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Sample essay topic, essay writing: Roman Entertainment - 1192 words
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Introduction Ancient Romans, like the Greeks, loved entertainment. Their idea of entertainment was usually something involving death and drama. They liked to watch plays, watch gladiators, participate or watch games, and watch or participate in animal hunts. Colosseum Events The Colosseum is a famous arena that's still partly standing today. This arena could seat over 50,000 people. On hot days, a canopy was raised over the Colosseum to protect the viewers from the heat.
In the Colosseum, many events were held for the Romans to watch. Watching was free so that everyone could come. The events held almost always involved death and destruction. There were the gladiators, the feeding of people to lions, animals fighting animals, animal hunts, animal circus acts, and mock sea battles, where the Colosseum was flooded with water. The animals used in these events were kept below the Colosseum and an estimated 5,000 animals were killed the day the Colosseum opened
The animals were kept under the Colosseum.Gladiators Gladiators are people who fight each other or wild animals for other people's entertainment in ancient Rome. They usually fought in the Colosseum. People would gather from all over to see them fight until they die, since they usually didn't survive. If a gladiator survived three to five years of fighting, he or she was released and allowed to go back home. Romans watched gladiators fight because they not only thought it entertaining, but also thought it would prepare them for war.
People did not usually volunteer to be gladiators. Gladiators were slaves, condemned criminals, or prisoners of war. Someone called a lanista, or owner of gladiators would purchase these people. However, a few free men volunteered to be gladiators, though this did not happen often. Depending on what the person did or who the person was, the gladiators had different training and weapons.
For example, a criminal that had committed a capital crime fought weaponless, while a criminal who did not commit a capital crime had training in a private gladiator school. In the private gladiator schools, gladiators trained every day and received medical attention and three meals a day to keep them healthy. They were allowed to pick the weapons and armor that best suited him or her. Different types of weapons resulted in different types of gladiators. The types of gladiators are: Andabatae, who wore helmets without eye holes, Catervarii, who fought not in pairs, but several together, Dimacheri, who fought with two swords, Equites, who fought on horseback, Essedarii, who fought on chariots, Hoplomachi, who wore ocrea (metal or boiled leather greaves, leg armor worn below the knees) on both legs, Laqueatores, who used nooses, Medridani, lightly armed fighters, Myrmillo, who wore a helmet with a fish on the crest and leather or metal scales on his left arm and used a straight Greek-style sword, ordinarii, who had normal Roman armor, Provocators, who used a round shield and a lance, Retiariuses, who wore a loin cloth and a metal shoulder piece, Samnites, who carried a sword, secutors, who carried a large oval or rectangular shield and had ocrea on his left leg, female gladiators, who were rare, and Thracians, who wore ocrea on both legs and had a small square shield.
After the gladiators decided what type of gladiator they were to be and finished their training, their owners would take them to the arena a day before they were scheduled to fight so they could rest. The night before, all the gladiators were given a huge banquet full of delicious foods because it might be their last meal. During this banquet, some gladiators begged the citizens to bring last messages to their families. The animals that gladiators fought were imported from North Africa or the Near East. The animals were usually exotic and always fierce.
The Romans starved the animals for a few days before the fight to make them especially hungry and vicious. Some of these animals were lions, panthers, and leopards. Circus Maximus Circus Maximus was a track used for horseracing and celebrations, and sometimes for hunts. It could hold 300,000 people and was filled almost completely with dirt. It was oval in shape and made during the time of an Etruscan king. Charioteers, even ones that were slaves, that won in Circus Maximus became so rich that they were richer than emperors.
The track could hold twelve chariots and had gates the chariots started in. The gates and track were arranged so that all the chariots had to go the same distance around the track. The chariots were light and usually led by four horses. They also usually ran seven laps around the track and there were many sharp turns, so it was very dangerous and the charioteers sometimes fell off. This is why charioteers wore helmets and carried a dagger, so they could cut the reins, which were tied around their chest, in case the chariot tipped. The spectators usually liked the danger more than the racing. Celebrations held in Circus Maximus had acrobats and dancers, plus vendors selling honey cakes to the audience.
There were many animals, such as lions, camels, tigers, bulls, and crocodiles. Jugglers and fire-eaters also performed. In the center, there were fountains with red and blue water. The celebrations were held before the chariot races, which were very serious.Roman Theater Plays were put on in the morning and afternoon. All the actors were male. In the early days, they wore simple costumes and makeup.
Later, they had more elaborate costumes with wigs and masks. Male characters had brown masks and female ones had white masks. The masks were frowning or smiling depending on the play. There were also certain costumes to certain characters-rich men had purple gowns and young boys had striped togas. Poor men had red togas and soldiers had short cloaks. Originally, plays were in temporary wooden theaters.
The first permanent theater was built of stone in Pompeii. Most Roman theaters at their height were half-circles and the audience sat in chairs or benches. They could be built anywhere by raising the whole structure off the ground. A tarp could be raised above the theater on hot days to get shade. Opening performances consisted of huge spectacles.
During the play, a second actor mimed the speaking actor's lines in case people couldn't hear. Background music also played. If the play involved someone dying, a condemned man would replace the actor at the last moment and actually be killed.Campus Campus was an old drill ground for soldiers. It was a plain near the Tiber River. Young men all over Rome gathered there to work out and exercise and sometimes play. They raced, jumped, did archery, wrestled, and boxed.
They also practiced riding, fencing, throwing, swimming, and playing catch. After this, the men would swim in the Tiber River or go to the baths. Women did not exercise on Campus. Conclusion The Ancient Romans did many things to entertain themselves. They attended the theater, went to the Colosseum, played games in Campus, and watched gladiators. Their idea of entertainment often involved dying people.
Though this is considered cruel today, it was entertainment back in Ancient Rome.
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