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Roman Entertainment. Bread & Circuses. Free food and entertainment Funded by patricians to… Buy plebeian votes Keep the mob amused so they wouldn’t cause trouble. The Colosseum.

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Roman Entertainment


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    Presentation Transcript
    1. Roman Entertainment

    2. Bread & Circuses • Free food and entertainment • Funded by patricians to… • Buy plebeian votes • Keep the mob amused so they wouldn’t cause trouble

    3. The Colosseum • Begun by Emperor Vespasian (70 CE) and finished by son Titus (79 CE), remodelled by Vespasian’s younger son, Domitian • Seats 55,000 • 100 Day Inaugural Celebration: 11,000 wild animals killed

    4. Colosseum Features • Hypogeum • Series of underground tunnels to house animals and slaves

    5. Features, cont’d • Suggestum • Similar to a skybox where emperor or wealthy would sit

    6. Features, cont’d • Velarium • Giant canopy was the world’s first retractable roof

    7. Colosseum Events • Munera: gladiatorial shows put on by wealthy individuals (not the state) • Veatia: animals hunts • Rhinos, hippos, elephants, giraffes, lions, panthers, leopards, corcodiles, ostriches all hunted • Theatre converted into giant lake or made into a nature setting with trees

    8. Circus Maximus • Used for horse and chariot racing • Races were 6.5 km long • Track held 12 chariots

    9. Circus Maximus Features • Large bullet-shaped arena • 4 stories high • ½ Roman mile down each side • Central spina • Seat 260,000 spectators • Twice as large as any stadium ever built! • Spina: raised median that separated the track, featured statues of gods and Egyptian obelisks • Meta: at either end where charioteers made dangerous turns

    10. Popularity of Races • City deserted when race was held • Augustus stationed soldiers on street corners to prevent looting • Chariot racing was the largest entertainment staged by the Romans • Betting was a huge attraction

    11. Racing Teams • Chariot races organized into 4 teams • White, green, blue, red • 3 chariots per team • 4 horses per team = 12 charioteers and 48 horses • Races ran for 7 laps (tracked with little gold dolphins)

    12. Charioteer Fans • Thessalonika (Greece), 390 CE • Charioteer made a homosexual advance to a Roman general • Charioteer arrested and jailed • Fans rioted, killed the general, broke into jail and released the charioteer, continued to riot and loot the city • Roman emperor sent troops and 7,000 killed in ensuing chaos

    13. Gaius AppuleiusDiocles • Raced for red team • Lived during time of Hadrian • 24-year career • Won 1,462 out of 4,257 races (35%) • Placed 2nd in 33% of his races • Earned an estimated $1,000,000 USD

    14. Top 10 Events at Colosseum & Circus 10. Animal shows 9. Animal vs animal battles 8. Animal vs human battles 7. Gladiatorial battles 6. Mock naval battles 5. Public castration of criminals 4. Random killing of spectators 3. Chariot races 2. Wounded or “fakers” poked by red-hot iron and dragged with a meat hook 1. Recreate stories from Greek mythology

    15. Roman Baths (Thermae) • Public bathing as a habitual element in daily life • Baths became symbol of Roman civilization throughout empire • Height of popularity in 1st/2nd centuries CE • Roman bathing ritual was complex and required several hours to complete • Social experience • Where Romans met, relaxed, snacked, gossiped

    16. Bathing Ritual • Apodyterium: disrobe completely • Unctuarium: apply olive oil • Tepidarium: warm room for chatting

    17. Bathing Ritual, cont’d • Palaestra: take part in physical games • Caldarium: hot steamy room for strigiling (scrape off oils and sweat with large metal spoon-shaped object)

    18. Bathing Ritual, cont’d • Caldarium (hot bath) and Frigidarium (cold bath) • Message with oils and perfumes

    19. How did it work? • Hypocast system of under-floor heating • Hot air created from basement fires (stocked by slaves) flowed between brick or concrete columns which support the ground floor • Warm air flows through wall ducts into rooms and quickly heats them

    20. Diagram

    21. Roman Dinner • Dinner (cena) occurred late in the afternoon (5 pm), after the business of the day was concluded and baths had been visited

    22. Food of the Poor • Very poor country folk had a terrible diet • Coarse bread and porridge (made from wheat) • Tenant farmers could enjoy the fruits of their labours • Grains, vegetables, fruit, meat, poultry • Sour wine

    23. A Country Feast • First course • Eggs, goat’s cheese • Second course • Boiled bacon, cabbage, endive and radish salad, juicy olives • Dessert • Figs, plums, grapes, apples, honeycomb • Rough table manners: ate sitting down!

    24. Food of the Wealthy • Fresh fruits and vegetables from estate gardens • Roasted venison, pheasant, partridge • Milk curds flavoured with herbs • Tuna, anchovies, mussels, oysters from Mediterranean Sea

    25. A City Feast • First course • Eggs and salad, shellfish • Second course • Stuffed pork, veal, vegetables • Dessert • Fruit, dates, honey cakes • Ice-cream (snow mixed with flour and sweet white wine)

    26. Extravagant Food to Impress • Eight-course meal • Flamingo tongue • Peacock brain • Bear cutlets • Hare with sow’s udders

    27. Entertaining Guests • BYON: bring your own napkin • Wiping hands and mouth • Doggy bag for leftovers • On arrival, wash hands as part of a ritual purification and change outdoor footwear for indoor sandals • Given dining wreaths made of plants sacred to the gods the host wished to honour

    28. Dining Style • Recline on couches around a low dining table • Spitting and belching were perfectly acceptable • Ate with fingers • Standard arrangement: guests situated on 3 couches arranged around a central table • Each couch held 3 people • Seating arrangement gave dining room its name: triclinium

    29. Significance of Couch Positions • Indicate importance of guests • Host: on left couch at the top • Situated so head next to guest of honour, positioned on back couch, overlooking the view • Next 2 important guests sharing the ouch with host • Lesser guests filled remaining spaces

    30. Dinner Entertainment • No matter how simple the meal, entertainment always an integral part • As simple as conversation (although never about business) or poetry readings • Music often performed, small plays, juggling and acrobatics • Gladiatorial bouts recorded as rounding off some elite evenings