Roman Entertainment There were many things the Romans did for entertainment. Even though this entertainment was cruel and brutal it satisfied the Roman’s need for excitement and relaxation. In Rome most people loved to watch others suffer and fight to their death. While others loved to go and get a good laugh at the theater or relax and talk about politics at the baths. In the city the state provided most of the entertainment. Outside of the city the people made their own entertainment.
One of the places that the state provided for entertainment was the Colosseum. The Colosseum could seat up to about 50, 000 people, upper and lower class. The lower class and women had to sit in the highest level of the Colosseum. The rich and upper class had the best seating and the easiest access to the Colosseum. Even though many people think that the Colosseum was used just for gladiatorial battles, the Colosseum was also filled water so the navy could work on its strategies. The gladiatorial battles usually took place from sunrise to sunset.
The gladiators not only fought against other gladiators but also against wild beast such as lions, tigers, and many other dangerous animals. In the beginning, slaves were the main fighters in the arena. Then they realized that the slave population was not enough to continue the battles; so many criminals were sent to the gladiatorial schools. Since the criminals were getting sent to the gladiatorial schools to become a gladiator, criminals thought twice before committing a crime. Another state provided form of entertainment was chariot racing. The chariot races were held in what was called The Circus Maximus.
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The chariot races held in the Circus Maximus were considered the most popular form of entertainment. The Circus Maximus’ entertainment was much like the Colosseum, a visitor could come and stay all day. The Circus Maximus could seat as many as 255, 000 spectators. Men and women could sit together, but there was reserved seating for the Empower, senators, knights, Vestal virgins, and women of the Imperial family. On the day of the event, there were about ten to twenty four races. Just like today there were many precautions taken before each race.
The horses and the drivers were both checked to ensure that they had not been drugged, and were able to compete in the games. After each race the crowd was amused with acrobats, rope-dancers, and trick-riders. These amusements are the same amusements that go on in present day circuses. The overall winner of the races was decided in the final race, which each preliminary winner would compete.
Another place Romans went for entertainment was the theater. The Roman theater was an important part of religious festivals. Theater performances were given in honor of Greek and Roman gods. Although the theater was respected, it did not provide the Romans with the same intensity as the chariot races and the gladiator battles. Admission into the theater was free, so the upper and the lower class could come and enjoy.
The seating was a on first come, first serve basis. But the best seats were re severed for the upper class. The Romans enjoyed comedies most of all. Costumes, masks, and wigs were an important part of Roman theater. Costumes colors told spectators who the actors were portraying. In their society women were not actresses, female roles were played by men dressed up as females.
The most relaxing entertainment the people of Rome had was going to the baths. They went to the baths for healing or just to get clean. The baths were huge buildings built at public expense or by rich empowers who wished ti impress their subjects. Sometimes rich Romans who were trying to gain popularity paid entry for a whole day for anyone wishing to visit the baths. Most of the baths were free but those baths that had a fee had the fee to keep out the slaves and the poor who could not afford it. Some of the bathing habits of the richer part of the Roman civilizations were very lavish.
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Roman men would bathe in wine and women sometimes in milk. The bath house was used to meet friends for a chat, to exchange gossip, exercise or just to clean yourself up. All over Rome, men practiced riding, fencing, wrestling, throwing, and swimming. In the country, men went hunting and fishing. At home, men played ball before dinner, which were games of throwing and catching. Ball-playing was popular among the Romans, and they often spent their morning exercises playing games on the fields or ball-courts.
The Romans enjoyed a variety of ball games, including Handball, Trigon, Soccer, Field Hockey, Harp asta, Phaininda, Epi skyros, and Catch and any other games that the children would invent. These events that took place back in ancient Rome played a major role in Roman society. The thing these events affect the most is the women. Back in the ancient Rome women were not able to do hardly anything. They were considered lower class.
When they went to watch a gladiatorial event at the Colosseum and a chariot race at the Circus Maximus they always had to sit in the higher levels with the lower class citizens. In the theaters women was not even able to act as females in the plays, they got men to dress up as women and play them for them. Women were also not able to participate in riding, fencing, wrestling, throwing, and swimming. Drinking wine was part of daily life. In the very early days, women were not even allowed to drink wine. Their husband might kiss them on the mouth to see if they had been drinking.
If a husband believed that his wife was drinking she could have been severely beaten. Roman society was probably affected the most of any other thing at this time. It took a while before these cruel and barbaric events that took place to become outlawed. In closing Roman entertainment was cruel and barbaric, but yet filled with laughter and relaxation..
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