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Lecture 3

Classical Studies 2300 Lecture 3: Classics 2300 2nd semester pt 2

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Western University
Classical Studies
Classical Studies 2300
Charles Stocking

March 18, 2015 Roman Prostitution Above each door, 1-2 tebela (?) paintings hung - Little snapshots about what goes on in the room - Beds are really nice, high class o Wood frame, mattress to make it softer o Woman on top is quite plump, small breasts, large hips and wide buttocks ▪ Roman ideal body ▪ White skin • Avoid sunlight o Hair is done up o Wear a breast band, ancient version of the bra ▪ Might be a sign of status - Lioness position o Woman got on all-fours - Reverse equestrian o Head faced away from man o Rear end at man’s face - Each woman has a specialty (shown on the tebela above each door) - Not even having sex also possible o Man and woman is looking at a tebela in the tebela o Tebela, then, can’t possibly be a representation of prostitutes and their life Priaphus - Roman god, constantly has an erection, has a good penis o Has not just one, but TWO penises in each hand o If the paintings are not of prostitutes and their clients, then what? ▪ Idolizations/Romantization ▪ Show well-nourished, beautiful young men and women, having a good time in nice beds, nice rooms ▪ Put clients in the mood (seduced into thinking they are in higher class brothel than they actually are in) ▪ Demonstrates luxury, high status, how wonderful love-making can actually be Sexual Graffiti – not tested, no notes taken Toys, Board Games, Gambling Children’s toys (Many are found in graves) - Bells and rattles when they were infants o Many children don’t make it past childhood o Many bells and rattles found in graveyards - Dolls, small utensils and furniture - Animals, marbles, chariots and horses o Either big enough for the child to ride in, or to play with - Balls and hoops - Grave goods o No domestic fun - Toys dedicated to a god or goddess on sexual maturity o Part of a collection of offerings to gods or goddesses - Roman dolls o Ivory o Strings are used to attach parts to main body ▪ Can be moved around o Male dolls, have very detailed penises, pubic hair, etc o Female dolls, much like Barbie dolls, just really smooth - Pet dogs o No cats Board Games - duodecim scripta (‘twelve lines;’ 30 pieces + dice) o maybe like checkers? ▪ Most likely not, b/c there are dice o Know basically nothing about this game - Ludus latrunculorum (‘the game of robbers’) - Pieces of light and dark glass o Can also be made of stone or ivory o Counters for a game board o Object was to take your opponent’s pieces ▪ Like in chess, according to historians and authors - Assoc. with women (physical pastimes are suitable for men) o Undercut the modern assumption o Suitable for women ▪ Stayed home, lazy, no physical pastimes o Not highly regarded by intellectuals o Pure relaxation (men is the intellectual sex as well as physical) - The dead need pastimes in the afterlife, so Knucklebones - Tali - Not love gifts o In Greece, associated with youthful erotic beauty o In Rome, a way of dicing - Each piece has four different sides o Natural or man-made object o The ankle bone of a deer, maybe cow too(?) o Didn’t have to be marked like ours ▪ All sides were different already o 1: plain side (canis) – first side ▪ Roman for dog o 3: the convex side – second side o 4: the concave side – third side o 6: the twisted side (senio) – fourth side ▪ Roman for 6 - Called out the numbers/sides ahead of time o “I call all 6’s” - This took skill, as the pieces did not land on the same sides with equal frequency - Thrown in sets of four o More challenging way of dicing, compared to cube die - Highest throw (all 6’s): the ‘Venus throw’ - Lowest throw (all 1’s): ‘all dogs’ - Knucklebones are pretty large o Women seem to have a hard time holding them all in their hand Dice - Tesserae - 6-sided cubes of ivory, wood, bone o Like knucklebones, these dice were pulled from graves - Bronze dice boxes used o Call them out as well before throwing - 3 dice used to make the highest throw possible o Try to get all 6’s - Invoke the name of a lover or deity o Thought to bring good luck to your throw ▪ Like how people blow on their dice in modern times - Frenzy during the Roman empire o Popular pastime Gambling - Cut across social boundaries - Also cut across boundaries of age o Poor and rich people gamble o Children gamble ▪ “let’s see who can knock over that pile of chestnuts” - Privately; in taverns; some taverns had separate dicing rooms - The elite also diced - People also gambled on gladiatorial matches (presumably) and on chariot- racing The Roman legal system - Gave continuous attention to gambling at dice - Betting on dicing was officially illegal except during the Saturnalia o Roman winter solstice festival ▪ Our own Christmas (third week of December) - A civil offense o Not criminal offense - 204 BCE: Lex Alearia o Book on laws of dicing - 1 C BCE: Lex Talaria o Covers all forms of dicing and betting, not just knucklebones, its namesake - Laws never seriously enforced o Don’t have the manpower for it - Other betting seems to have been legal o Chariot-racing OK ▪ Might be just the locale • Taverns, private parties o Drinking might be involved - Proprietors of gaming establishments could not bring charges for assault, damage, or theft o If they steal stuff, break stuff, assault others/you ▪ Can’t sue the men for damages - Gambling losses irrecoverable - Loaded dice have been found o Weighted in certain ways so that one side occurs more often Gambling and Roman moralists - Was it a threat? - Noblemen need to show temperantia o Show control - Greed and an unnatural desire for profit - Ideally, a man gambled intelligently and morally - Otherwise, social ridicule and censure - To gamble excessively also meant that recklessness triumphed over reflection and judgment o Noblemen should not be showing this - ‘Bad’ emperors play dice immoderately (Caligula, Commodus) o Other signs of bad emperor ▪ Slept with their sisters ▪ Practiced gladiatorial combat - Gambling of the lower classes: licentia - Upper-class gambling: temperantia - The elites thought the gambling of the poor = idleness, stupidity, superstition - Did gambling compensate the poor for the lack of control over their own lives? o Gave poor men and women a measure of control over their lives, which they otherwise didn’t feel that they had - Intellectual stimulation o Probably provided this ▪ No employment, education - Emotional excitement - Diversion from poverty and unemployment - A way of passing the time Roman Ball Games - Small and large ball - A leather case filled with hair or feathers - Pila or harpastum - Follis (air-filled) o Lightest ball of all o However, it is so light, it is only spoken of in relation to children and old men - Not spectator sports o Unlike today o No teams playing - Pick-up games o Play a game on the streets - Sphaeresterion (ball-court) o Place you played with a sphere o Generally in backhouse of wealthy homes - Warmed by the hypocaust system Ball games - Adopted enthusiastically by the Romans o Odd for a society that was so into blood sports o A way to stay fit, physical exercise - One source tells us o Way of keeping fit for the wealthy/scholars - Rules of ball games were scanty and confused - Skill, endurance, good eyesight o Need to see the ball - Galen on exercise with the small ball - Jugglers - No ancient Roman depictions of March 25, 2015 Eating and Drinking; Taverns and Bars **Diagram posted on March 25 is on exam** Roman Meals - 3 meals per day o Breakfast o Lunchtime: noon o Dinnertime: 3:00pm, but then later and later ▪ Early dinner time was a way for people to eat and get back into their houses faster so they don’t get robbed ▪ Made later and later when Romans got more rich and can afford slaves and bodyguards and be protected Roman Food - Wheat/grain: porridge or bread o Staple ingredient - Poor cuisine: porridge, beans, discarded parts of the animal o Testicles, innards - Rich cuisine: exotic spices, fancy appetizers and desserts, meat - Meat often boiled - Preservation of food a problem - Rich sauces covered rotten meat Garum/liquamen - Roman sauce made from fish innards - Fish were salted and placed in the sun for up to three months - Did they just putrefy? o Salt properties dissolved in fish, rot fish - Or does the brine dissolve the fish? - Immensely popular - Garum factories all over the Empire Produce: - Vegetables: cabbage, leeks, lettuce, onions, garlic, mushrooms - Fruits: Plums, quinces, pomegranates, strawberries, cherries - Nuts: pine nuts, almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts Other food - Bread: people would bake their own; take their dough to a communal over; buy it from a baker - Wealthy would have a baker on staff or hire one for the day - Sheep, pork, hens, geese, ducks, small birds (delicacy) - No beef Beverages - Wine was of varying qualities - Spices, honey, herbs added to wine - Wine stored in amphorae, but did not keep well (most: 3-4 years) o Did not have a way to seal it well - Water + wine o Diluted wine with water so they don’t get fucked o Water not drank by itself because water itself has a lot of bacteria so wine would neutralize it - Beer and milk were uncivilized o Romans leave them alone o Milk given to infants and unwell but not drank everyday Luxury food items - Fresh fish - Some Roman villa owners had private fishponds - ‘Pike caught between two bridges’ was fat and juicy o Very expensive in demand o Reason it’s called this because it was only found in tiger river ▪ Feeds on human waste - Peacocks, dormice, snails, boar Roman kitchens - Not large o Not luxury or hobby, food made by slaves - Not well-equipped or ventilated - Earth floor with cesspit/latrine o Big pit dug out of the ground where you dump rotten food or human excrements ▪ Not covered over, smells like shit - Roman kitchens located at some distance from the dining room - Oven + hearth - Brazier o Where they make the fire and set the light - Knives, spatulas, spoons, pots - Amophorae held wine, oil, grain o Big pottery vessel - Slaves did the cooking Roman dining-rooms - The triclinium (pl. triclinia) - Could be large and elaborately decorated - Three couches (with three guests each) - Eat and drink from a Reclining position o The poor eat while sitting up - Spoons and knives only; no forks - Women reclined with men o Sometimes on the same couch - Mosaic, fresco, fountains or pools, cushions and covers - Flowers, perfumes, silver, and gold dinner services - Etiquette: only take small amounts of food and remain clean o No fork, no one has their own plate - Refuse tossed onto the floor o No garbage can o Most upper class have slave staff to clean up your garbage - Skeletal imagery also present o Romans like to look at skeletons while they eat o Because of Roman philosophy of carpe diem (seize the day or else will look like the skeletons) A Roman Meal: - 1. Gustatio (appetizers: eggs, raw vegetables, fish) - 2. Prima mensa (first table) (main meal): cooked meats and vegetables; cheese; bread - 3. Secunda mensa (second table) (dessert): fruit, nuts, pastries sweetened with honey - Entertainment: music, dance, poetry, juggling - No commercial sex - Fantastic dinners contain food such as roast pig served stuffed with warm sausages; a pastry Priapus whose apron was filled wi
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