Every Day Life In Pompeii And Herculaneum

2227 words - 9 pages

Leisure Activities:In both Pompeii and Herculaneum, entertainment came in many forms. People could attend the theatre, people could go to the amphitheatre, people could gamble, people could spend a day at the baths, people could throw parties such as dinner or dance parties and they could go to a local tavern and get drunk. Simpler forms of entertainment which could be conducted at home might be playing board games with dice, reciting poetry or playing music. From excavations of both Herculaneum and Pompeii, numerous taverns have been discovered, four public baths in Pompeii and two public baths in Herculaneum have been discovered, and two theatres have been found in Pompeii and one theatre in Herculaneum. There is one large amphitheatre in Pompeii but thus far no actual amphitheatre has been found in Herculaneum.One of the most popular forms of entertainment at this time was blood sports where gladiators would fight both men and animals with their lives on the line. Nothing excited the people of this time more than a good bloody fight. The amphitheatre which was found in Pompeii seats between 15,000 and 20,000 people. From wall paintings and various inscriptions as well as other written evidence like game advertisements, gives us good information on the types of sports conducted in the amphitheatre. The sports performed included boxing, gladiatorial combats and wild beast shows where gladiators would fight the animals or animals would be goaded into fighting each other.There have been two theatres excavated in Pompeii and only one in Herculaneum. The larger of the two in Pompeii can seat around 5,000 people and the smaller seats around 1,500. The theatre in Herculaneum can seat up to 2,500 people. From wall paintings and mosaics we have learned that the popular performances in theatres were initially tragic stories and comedies however by the first century AD farces, mimes and pantomimes were more popular. Actual plays and the popular performances were generally performed in the larger theatres and the smaller theatres were used for music concerts, lectures and poetry reading. Access to the theatres was free submission however you needed to submit a token for admission.Gymnasiums (palaestra) were used as a form of entertainment in both Pompeii and Herculaneum. Men and youths used these grounds to participate and practice sports such as running, discus, wrestling and swimming. These gymnasiums were often also incorporated into baths so men could work out before, after or during a bathing session. Graffiti which was found in the gymnasiums provide us with the information of the events which took place inside these places.Drinking and gambling were popular pastimes in both Pompeii and Herculaneum. Many wall paintings such as the wall paintings in the Inn of Salvius show customers fighting and then being thrown out by the tavern owner. Other paintings are records of customer's debts from gambling on things such as cockfights and gladiatorial fights....

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