Roman Entertainment

Topics: Ancient Rome, Roman Empire, Chariot racing Pages: 6 (1017 words) Published: April 10, 2002
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 excitment 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


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


Another state provided form of entertainment was chariot racing. The chariot races were

held in what was called The Circus Maximus. 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 Emporer, 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 performanes 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 resevered 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 emporers 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....
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