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Triumphs, Spectacles, and Other Distractions.docx

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Department
Classics
Course
CLA233H1
Professor
Rob Mc Cutcheon
Semester
Fall

Description
Triumphs Spectacles and Other DistractionsPopular Entertainment in the Roman WorldHow did the Roman masses entertain themselves and what do such forms of entertainment say about their societyThree reoccurring themes in roman entertainment areo The use of extreme violence to entertain the masses and its meaning Romans were very bloodthirstyo The crowds role as a performer and not just spectator Crowd is its own type of performace with social ordero The role of the benefactor of the games and such largesse as political tools LudiPublic games offered by the state are called ludiIn contrast games put in by private indivuals usually gladiatorial contrasts are called munera giftsLudi held for the benefit and enjoyment of the roman people and were also part of religious festivalHeld every years and lasted several days usually to honor one of more godsEg the Ludi Romani in honor of Jupiter Opitmus Maximuso Held annually from September 4th to 10th o Sacrifice led by leading priest would initiate the games Ludi were sometimes fulfillment of a vow Generals would vow to a god to help them gain a military victory Usually paid out of a generals war spoils for a victory Originally ludi were managed by priests then consuls then aediles and finally the emperorso Priests associated with specific cults for specific godsLudi became a way for magistrates to increase their clients and stance in society Aediles had to take extensive amounts of money to fund ludi Often led to debt Over the course of the republic and empire the days devoted to ludi increasedo In the late republic 56 days o By the 1st2nd centuries CE 77 days o By the fourth century CE 177 days o When there were days of ludi all public businesses were shut downTwo types of ludi initially o Ludi circenseschariot races Chariot races could be held in the circus maximuso Ludi scaenicitheatrical performancesGo back to 240 BCE CircusThe roman arena for chariot racingThe most famous example is the Circus Maximus in Rome between the Palatine and the Aventine o Construction goes back to the Tarquinian dynasty the earliest kings of Romeo Was the center for roman entertainment before the construction of the Colesseumo Augustus expanded the circus so that it could contain about 150K spectatorso Originally there was no particular seating People could sit anywhere o Under the emperor Claudius however 41 CE senators had their own area to sit o Under the emperor Nero equestrians had their own seating area as well Romans had sports teams the red white blue and green teams
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