Essay On Pompeii

885 Words4 Pages
How does Pompeii relate to the wider Roman world?

The ancient Roman city of Pompeii was located near modern day Naples, in the Italian region of Campania. Destroyed and buried under 20ft of ash and pumice with the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD, “at the height of its glory and grandeur … Pompeii was one of the largest cities in the empire with a population totalling 20,000” . This paper will look at the socio-economic structure in both Pompeii and the wider Roman world. Pompeii was a typical Roman city, imitating the capital city of Rome. Life was dependent on economic status: commerce and agriculture contributed to the economy, while the Roman baths and amphitheatre provided leisure to the citizens of the Roman Empire.

Pompeii’s ruins give an unparalleled glimpse into the daily life of city dwellers. “During the first century AD, Pompeii prospered as a commercial and farming centre … with commodities including wool, flowers and perfume, and garum” . In order to enhance its status within the Roman world, Pompeii’s buildings “emulated the magnificent public buildings that were found in the capital city, Rome” .

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… The arena accommodated all social classes, demonstrating the universal popularity of the games” . The official title for the amphitheatre was the Latin word “Spectacula” . This reflects the fact that the gladiatorial events and venationes staged in the arena evolved during the Roman Republic, and later the Roman Empire. “Gladiatorial combat involved highly trained and expensive professionals” . The gladiators followed rules in order to entertain spectators and encourage displays of “martial excellence: a demonstration of bravery in the face of death, and of discipline and skill with arms” . In both Pompeii and the wider Roman world, most gladiators would have been slaves, enemy soldier-prisoners or paid volunteers; some emperors would also fight in the arena, but risks to themselves were
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