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ANCIENT ROMAN SPORT AND GLADIATOR


CONTESTS
Jeffrey Hays

29-36 minutes

ANCIENT ROMAN SPORT

gladiator mosaic The Romans transformed the athleticism and


ritual of Greek sport into a spectacle. The Romans loved
sports, some of which were quite brutal and bloody. Chariot
racing and gladiator battles were fixtures of religious festivals.
The huge crowds that gathered in stadiums and forums to
watch sporting events screamed " panem at Colosseum !"
("bread and circuses"). Events were often sponsored by
wealthy citizens as displays of their wealth. Horses and
athletes were given-performance-enhancing drugs. Some
racetracks were larger than NFL stadiums.

Sporting events in ancient Rome often got out of hand. The


incidents usually began with spectators hurling insults at one
another, then escalated into stone throwing melees and often
ended in carnage when the combatants picked up weapons.
After one such incident in Pompeii, Emperor Nero forbade all
such gatherings for ten years. An even worse episode
occurred at the Constantinople Hippodrome under the
Byzantines when over 30,000 people were killed when a
chariot race turned into riot against Emperor Justinian."*

Arenas and amphitheaters that hosted sporting events were


found throughout the Roman empire. A massive oak
amphitheater excavated in London had chambers for wild
animals and shrines used by gladiators who prayed before
their battles and possible deaths. The arena had a seating
capacity of 6,000, quite large when considering that London
at the time only had 20,000 residents.

Cockfighting predates Christ by at least 500 years. Believed


to have originated in China or India, it was practiced by the
ancient Greeks, Persians and Romans, who identified it with
Eros, the God of Love and passed it on to medieval Europe.

Books: The Colosseum (Wonders of the World) by Keith


Hopkins and Mary Beard (Harvard University Press, 2005);
The Roman Games: A Sourcebook by Alison Futrell (Blackwell
Publishing, 2006); Cruelty and Civilization: The Roman Games
by Roland Auguet, a French historian.

See Colosseum

Blood and Circuses


In a review of the book: The Colosseum by Keith Hopkins and
Mary Beard, Nigel Spivey wrote The Guardian, “To Romans it
was the amphitheatre - a model for imitation throughout the
provinces. From north Africa to south Wales, essentially
similar structures were raised. El Djem, Verona, Nimes, Arles,
Caerleon - these are among the hundreds of Colosseum-
clones that appeared. Only in the eastern Mediterranean did
problems arise. For in these parts, where Greek cultural
values still prevailed under Roman rule, most cities already
had institutional spaces of public entertainment. Such areas
primarily took the form of the stadium, where athletes strove
for glory; or the semi-circular theatre. In both locations there
was contest, but contest pitched as virtual reality. Wrestling
was a sweated mimicry of war, tragedy the shadow-play of
mortal disaster. But what was to be done with the spectacle of
sheer violence -men and animals fighting to the death?
[Source: Nigel Spivey, The Guardian, March 12, 2005]

Archaeological evidence shows that some athletic stadia were


converted for use as amphitheatres, and a number of Greek
theatres were adapted - high nets rigged around the stage,
for instance, to prevent big cats leaping into the audience. Yet
there are records of strident Greek protests, if only on behalf
of those front-row onlookers who did not care to be sprayed
with blood. And this categorical distinction between theatre
and amphitheatre points us to the principal fascination of
approaching the Roman Colosseum as a "wonder of the
world": the wonder lies not with the elegance or substance of
the building as it survives, but rather with the question of
what the Romans thought they were doing.

As Keith Hopkins has pointed out before, Roman enjoyment of


spectacular violence is not a matter of "individual sadistic
psychopathology", but seems to betray "a deep cultural
difference". How much Hopkins contributed to the present
book before he died last year is not easy to estimate, because
Mary Beard (a Cambridge colleague) has so sympathetically
overlaid it with her own voice. But it was characteristic of
Hopkins to begin answering the puzzle of a peculiar Roman
"taste" for violence by sceptically probing its extent.

The inauguration of the Colosseum was allegedly celebrated


by hunting shows involving the deaths of 9,000 exotic
animals. But how feasible was it to capture elephants and
rhinoceroses without sedative darts, transport them long
distances, and finally cajole them to ferocity in front of a large
crowd? Documentary evidence of the laborious zoological
kidnap of a single hippotamus from the Upper Nile to Regent's
Park in 1850 suggests that supplying the Colosseum with
large quantities of interesting animals was a logistical
challenge beyond even the Romans. Further and more
complex calculations about gladiatorial death-rates similarly
indicate a strong tendency to exaggerate, and not only by
ancient writers. Christian martyrologists piously inflated the
number of casualties among the faithful. (In an unsually
candid reflection, one persecuted Christian witness, Origen,
wondered if the total tally of Christian martyrs at Rome
actually reached double figures.) There is, in fact, no firm
evidence to prove that any Christian was ever torn apart by
lions inside the Colosseum.

Was the Colosseum, then, always what it has become - an


iconic hulk, picturesquely staffed by burly men with wooden
swords, and very occasionally put to some ceremonial use,
whether a mock-battle or a Paul McCartney concert? Hopkins
and Beard stop short of making such a case. For even when
stripped of its mythology, the amphitheatre subsists as an
enclosure designed to give a maximum number of onlookers
the closest possible view of a kill. Academic demonstrations of
human anatomy used to be compassed in such steep-sided,
eye-goggling spaces. The old bullring of Mexico City relies, to
this day, on the same telescopic principle. We may agree that
the daily pabulum of the Roman populace was bread, not
circuses. Still the circus existed all the same; and no one went
there for some harmless fun. The closest to slapstick at the
Colosseum came from the so-called "fatal charades", when
some myth was enacted for real: the flight of Icarus, done like
a bungee jump without the bungee; or else a wretched
criminal dressed up as Orpheus -given a lyre, and pushed out
to charm with melodies the animals prowling around the
arena. Too bad if the bears were tone deaf.

Quite how this ingenious mode of human sacrifice originated


is left implicit by Hopkins and Beard. They dismiss without
reason the notion that gladiatorial combat developed out of
archaic Etruscan funerary rites, and offer no plausible
alternative. So what was the Colosseum all about? The
applications of capital punishment within the amphitheatre
were conducted at midday, as a lull in proceedings, deemed a
diversion only for the chronically bored. So connoisseurs of
bloodshed came for more than the sight of exemplary justice.
Protagonists of good entertainment were marked not by
damnation but chance; made brave or furious by freedom
from blame, how much more fiercely they would fight.
Gladiators from the Zliten mosaic
Some ancient observers - notably St Augustine - deplored the
addictive magnetism of witnessing this sort of death. Others
were complacent about its habituating and homeopathic
effect: so death was, as it were, domesticated. But in the end
it is impossible to explain the Colosseum unless one concedes
that its principal sponsors - the emperors of Rome - all of
them, even "good" ones such as Trajan, ultimately ruled by
terror. This arena by the Palatine, the hill on which Romulus
founded his city, was the looming and central emblem of their
power to "play God" - to allocate life or death.

Book: The Colosseum by Keith Hopkins and Mary


Beard(Profile, 2005)

Gladiator Contests

Gladiator contests were the most popular sporting events in


ancient Rome. They were not for the faint hearted and from
the best we can figure out were as bloody and violent as they
have been made out to be. Based on analysis of the number of
gladiators who fought in single events, it has been estimated
that each gladiator contest lasted 10 to 15 minutes.
Experimental matches staged by scholars seemed to confirm
this: long matches were simply too exhausting. Dutch
historian Fik Meijer has estimated that most gladiators fought
two or three times a year and died between the age of 20 and
30 with 5 to 34 fights to their names.
Kurion "Death is the fighters' only exit," wrote the philosopher
Seneca." When a victim fell dead or was fatally wounded he
was approached by an official disguised as Charon, the
ferryman of the Underworld." According to popular myth the
gladiators at major events in Rome entered the stadium and
faced the emperor and shouted: “We who are about to die
salute you." If the loser fell exhausted or slightly wounded an
appeal about his fate was made to the emperor, who usually
bowed to the wishes of the crowd. If the emperor gave a
thumbs up the man survived. If the decision was a thumbs
down, Charon finished the gladiator off with a blow to the
head with a wooden mallet. [Source: “Greek and Roman Life”
by Ian Jenkins from the British Museum [||]

This in turns out was not completely right. According to Meijer


the “about to die” salute was uttered by the 9,000 prisoners
who engaged in a mock sea battle organized by the Emperor
Claudius, described by Suetonius, but was not necessarily
said at other events. The statement didn't make sense for
gladiators who hoped to defeat their opponents and live to
fight another day. The exact nature of the turned thumbs
gesture or even what it looked like is unclear.

Film: Gladiator (2000) directed by Ridley Scott with Russell


Crowe; Spartacus (1960) directed by Stanley Kubrik with Kirk
Douglas as Spartacus.

Book: The Gladiators, History's Most Dangerous Sport by Fik


Meijer (Thomas Dunne Books/ St. Martins? Press, 2005).
Meijer is a professor of ancient history at the University of
Amsterdam. The book is interesting and is good at
anticipating that questions readers have and providing
satisfactory answers on topics like the events and weapons in
the contests and how the gladiators were paid and fed.

History of Gladiator Contests

Gladiator battles were primarily a Roman invention. At first


they were solemn affairs held at funerals as a blood offering
for deceased heros inspired perhaps by the Etruscans who
sometimes sacrificed slaves and prisoners during the burials
of kings. The first Roman gladiator contests were hand-to-
hand combats performed at funerals for prominent Romans
to, according to Meijer. celebrate “the virtues that had made
Rome great, virtues demonstrated by the deceased during his
lifetime: strength, courage and termination."

Over time these relatively solemn rituals evolved into


gruesome competitions oriented towards satisfying the
bloodthirsty appetite of mobs and boosting the prestige of
emperors. One fan wrote a friend: “Let us go back to Rome. It
might be rather nice, too, to see somebody killed." [Source:
“Greek and Roman Life? by Ian Jenkins from the British
Museum [||]

Gladiator contests were staged at the Colosseum and


hundreds of smaller amphitheaters throughout the Roman
Empire and had their heyday in the A.D. 1st and 2nd
centuries. Some events were so brutal that fountains---cented
with lavender to hide the stench of the blood?were set up. The
wooden floor of the Colosseum was covered with sand so the
combatants wouldn't slip on the blood. People enjoyed the
sport so much they filled their homes with floor mosaics and
wall frescoes of bloody gladiator scenes. Emperor Augustus
boasted that in the eight gladiatorial contests that were
staged during his rule 10,000 men fought to their death.

There are few eyewitness accounts of gladiator contests or


detailed information about gladiator training and lifestyle.
Historians have pieced together what the know about them
today from pieces of verse, some historical accounts,
mosaics, sculptures, funeral inscriptions and snatches of
graffiti written on the walls of buildings and added little bit of
conjecture to how battles might have unfolded between
combatants with different weapons.

Gladiators

Retiarius stabs Secutor William Grimes of the New York Times


wrote: “the gladiator was a contradictory figure. Socially, he
was a despised outcast, but the warrior code and the
unflinching courage displayed by most gladiators made them
in a sense, ideal Romans...Not surprisingly , gladiators
captured the public imagination. They were celebrities; young
women left amorous graffiti on the walls of gladiator schools."

Contrary to the popular misconception almost all of the


gladiators were pagans not Christians. For the most part they
were slaves, prisoners of war and criminals who were trained,
clothed and fed by men who were hired to supply gladiators
by the local magistrates who arranged the competitions.
Convicted criminals could fulfill a potion of their sentence
battling it out with other criminals and prisoners of war in the
arena. Free men such as soldiers and well-born Romans
signed contracts to be gladiators to win fame and prize
money.

Winners of gladiator contests received palm branches, and


sometimes prizes. Successful gladiators not only got to live
they often became sports celebrities with women hanging all
over them. Coins were issued by emperors with the faces of
famous gladiators. Charioteers sometimes amassed great
wealth but there is no evidence of any gladiator being
particularly wealthy.

The combatants in some contest are believed to have been


women. This idea is based on images of female gladiators
found on reliefs in Halicarnassus in Asia Minor, mentions of a
female in records from a gladiator school, and a tomb found in
London of a Roman woman buried with objects usually found
with buried gladiators.

Gladiator sports became professionalized, with managers,


fixed schedules, tours and training centers, where gladiators
developed skills in the different events. The gladiators are
believed to have been highly trained. They were trained at
special clubs where they were given instruction in martial arts
and gymnastics and drilled to increase their strength and
endurance.
Gladiators often lived in barracks. A entire gladiator barracks
was unearthed in Pompeii, complete with decorated helmets,
leg and shoulder guards, shields, and swords that had been
discarded by fleeing gladiators.

Roman Gladiator School Found in Austria

Gladiator helmet In 2011 it was revealed that some well-


preserved ruins of a Roman gladiator school had been found
Petronell-Varnuntum, Austria. AP reported, “The Carnuntum
ruins are part of a city of 50,000 people 45km east of Vienna
that flourished about 1700 years ago, a major military and
trade outpost linking the far-flung Roman empire's Asian
boundaries to its central and northern European
lands."Source: George Jahn, AP, September 6, 2011]

Mapped out by radar, the ruins of the gladiator school remain


underground. Yet officials say the find rivals the famous Ludus
Magnus - the largest of the gladiatorial training schools in
Rome - in its structure. And they say the Austrian site is even
more detailed than the well-known Roman ruin, down to the
remains of a thick wooden post in the middle of the training
area, a mock enemy that young, desperate gladiators hacked
away at centuries ago.

The gladiator complex is part of a 10 square km site over the


former city, an archaeological site now visited by hundreds of
thousands of tourists a year. "(This is) a world sensation, in
the true meaning of the word," said Lower Austrian provincial
governor Erwin Proell. The Carnuntum ruins, he said, were
"unique in the world ... in their completeness and dimension".
Officials said they had no date yet for the start of excavations
of the gladiator school, saying experts needed time to settle
on a plan that conserves as much as possible.

Life at the Austrian Gladiator School

a modern actor "A gladiator school was a mixture of a


barracks and a prison, kind of a high-security facility," said
the Roemisch-Germanisches Zentralmuseum, one of the
institutes involved in finding and evaluating the discovery.
"The fighters were often convicted criminals, prisoners-of-
war, and usually slaves." [Source: George Jahn, AP, September
6, 2011]

George Jahn of AP wrote: “Still, there were some perks for the
men who sweated and bled for what they hoped would at least
be a few brief moments of glory before their demise.At the
end of a dusty and bruising day, they could pamper their
bodies in baths with hot, cold and lukewarm water. And hearty
meals of meat, grains and cereals were plentiful for the men
who burned thousands of calories in battle each day for the
entertainment of others.

Thick walls surround 11,000 square metres of the site, and


the school and its adjacent buildings stretch over 2800
square metres. Inside, a courtyard was ringed by living
quarters and other buildings and contained a round, 19sqm
training area - a small stadium overlooked by wooden seats
and the terrace of the chief trainer.

The complex also contained about 40 tiny sleeping cells for


the gladiators; a large bathing area; a training hall with heated
floors and assorted administrative buildings. The cells, where
the gladiators lived, were barely big enough to turn around in
Outside the walls, radar scans show what archeologists
believe was a cemetery for those killed during training.

The institute said the training area was where the men's
"market value and in end effect their fate" was decided. At the
same time, it gave them a small chance for survival, fame and
possibly liberty. "If they were successful, they had a chance to
advance to 'superstar' status - and maybe even achieve
freedom," said Carnuntum park head Franz Humer.

Gladiator Events
Secutor vs Retiarius, Foul A variety of gladiator contests were
staged. The combatants fought in specific categories, each
with certain rules, weapons and armor. Opponents were
usually chosen by lot and armed according to their respective
categories. Retiarii carried a net and Neptune-like trident and
lithely danced around the arena. Murmillones were the
equivalent of heavyweight boxers. They carried heavy swords
and shields. Samnites carried a large oblong shield, a sword
or spear, and were protected by visored helmets, greaves on
their right leg and a protective sleeve on the right arm.

About a dozen different weapons were used, some of which


were based on weapons used on the battlefields against the
Roman legions by their different enemies. Short swords were
often preferred to long ones because they were more
maneuverable and ideal for slashing. The fighting was less like
a fencing match than a free for all with wild swings and
wrestling. Swords were often kept behind shields until a move
was ready to be made.

Other weapons included pitch forks tied to the ankles, whips,


clubs and the cestus, an iron-studded leather thong which
could cause death if landed squarely on the temple.
Sometimes combatants had one arm tied or were bound to
metal plates. Sometimes one combatant was given the
advantage of a shield, a piece of armor or a helmet that his
opponent didn't have.

The fights were often to the death. In one particularly unfair


competition, an unarmed man was pitted against an armed
man. The armed man of course usually won, but before he
had a chance to savor his victory he was stripped of his
weapons, which were given to another gladiator, who usually
defeated the former victor. This process continued until every
competitor was dead except for the last man.

Sometimes defeated gladiators who were still alive but


suffering were put to death like wounded animals. In the
Pompeii amphitheater the was a special room where losers
were put to death and relieved of their armor.

Gladiator Contests with Animals

In the animal against animal competitions staged in the


arenas giraffes battled lions and zebras fought elephants in
small pits that forced them to go after one another. Many
animals were imported from Africa. During the inauguration of
the Colosseum in Rome it was estimated that 5,000 wild
animal were slaughtered in a single day. [Source: “Greek and
Roman Life? by Ian Jenkins from the British Museum [||]

Decapitating ostriches with crescent-headed arrows was a


favorite trick at gladiator battles. The crowds cheered and
roared with laughter as the ostrich continued to run around
after its head was cut off. Bears usually defeated bulls. Packs
of hounds easily dispatched deers. Lions usually defeated
tigers. Not even a rhino could penetrate the hide of an
elephant.

Gladiators were especially afraid of the battles against wild


animals, Unarmed men battled starved lions. The odds were
tipped in favor of the lions, which were more difficult to
replace than the gladiators. Sometimes lawbreakers were fed
to animals as a deterrent to keep others from breaking the
law. There are accounts of women being fed to the animals.

Large Gladiator Events

Astyanax vs Kalendio mosaic For the Romans a circus was a


spectacles for large crowds with gladiator battles and other
events .Roman circuses were held in outdoor arenas such as
the Circus Maximus (meaning “Biggest Circus?) in Rome. In
addition to gladiator contests there were often displays of
acrobatics, wrestling and horsemanship. During the gladiator
battles, musicians played water organs and metal horns that
looped around their heads. Some arenas could be flooded
with water for mock sea battles and then emptied for mock
hunts.

Circus Maximus (on the side of the Palatine Hill opposite the
Forum) is the large oval grass track where chariot races,
athletic competitions and mock naval battles were held. Built
in 600 B.C. and large enough, according to some reports, to
accommodate 300,000 people, today it resembles a cross
between a big ditch and a modern athletic field. If you know
where to look you can find the start and finish lines.

The first record of a gladiator contest was in 264 B.C.. The


government staged gladiator battles three or four times a
year. Spectators were often let into the stadiums and
coliseums for free to win their support and keep them
pacified. The last one was recorded in A.D. 404. There a monk
ran into an arena and stopped a gladiator fight in mid battle.
The monk was stoned to death but he left an impression on
Emperor Honorius who banned the sport.

Crowds 45,000-strong showed up to watch gladiator battles


at the Coliseum. An event hosted by Caesar contained 320
separate contests. Some bloody spectacles lasted for
months.One bloody circus during Titus's rule lasted for 123
straight days and between 5,000 people and 11,000 were
killed. Under Augustus eight large gladiator events were held,
each with around 1,250 gladiators.

Gladiators and Hollywood

Famous films with gladiators include: Gladiator (2000)


directed by Ridley Scott with Russell Crowe; Spartacus (1960)
directed by Stanley Kubrik with Kirk Douglas as Spartacus.

Some historical inaccuracies that appeared in the Hollywood


films include Kirk Douglas battle as a gladiator with a trident
and net (that event didn't appear until 60 years after
Spartacus's time) and Russell Crowe's fight with a gladiator
and tiger at the same time (gladiator-versus-gladiator and
gladiator-versus-wild-animal contests were separate events).

Emperor Commodus and the Film Gladiator

Commodus Commodus (ruled A.D. 177- 192, co-emperor


with Marcus Aurelius from 177-180) was the vainglorious son
of Marcus Aurelius who was assassinated in 192, ending the
Antonine dynasty. He fancied himself as a great gladiator and
battled opponents armed with lead swords that bent when
they struck the emperor. Not surprisingly he ran up an
impressive string of victories. Commodus finally lost on New
Year's Eve, when he was strangled to death by a wrestler who
had been dispatched by his rivals.

Commodus was the emperor depicted in the film Gladiator .


Edward Gibbons called him a man of “monstrous vices? and
“unprovoked cruelty? and wrote: “His hours were spent in a
seraglio of three hundred beautiful women, and as many boys,
of every rank, and of every province; and whenever the arts of
seduction proved ineffectual, the brutal lover had recourse to
violence."

Commodus occasionally appeared in the arena during


gladiator battles. He never put his life in danger and battled
gladiators; instead he liked to decapitate ostriches with
crescent-headed arrows. The crowds liked the show. They
cheered and roared with laughter as the ostrich continued to
run around after their heads were cut off. Once Commodus
chopped off the head of an ostrich, and brandished its
bloodied head and told senators the same fate awaited them if
they went against him. Fearing for their lives, members of
Commodus's court decided he had to go. A concubine slipped
some poison into his wine and then a wrestler strangled him.

Commodus's wife Crispina Augusta In the movie Gladiator


Marcus Aurelius was played by Richard Harris and Commodus
was played by Joaquin Phoenix. Contrary to impression given
by the movie, Aurelius did no try to restore the republic, he
had no general name Maximus (the Russell Crow character)
and he was not killing by his son Commodus although the
historian Cassius Dion said he was killed by doctors who
wanted to “do a favor? for Commodus (most historians
believe he died of an illness).

Film: Gladiator, directed by Ridley Scott and starring Russell


Crowe, see History, Marcus Aurelius and Commodus.

Greco-Roman Chariot Races

By some estimates 200,000 people showed up to watch


chariot races at the Circus Maximus in Rome. A bunch of
overturned chariots with maimed bodied and injured horses
was called a shipwreck.

Hippodromes were where horse races and chariot races were


held. Built in 330 B.C. the Hippodrome in what is now Istanbul
was the largest stadium in the ancient world. Horse races and
gladiator vs. animal battles were held here in front crowds so
rowdy they make British soccer hooligans look like saints.
During one event in A.D 532 that turned into an angry political
rally against Emperor Justinian, the Byzantine army
massacred 30,000 people. All sporting events were cancelled
for a few years after that but when they resumed, chariot
races continued for another 500 years.

Winner of a Roman chariot race The Olympics games often


kicked off with a race involving 40 chariots flying through a
course at one time with spectacular spills and frequent
deaths. Often only a handful of the chariots that started made
it to the finish line.

The chariots started in a staggered fashion so that those on


the outside were not at a disadvantage. Competitions were
held for two, three and four horse chariots, usually driven by
hired professional, essentially slaves, owned by the sponsors.
They lived in stables and were breed like horses from the
offspring of famous charioteers. Despite their lowly
background successful charioteers were celebrated heros and
the best ones earned enough money to buy their freedom.
[Source: “Greek and Roman Life? by Ian Jenkins from the
British Museum [||]

Competitors were often killed. Describing an accident


Sophocles wrote: “As the crowd saw the driver somersault,
there rose a wail of pity for the youth as he was bounced onto
the ground , then flung head over heels into the sky. When his
companions caught the runaway team and freed the
bloodstained corpse from his reigns he was disfigured and
marred past the recognition of his best friend."

"A two-wheeled chariot," wrote journalist Lionel Cassonin


Smithsonian magazine, "was light, like a modern trotters' gig,
but pulled by a team of four horses that would be driven at
the fastest gallop they could generate. They made 12 laps
around the course?about nine kilometers?with 180 degree
turns at each end. As at our Indianapolis 500 viewers enjoyed
not only the excitement of the race but the titillation that
comes from the constant presence of danger: as the teams
thundered around the turns, or one chariot tried to cut over
from the outside to the inside, crashes and collisions were
common and doubtless often fatal. In one celebrated race in
the Pythian games, the competition was so lethal that only
one competitor managed to finish!" [Lionel Casson,
Smithsonian, February 1990]

Other Sports in Ancient Rome


Other sports in Roman times included boxing, acrobatics,
tightrope walking, animal chases, animal bating and
cockfighting. Boxing was popular. Some boxers were known
for their skill; others were known for simply being able take
punishment. Bullfights were held in the Roman theater in
Arles, France. Virgil makes a reference to rowing as a sport
competition around 25 B.C. in the Aeneid .

The Egyptians, Greeks and Romans played ball games. The


Romans played a ball game called trugon with three players
on each team. It was similar to netball and was mentioned by
Martial and Horace. Haroastum was another ball game that
required footwork and ball-handling skills. A 1,600-year-old
fresco found at a villa in Sicily showed a pair of bikini-clad
women tossing a ball.

Image Sources: Wikimedia Commons, The Louvre, The British


Museum

Text Sources: New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles


Times, Times of London, Yomiuri Shimbun, The Guardian,
National Geographic, The New Yorker, Time, Newsweek,
Reuters, AP, Lonely Planet Guides, Compton's Encyclopedia
and various books and other publications. Most of the
information about Greco-Roman science, geography,
medicine, time, sculpture and drama was taken from "The
Discoverers" [∞] and "The Creators" [μ]" by Daniel Boorstin.
Most of the information about Greek everyday life was taken
from a book entitled "Greek and Roman Life" by Ian Jenkins
from the British Museum [||].

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© 2008 Jeffrey Hays

Last updated January 2012

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