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5 Sources entertainment in rome


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5 Sources entertainment in rome

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5 Sources entertainment in rome

  1. 1. Gladiatorial Games Does it serve any purpose to know that our leader, Pompey, was the first to show the slaughterof eighteenelephantsinthe amphitheatre,puttingcriminals against them in a pretend battle? He, a leader of the state and one who, accordingto report,was known forhiskindheart,thoughtitwas a fun spectacle to kill humanbeings inthisway! Dotheyfight to the death? That is not enough! Are theytorn to pieces? That is not enough! Let them be crushed by animals of monstrous bulk! Seneca THE SHORTNESS OF LIFE, xiii. 6-8 The Romans stagedspectaclesof fightinggladiatorsnotmerely at their festivals and in their theatres, all wearing different costumes, but also at their banquets...some would invite their friends to dinner...that they might witness two or three pairs of contestants in gladiatorial combat...when finished with dininganddrink,theycalledinthe gladiators.Nosoonerdidone have his throat cut than the masters applauded with delight at this fight. Ausonius, Letters He built a kind of hunting-theatre of wood, which was called an amphitheater from the fact that it had seats all around without any stage. In honour of this and of his daughter he exhibited combats of wild beasts and gladiators; but anyone whocaredto count howmany wouldfinditdifficult. Thisanimal islike a camel exceptthatitslegsare notall of the same length, the hind legs being the shorter.Beginningfrom itsbottomitgrows gradually higher and it supports the rest of its body on its front legs and can lifts its neck to great heights. Its skin is spotted like a leopard, and for this reason it bears the joint name of both animals.Asforthe men, he made themfightagainstone another but also made themfighttogetherin groups,horsemenagainsthorsemen,menonfootagainst otherson foot,andsometimesbothkindstogetherinequal numbers.There was even a fight between men seated on elephants, forty in number. Cassius Dio, History of Rome
  2. 2. Gladiators fighting, on a wall decoration. Each kind of gladiator had different armour and weapons Roman Banquets After a generous rubdown with oil, we put on dinner clothes. We were taken into the next room where we found three couches drawn up and a table, very luxuriously laid out, awaiting us. We were invited to take our seats. Immediately, Egyptian slaves came in and pouredice wateroverour hands.The starters were served.Onalarge tray stood a donkey made of bronze. On its back were two baskets, one holding green olives, and the other black. On either side were dormice, dipped in honey and rolledin poppy seed. Nearby, on a silver piping hot grill, lay small sausages. As for wine, we were fairly swimming in it. Petronius, Letters Bakeddormice:"Stuff the dormice (small rodents) withmincedporkorthe meat of other dormice chopped up with herbs, pepper and pine nuts. Sew up the dormice and cook in a small oven." A sweet: "Take the crusts from a white loaf and break the bread into largish pieces.Soakthem in milk. Fry them in hot oil or fat. Pour honey over them and serve." Example dishes
  3. 3. Breakfast (the Romans called this jentaculum) was taken in the master's bedroomandusuallyconsistedof aslice of breador a wheatpancake eatenwith datesand honey.Wine wasalsodrunk. Lunch (the Romanscalledthisprandium) was eaten at about 11.00 a.m. and consisted of a light meal of bread, cheese and possiblysome meat.Inmanysenses,everythingwasgeared up towards the main meal of the day - cena. This was eaten in the late afternoon or early evening. If the master of the house had no guests, cena might take about one hour. If he did have guests, then this meal might take as long as four hours. A lightsupperwas usuallyeatenjustbefore the Romanswenttobed,consistingof breadand fruit.The Romans were usually not big meat eaters and a lot of their normal mealsinvolvedvegetables,herbsandspicestogetherwith a wheat meal that lookedlike porridge.One signthatameal or a banquethadgone downwell was if guestsaskedforbagsto take homesdishesthatthey had enjoyed. This in particularpleasedamasteras it showedtoeveryone whowasthere thatatleast some of the courses on offer had been well received. Chariot Racing The Circus games don't interest me in the slightest! There is nothing new or different about them. If you've seen one, you've seen them all. I just can't understand why so many people want to see horses racing and men driving chariots again and childish! It wouldn't be so bad if they could judge the speedorskill in a race. All one cheers for is the colour of the tunic. If tunics were changed,the crowdprobably wouldn't notice that they were cheering for different teams. And it is not just the masses who do this; some sensible and importantpeople are there also.Inmyopinionit is a completely useless way to spend time. Pliny the Younger, Letters
  4. 4. All Rome istodayat the Circus;these showsare for youngmenwholike toshout and swaggerand make bet with their girls friends at their side. Indeed, picture yourself watching the start: a procession of chariots through the Processional Gate,beautifullygroomedhorses, colourfully garbed charioteers and statues of Jupiter, Mars, Venus and Neptune each riding atop a chariot. All around us are people wearing the colours of their favourite teams. Juvenal, Letters A racingchariot, pulledbyfourhorses.The driverhasthe reins wrapped around his waist and a whip in his right hand. The Circus Maximus (Official name for the track)
  5. 5. Bathing On the left are the lounging rooms... Next rooms to undress in, on each side, with a large hall between them, in which are three swimming pools of cold water;it isfinished in Laconian marble, and has two statues of white marble in the ancientstyle,one of Hygeiathe other of Asciepius. On leaving this hall, you come into another room which is slightly warmed... Then near this is another hall, the most beautiful in the world, in which one can stand or sit with comfort... Next comes the hot corridor, faced with Numidian marble. The hall beyond it is very fine, full of abundant light and aglow with colour like that of purple hangings. It contains three hot tubs... Should I go on to tell you of the exercising floor? It is beautiful with two devices for telling time, a water clock that makes a bellowing sound and a sundial. An unidentified Greek writer describing the baths in Rome (c. AD 50) My dear Lucilius, If you wantto study,quietis very important. Here I am, surrounded by all kinds of noise (mylodgingsoverlookabath-house). Imagine all the sounds that make one hate one'sears. I hearthe grunts of menexercisingand movingthose heavy weightsaround;theyare workinghard,or pretendingto!If there happens to be a lazy man contentwitha simple massage Ihearthe slap of hand on shoulder. If a ball-player comes up and starts calling out his score, I'm done for. Add to this the racket a fellowwholikes the sound of his own voice in the bath, plus those who plunge into the pool with a huge splash of water. Besides those who just have loud voices. Now add the mingled cries of the drinkers and the sellers of sausages, pastries, and hot fare in the street, each shouting what they have to offer… Seneca, Letters
  6. 6. A strigil and a flask for oil. At the baths, Romans rubbedoil into the skin, and then used a strigil to scrape off sweat, oil and dirt.