Entertainment in Republican Rome

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Entertainment in the city of Rome during the Republican period was an important part of the society. This is seen through both archaeological and written evidence, which provides an understanding into the types of entertainment throughout republican Rome. The purpose of Roman entertainment is important to know so that a finer understanding of entertainment forms such as blood sports and theatre can be examined using a variety of evidence like authors or physical evidence such as building and artefacts. The purpose of entertainment in Rome originated from religious traditions but later transitioned into a political perspective that was needed to appease the public of Rome. “Unlike the Greek games, with their emphasis on athletic excellence and competition, the Roman games were designed to amuse and entertain large groups of spectators” There were two types of entertainment during the republican period, ludi publici were religious festivals instituted by the state and presided over by magistrates. Publici consisted of ludi scaenici; theatre performance, ventiones; animal hunts, and ludi circenses; chariot racing. There was not a month in the Roman calendar that did not celebrate the gods; they were essential to public life. Within the publici, there were a multitude of festivals that celebrated ludi, being celebrated to honor the many gods. Games within these festivals could include chariot races, animal hunts and theatre performances. By the end of the republican period, gladiatorial contests were added into the ludi. When emperors began ruling over the republic, additional festival days and public events were added into the calendar to celebrate the emperor’s birthday, a day of accession or a victory, resulting in an abundance of holidays to which Romans could spend at the Circus. Munera was a private spectacle entertainment, the most common being that of

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