The Private and Public Leisure Activities of Pompeii and Herculaneum

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The private and public leisure activities of Pompeii and Herculaneum Introduction: The private and public leisure activities of Pompeii and Herculaneum were largely abundant. Many activities could be participated in and were used often. These include Drama performances, gladiatorial games, drinking, gambling, brothels, exercise, gardens, baths and food and dining. All these were an important part of Pompeian and Herculaneum life. They were seen as important to keep the body and mind healthy in most cases. Though some opposed some of the activities like brothels, gambling and drinking. But all give a important look into the life of those in Pompeii and Herculaneum before the catastrophic eruption of Vesuvius which completely destroyed…show more content…
Gladiatorial games: Blood sports were the most popular form of entertainment in Pompeii. They were held in the Amphitheatre. The Amphitheatre was the largest building in Pompeii. It held between 13000 and 20000 people. The Pompeian Amphitheatre was an oval shaped building with approximately 35 rows of seats. It was well used, as there were numerous public holidays during the Roman calendar. There are many mosaics, inscription and paintings that depict the type of things that occurred within the Amphitheatre. The many types of events included, gladiator’s vs gladiators, gladiator’s vs. wild exotic animals, animals against animals, and execution of criminals by animals. During excavation of the Amphitheatre 60 bodies where found in the barracks of the amphitheaters. Many victorious gladiators had sponsors. An inscription found near the Amphitheatre says: "the gladiatorial troupe of Aulus Suettius Certus will fight at Pompeii on 31 May. There will be a hunt and awnings. Good luck to all neronian games." The gladiatorial games were an important part of the lives of those in Pompeii. But those in Herculaneum were most likely unable to enjoy the games as home as they did not have a place to hold them. Gladiators were POW’s, freedmen, criminals, slaves and some men who had fallen on hard times who would volunteer. Drinking: Pompeii and Herculaneum were filled with taverns and bars showing

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