The Paestum frescoes may represent the continuation of a much older tradition, acquired or inherited from Greek colonists of the 8th century BC. This is described as a munus plural: The enemy, besides their other warlike preparation, had made their battle-line to glitter with new and splendid arms.
Early Roman Drama and Theatre I. An Overview of Roman Drama As Rome begins and ends with Romuliso its drama and theatre also come full circle across the ages.
Traditionally, there are three major phases of development: The third phase is far and away the longest, encompassing all of Roman history from its highest point in the first century BCE to the civilization's so-called "Decline and Fall" in the fifth century CE.
Arguably, a fourth phase could be added, namely, Byzantine entertainments which centered on mime and chariot races, essentially an extension of the preceding period of popular entertainment.
Thus, it is clear Roman tastes gravitated toward circuses, sports and broad comedies making those Hellenized Latin dramas, on which our attentions primarily rest today—they constitute the vast majority of surviving scripts—little more than a brief intermission in the form of entertainment the vast majority of Romans preferred over time: At first glance, Roman theatre history presents a fundamental problem: That is, the majority of texts we have today derive from the second phase the age of literary drama in the second and third centuries BCEwhereas all extant Roman theatres date significantly later and may not even have been constructed for dramatic performances at all.
With that, it is hard to reconstruct the dynamics of Roman stagecraft. While much the same might be said of ancient Greece, it is certain that Greek post-classical theatres were designed for the performance of plays, at least to some extent. At Rome there is no such guarantee.
This discrepancy between the physical and literary evidence stems largely from the two-fold nature of Roman theatre, itself a ramification of the social context of ancient Rome.
Literary drama was aimed, for the most part, at the upper classes.
Plautus' comedy, as low-brow as it may look to us, was directed toward an audience willing to listen to words and follow a plot, as opposed to watching acrobats, tightrope-walkers and gladiators. Terence's plays go further yet and invite actual contemplation of the human condition, what, no doubt, the Roman tragedies written during the late Republic also did, many of which were based on Greek myth and drama.
Unfortunately not a single play of this sort has been preserved intact. Conversely, the great arenas found all over the Roman world, of which the Colosseum is the most visible reminder, housed sporting events and spectacles. Many of these survive, but if they ever served up any theatrical performances at all, it was more likely mime than some genre of classical drama.
Thus, the well regulated and pervasive castes of Roman society—such rigidity was the relic of the early Republic and its conflicts between patricians and plebeians —dictated different types of entertainment for distinct classes of viewers. This is not to say that there was no overlap, only that the segregation of Roman social orders predicated and reinforced different genres of performance.
It is an oversimplification, but a very real truth nonetheless, to say that in Rome entertainment was divided between "readers" and "viewers," that is, a literate nobility and the unwashed mob. Unlike in the Greek world, however, serious drama was able to hang onto the hearts and minds of the Roman public for only a century or so.
Thus, in Rome performances focused on the spoken word rose quickly from and sank back almost as fast into the popular entertainment scene, the one and only enduring aspect of Roman theatre history.
Native Italian Drama before BCE There is some evidence that the Romans were first exposed to public entertainments not from the Greeks who had colonized southern Italy but the Etruscans to the north. In the sixth and fifth centuries BCE, Etruscan culture abounded in various types of shows involving, in particular, singing, dancing and athletic competitions.
To wit, the walls of an ancient tomb in Etruria feature paintings of musicians, sporting events and viewers seated on wooden benches. It seems reasonable to conclude, then, that close contact with this civilization stimulated the Romans' love of the same early in their history.
Further evidence of this connection lies in several words imported from Etruscan into Latin: At the same time, however, there are far more terms in Latin relating to drama which derive from Greek than Etruscan, compelling proof that later Greek influence on Roman theatre won out over anything the Romans experienced in their early evolution.
All in all, the extent of the Etruscans' impact on early Roman theatre is hard to gauge because it took place so close to the prehistoric period when the Romans were still a very small and insignificant tribe. The evolution of aboriginal Roman drama is no less difficult to reconstruct, especially since no dramatic script from the period survives.
Later Romans during the early Empire around the first century CE were as curious as we are about the origins of their drama and investigated the history of performance in primordial Rome, evidently with little more profit than we do. Their theories are often incomplete and contradictory, leaving the impression that even by the first century BCE clear and compelling evidence no longer existed about the nature of early Roman theatre.
For example, classical Latin authors like Horace and Livy posit the origin of Roman drama in performances at country festivals, harvests and weddings. This is exactly what anyone would guess in the absence of hard data—the comparison to Aristotle's supposition about tragedy and dithyramb is obvious—and to substantiate their claims, they mention various types of early Roman entertainment, such as Fescennine verses, an apparent reference to Fescennium, a town in southern Etruria.
Though no early Fescennine verses are preserved, we are told they involved improvised performances by rustic clowns who deployed a variety of different poetic meters, mocked individuals, used obscenities and spoke in alternation. When it is all added up, the similarity to early Greek theatre, especially Old Comedy, is both transparent and telling, which makes this information appear suspect.Sexuality in ancient Rome, and more broadly, sexual attitudes and behaviors in ancient Rome, are indicated by Roman art, literature and inscriptions, and to a lesser extent by archaeological remains such as erotic artifacts and architecture.
Egyptian costume history. Ancient Greek fashion and costume history; Minoan costume history. Ancient Greek, Crete. The Amazons. Female warrior.
Ancient Roman costume history. B.C. 53 to A.D. Costume history of the Persians and other Asiatics. Ancient British period.
Fashion history of England. Bronze age. A gladiator (Latin: gladiator, "swordsman", from gladius, "sword") was an armed combatant who entertained audiences in the Roman Republic and Roman Empire in violent confrontations with other gladiators, wild animals, and condemned criminals.
Some gladiators were volunteers who risked their lives and their legal and social standing by appearing. The Ancient Roman Costume History in Europe B.C.
53 to A.D. The Toga, Tunic, Stola. The necessary garments of mankind were never many: one adjusted to the body, reaching to the knee or mid-leg, for the men, and to the ankle for the women; another, ample enough to cover the whole person in inclement weather.
Status Symbols in Roman era essays Costume in the Roman era is marked by similarity to the Greeks and Etruscans. However, a distinct garment of the Romans is the tunic.
The tunic was sometimes worn alone or worn under the distinctive toga. Thus, the gates of Rome were wide open for other imports, and the most enduring, if not the longest-lived, was poised to make its mark, the drama of classical and post-classical Greece. III.
Roman Theatre. No permanent theatre structure stood in .