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To the Romans entertainment was very important. The two most important things to them were Bread and entertainment. This same promise was used by Lenin about bread within this last century to the Russian people. They had different buildings for different types of entertainment.

The Roman circus

The Circus was where there were horse races or chariot or foot races. The largest circus was Circus Maximus which is in Rome. They had to do a 10 lap race and so they had to have a way to find out at which lap they were. They did this by keeping a stick with different coloured fish. This was to find out at which lap they were. The chariot competitors used to tie the reins to their body so that if they fell then they could cut themselves free. If they didn't manage they would get dragged along the sand and grit ripping them apart.


POMPEI20.jpg (44061 bytes) The Oditorium was where people went to watch plays or listen to people speak. They went their favourite actors. They tried to make it as real as life in order to keep the people entertained. The actors wore masks during shows. When they did scenes where someone was killed they took a condemned man and then they killed him such that someone did die on stage.



Arena still in use today, click if you want to see a bigger imageThe Amphitheatre in Nīmes (Click to get a larger image

(South of France)

The Amphitheatre was a circular building where the Romans went to watch gladiator fights or other things. The largest amphitheatre is the Coliseum in Rome. It can accommodate 600,000 people. People went there to watch gladiator fights. Gladiators were slaves that had to fight in the arena. They had a shield, a sword or a dagger to fight there opponent. Sometimes they had a net and a fork to kill the enemy or opponent. The Romans enjoyed watching the fights. This gave them the reputation of being blood thirsty. When they watched they could choose if the opponent had fought well so they put the thumb up to say "let him live" or down to get him killed. Sometimes the arena could be used for battles. When they staged a sea battle they filled the pit with water and then brought ships in. These battles were or could be as good or realistic as real life battles. They also had animal fights in the arena. They could be between animals such as bears and humans or tigers and dogs. There were lots of other animals but I don't have a list of them. The crowds used to bet on the outcomes of fights and in gladiator fights the thumbs up or down decided the outcome on whether or not the gladiator would survive to fight once more.


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