Roman Entertainment

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Ancient Romans, like the Greeks, loved entertainment. Their idea of entertainment was usually something involving death and drama. They liked to watch plays, watch gladiators, participate or watch games, and watch or participate in animal hunts.

Colosseum Events
The Colosseum is a famous arena that's still partly standing today. This arena could seat over 50,000 people. On hot days, a canopy was raised over the Colosseum to protect the viewers from the heat.

In the Colosseum, many events were held for the Romans to watch. Watching was free so that everyone could come. The events held almost always involved death and destruction. There were the gladiators, the feeding of people to lions, animals fighting animals, animal hunts, animal circus acts, and mock sea battles, where the Colosseum was flooded with water. The animals used in these events were kept below the Colosseum and an estimated 5,000 animals were killed the day the Colosseum opened. The animals were kept under the Colosseum.

Gladiators are people who fight each other or wild animals for other people's entertainment in ancient Rome. They usually fought in the Colosseum. People would gather from all over to see them fight until they die, since they usually didn't survive. If a gladiator survived three to five years of fighting, he or she was released and allowed to go back home. Romans watched gladiators fight because they not only thought it entertaining, but also thought it would prepare them for war.

People did not usually volunteer to be gladiators. Gladiators were slaves, condemned criminals, or prisoners of war. Someone called a lanista, or owner of gladiators would purchase these people. However, a few free men volunteered to be gladiators, though this did not happen often. Depending on what the person did or who the person was, the gladiators had different training and weapons. For example, a criminal that had committed a capital crime fought weaponless,...
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