Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Roman City notes: Celts, slaves and the Circus Maximus

Circus Maximus
Originally uploaded by Jon Himself
Roman City notes:

- Vesuvius 79 AD.
- Pompeii, Herculaneum. Volcanic mud.
- Roman empire: 3 continents.
- Walls: dif between culture & chaos.
- Forum: govt center, temples, theaters.
- Princes Romulus & Remus on the Tiber River.
- 300 AD, height of the Empire.
- Pop: over 1 M. World’s largest city.
- Nimes, southern France. Roman grid.
- France / Gaul: conquered by Julius Caesar. New Roman cities built by Caesar Augustus.

- Celts. Romans burned our houses, abducted women, humiliated us. “Cut off right hands of warriors.”
- Marcus Fabricius: military engineer / architect. To fabricate.
- Lycinus: former slave; freed and appointed an administrator.
- Slaves formed basis of work and family life. Sometimes were skilled craftsmen.
- Roman trade opportunities for Celts.
- Acco Buviex: “I once fought the Romans. Like it ot not, our future is bound to the Romans.
- Druid priest: “They have bridged the sacred river.”

- Roman arch: keystone is essential to harnessing and distributing the force.
- Public fountains and public drains.
- Public Baths: Thermae, which included the Caldarium, Tepidarium and Frigidarium.
- Concrete developed by the Romans.
- Pompeii was coastal resort. Buildings with wine press, olive press.

- Insulae: apartment houses. Roman development.

- Circus Maximus: chariot races in Roman stadium that seated over 200,000.
- Colosseum: gladiators.

- “Facade of unity across the empire”: facade means “face.” So the unity is said to be superficial.

- The themes of the Roman theater’s tragedies and comedies were borrowed from the Greeks.

- Epicurean skills: Epicurus was a Greek philosopher who believed that man’s life should be one of pleasure.

- Amphitheaters: gladiators. Most popular event in Roman society.
- Colosseum: “Among the most depraved notions of entertainments in history.“
- Gladiators: deadly ritualistic duels. Prisoners executed in various ways. Defeated enemies torn apart by beasts.
- Hundreds people & animals lay dead by nightful.
Why such a passionate appetite for public slaughter?
* Symbolic of order being maintained.
* Reflection of a militaristic society.
* To make dying seem less fearsome.

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