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Lecture 15

Classical Studies 2300 Lecture Notes - Lecture 15: Consualia, Upper Class, Consus

Classical Studies
Course Code
CS 2300
David Lamari

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Festivals and Celebrations
We have nothing like these festivals
Hard to convey what they were like
Citizens getting together to enjoy themselves
Philip II
Non-Greek from the Hellenistic Era
Different attitude from his son, Alexander
His use of the Olympics (by entering the Olympics) incorporated his annual
His careful attention to the athletics in Greek society marked him as being a
very candid individual
He use the games for his political advantage
Alexander didn’t have an enthusiasm for athletics
Philip made sure to insert himself into Greek athletics for his own purposes
Modern Painting:
Roman spectacle of domination
This suit of armour was wore by gladiators
No respectable Roman would say this is a real image of gladiatorial combat
Doesn’t capture the Roman attitude toward gladiatorial combat
Virgins sat in front row
Hollywood Pictures:
Depicted by Hollywood
These festivals for the Romans, like the Greeks, were an opportunity for the
community to come together
Romans took these days off
For many of these days, public officials were not allowed to wear their public
o There were no public buildings open
Ten day festival games, ceremonies, entertainment to pay respect to their
o Why this is being held there is a three-day festival wolf festival
men would go around naked with wolf clothes on and whip people for
Women would hold out their hands to be whipped said to
help you conceive a child
Festivals kept increasing they keep adding new holidays and festivals to
honour people (ex. Jesus)
Early Festivals
Had to do with ensuring productivity with child, crops, baby animals, etc.

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Collecting the food (harvest)
If you have done anything to corrupt yourself or your land have a ritual to
purify it
o Whip the ground to purify it
o All were symbolic gestures
All of these were done to keep the community clean ensure crops are clean,
the community is healthy, etc.
Textbook describes a festival involved in keeping your crops and livestock
pure of pests
o Take foxes, tie their tails together, set them on fire, and let them go
Foxes were considered pests
1st games: Consualia (chariot races for Neptune)
o When the Romans took over Greece, so much of the Greek culture
transformed Roman culture, so much of early Roman culture is lost
o We don’t know much about Consus – anything being celebrated is in
honour of Neptune
o Original God was lost
Ludi Romani (for Zeus)
o Most famous Roman games in honour of Greek god Zeus (Romans
called him Jupiter)
o Founded in the year the Romans kicked out their last king
Forum and Circus Maximus
There were no permanent buildings set aside specifically for entertainment
Textbook says: there were no theatres in Rome because the Romans were
suspicious of theatre itself
o Prof thinks this is wrong
They don’t have public buildings for gladiators or anything else
Therefore, when they held any kind of spectacle, for most of the Roman
Republic, they would either hold it in downtown Rome (turned a road into a
pedestrian area, it was out in the open) or in the valley called the Circus
o Usually in the road had to stand and crane your neck to see
o Only standing room
o Occasionally they would build wooden bleachers but they would tear
them down immediately after the festivals
At the very end of the republic, a Roman begins to bend the rules a bit and
you get the first public theatre
Once Augustus emperor takes over you see many public buildings
o But before this the games were always in the open for two reasons:
Roman authorities were suspicious of the lower classes
Afraid of mob binds
Afraid of a group of people in a small area ‘whipping
each other up’
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