Ancient Roman Entertainment

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Ancient Roman Entertainment
THESIS: The art of entertainment held many significant influences within Ancient Roman societies. Though it is known that certain means to achieve such spectacles were vicious and cruel, it ultimately satisfied the Roman peoples need for pleasure and excitement. Public displays varied from chariot races held in the Circus Maximus, to musical and theatrical performances, to the more gruesome acts of wild beast hunts, gladiatorial games, and public executions. Most of the Romans daily leisure activities still remain in the realm of common recreational activities we still perform today, such as swimming, horseback riding, hunting, fishing, even gambling. While the inner city state provided most of the public entertainment …show more content…

Originally public games such as ludi Megalenses, ludi Cereales, ludi Romani, were held at religious festivals, but gradually became more prominent as the annual number of games increased. Admission to the games was free, every individual, no matter the status, was allowed to attend.
B. Private games hosted by military officials were held to commemorate victories, and they soon came to rival the popular public events. Magistrates used these games as an avenue to gain support for elections and as a mean to keep the general populace under control.
C. Restrictions on the games were first implemented during the 4th century BC, gladiatorial games were ceased completely by the 5th century BC, while wild animal hunts persisted until the 6th century BC. Chariot races were dismissed in the west late empire, the last remnants resonated in the east, throughout the Byzantine Empire for a short time after.
II: Circuses
A. Chariot races were the oldest and most popular form of entertainment throughout the ancient Roman world, dating all the way back to the founding of Rome itself.
B. Unlike public games, these races were extremely expensive, often being held for profit under highly organized …show more content…

Animal hunts took place in the morning, public executions at mid-day, and gladiatorial games in the afternoon. Performing animal shows, accompanied by musicians providing sweet melodies, were performed during the intervals of the events.
IIII: Roman Theater and Comedy
A. Theatrical performances rose to popularity in 3rd century BC, originating from the epilogues of the Greek theater. Women were not allowed to perform, so men would often wear masks to distinguish their role to the audience.
B. The art of mime and pantomime became popular in the 1st century BC. Actors, men and woman alike, would mime their roles to the accompaniment of singing, dancing, and other acts of the sort. The implementation of woman was hugely successful at first, but eventually caused performances to degrade into vulgar and tasteless spectacles.
C. Greek New Comedy was introduced to Roman translation in 240 BC. By the mid-2nd century BC, Roman adaptations were typically about Italian life and specific characters, and were addressed as fabulae togatae (plays in togas), but ultimately none survived very long. Roman comedy virtually ceased to be written and was replaced by mime, the more vulgar performance that held no literary

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