexican "dwarf bullfighters" are carrying on a tradition born in Spain along with regular bullfighting, as well as an even longer legacy of "little people" as entertainers. But they say the ring showcases their skill and comic artistry, making them more than just a curiosity.

While the young bullocks they use are half the weight of regular fighting bulls, they are bred to be aggressive and, from a dwarf's perspective, are just as frightening as the real thing.

"It's scary when you are face to face with a bull. It hurts when you get hit. And it's dangerous if the bull falls on you," said Antonio Garcia, 40. Before entering the ring, he showed off scars on his head and dental repairs needed after run-ins with bulls.

"But I like it. I do it more for the fun than the money. I love being an artist, and, thanks to being short, I've had this opportunity to travel to lots of places," he said, grinning.

His troupe, which takes its show all over Mexico and the United States, does not fight the bullocks to the death but, like bloodless "corridas" in Portugal and France, it uses traditional bullfighting skills to lure and dodge them.

The small-statured "toreros" wear traditional gold-trimmed matador suits with pink stockings and black slippers and use pink and red capes to perform passes.

While the bullock is a constant danger, the show descends into comedy when two dwarf "picadors" enter the ring.

Instead of sitting on horses and spearing the bullock with spiked wooden pikes as in real bullfighting, the pair have fleecy pantomime-style dummy horses attached to their sides, providing padding, and their aim is to hit the animal with a squeezy plastic hammer.


Cassius Dio (67.8) mentions Domitian's penchant for gladiatorial events involving 'little people'.