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Chapter 6-12

Classical Studies 2300 Chapter Notes - Chapter 6-12: Ludi Romani, Torchlight, Loincloth

Classical Studies
Course Code
CS 2300
Angela Nissen

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Classics 2300 Sem. 2 Readings- post mid term
Crowther- Roman Games and Greek Athletics
Romes had own games/ludi emphasizing spectacle not competitive sport like the Greeks
Earliest- Ludi Romani late 6th C BCE
oTarquinius Priscus (Tarquin) presented a contest of horses and boxers brought from
oHeld in Circus Maximus
oProbably following Etruscan tradition (not Greek influences)- unknown if romans had
musical accompaniment like the Etruscans
Boxing became popular sport in Rome patronized by Augustus- watched imported boxers in CM
and native roman boxers/townsmen fighting street style in alleys
oBoxers wore loincloth and fought w. gloves w. to metal spikes
oSported topknot/cirrus (bun on head) maybe mark of pro athlete, social distinction or an
indicator of age
Over time wrestling and distance footraces (up to 128 miles) in CM
oAssume betting on races and that athletes were associated w certain chariot team
Romans presented Greek athletic festival first time in early 2nd C BCE
oMarcus Fulvius Nobilior (senator) sponsored show w. athletes imported from Greece
oWitnessed popularity in Greece and hoped this would happen in rome to add to his political
oMade festival more appealing to Romans by adding a hunt of lions and panthers
80 BCE Roman general Sulla transferred athletes/events of Olympic games to Rome (other than
stade race)
oused festival to celebrate victories over enemy Mithridates w. excuse of giving people
amusement after their sufferings
oonly time Olympic games took place o/s Greece
o1960 Olympics took place in Rome under better circumstances
middle of 1st C BCE- Pompey presented athletic contests and dramatic displays in new theater
oheld equestrian events and wild beast hunts in CM
olack of space in the theater- athletic contests limited to combat events
ogames failed, wasted oil and money
oCicero- Pompeys beast hunts didn’t succeed, Romans felt pity for the elephants (unusual)
Julius Caesar held successful festival for athletes in stadium specifically constructed for event
oHeld over 3 days- assume full athletic program
None of Greek games held in Rome over 150 year period outlasted their sponsors
oSome say only appealed to elite who like Greek things
oGreek style athletes high status in rome- never have legal dishonor/infamia of others
Augustus first established Greek festivals in Italy on a permanent basis- installing games in Rome
to celebrate victory over Antony and Cleopatra
oAlso founded festival at Nikopolis (victory city)
oIn honour of Augustus- Romans instituted Greek games in Naples- Sebastan festival which
had high rep as it claimed to be Isolympic (imitation of Olympic)
oRomans celebrated Games in Nikopolis and Napes every 4 years
60 CE Nero established periodic festival in Rome w. musical, gymnastic and equestrian events
oDiff bc they were at night by torchlight
oHe himself competed in musical and encouraged Romans (esp. nobility) to do so
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