CLAS 1000 Lecture Notes - Lecture 11: Retiarius, Visual Impairment, Recto And Verso

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ENTERTAINMENT IN THE ROMAN WORLD
The people hih oe estoed imperium, fasces, legions, everything, now foregoes such
activities and has but two passionate desires: bread and circus games.(Jueal Satires X: 78-
81. Early 2nd c. A.D.)
Juvenal
Holidays and games were a significant power tool
The people were involved in politics now
o Imperium fasces= symbols of power
o Only interested in bread and circus games- want to be entertained
Bread= handouts of money and food
State distributes money in support of the poor
It as the height of politial isdo for the eperor not to neglect even actors and the other
performers of the stage, the circus, and the arena, since he knew that the Roman people is
held fast by two things above all, the grain supply and the shows, that the success of the
government depends on amusements as much as on serious things. ... the shows keep the
whole population happy. (M. Corelius Froto, Elements of History, 17. Mid-2nd c. A.D.)
Fronto
Success of the empire depends on amusement
The constitution or emperor are not enough for the empire to succeed
o What holds up the empire then?
Entertainment
Charity
Commodus
Dio cassius
Understood that entertainment had
to be politicized
o Politicians and military figures
attended the games
o Celerated the state’s
victories
o Illustrated success as a
gladiator- 12000 victories left
handed
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circus maximus
host chariot races
Gladiators
Ppl did’t adire gladiators, they ejoyed a kid
of infamy
Appearance= anachronistic
o Gladiators did’t hae usles,
they had massive bodies covered
in a layer of fat
Not out of shape, they
were powerful
Protect organs and
connective tissues
Considered sex symbols
Gallus
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