It was Juvenal that coined this system, a mechanism of influential power over the Roman mass. "Panem et Circensus", literally "bread and circuses", was the formula for the well-being of the population, and thus a political strategy. This formula offered a variety of pleasures such as: the distribution of food, public baths, gladiators, exotic animals, chariot races, sports competition, and theater representation. It was an efficient instrument in the hands of the Emperors to keep the population peaceful, and at the same time giving them the opportunity to voice themselves in these places of performance.
Before the construction of the relative buildings that functioned as the city's central administration, the Forum area was the theater for gladiator combat. These gatherings began at the rise of 122 B.C. Reserved stands for respected spectators were constructed around the piazza (square) of the Roman Forum, excluding the poor classes. Successively, Caio Gracco had these exclusive stands destroyed, winning the favor of the common citizens. The organization of games was an occasion to climb up the ladder of political popularity: this mechanism degenerated in performances so magnificent that they became "folly", described as such by Lavio.
During his youth, Caesar was famous for the magnificant games he organized, as he had hundreds of gladiators fighting eachother. His political opponents were worried about the ambitions of this new rival, but he still established a reputation as a generous friend to the public. Caesar organized these games by borrowing a lot of money that was in turn well invested into propoganda earning him important positions in office. Consequently, these postions enabled him to pay back every cent that he had borrowed. Besides using them as a political strategy, Caesar had a true passion for the games. The people were grateful to him and showered him with honor and positions in large quantities. Caesar is still celebrated as one of the prominent personages of Romanity: it was Caesar that began the Roman Empire
With time the public became more demanding and began organizing performances that were even more costly and magnificent: Octavian Augustus, Caesar's adopted son and prince of Rome, organized "extraordinary" games where 10,000 men battled against 3,500 wild animals from Africa. Also, in 107 A.D., Trajan, on occasion of the victory against the Dacians, organized battles of over 10,000 gladiators that lasted 123 festival days and in which 11,000 wild animals were killed. This record was never to be exceeded, since Trajan walked away from these battles with a sum of 10,000,000 kilos of gold, 20 million kilos of silver, and 500,000 slaves.
The provinces of the empire also had their games that took place in the amphitheaters constructed by the Romans, including: France, Spain, Britain, and all of Italy. The nobility of every city acquired prestige organizing these games and the Roman Empire earned popularity. Of course, only about ten gladiators fought, which was nothing compared to the splendor seen in the city of Rome.
The majority of gladiators were prisoners of war and slaves that were obligated to fight in order to survive. Also, sentenced criminals were brought to the arena to be almost certainly killed by sword -"ad gladium", or by ferocoius wild animals- "ad bestias". Rather, the autocrats, who had free choice to fight, scorned danger and were only interested in becoming rich with prizes. Some of them were true popular heroes. The gladiators were German, Spanish, Welsh, Britannic, black Africans, nomadic Russians, and Jews from Jerusalem. This also had political significance: using the defeated enemy to entertain the public was a triumph in victory. The wild animals consisted of elephants, tigers, lions, hippopotamuses, gazelles, panthers, camels, wild boars, bulls, deer, leopards, and elks. Only a few of these animals were saved by being sent off to the emperor's zoo, while the rest were cruelly killed.
The Coliseum, or Flavian amphitheater, was constructed in 70 A.D. in ten years; it was the largest and most magnificent monument dedicated to the games with 50 meters on 4 floors, a diameter of 188 meters, constructed with 100,000 cubic meters of travertine marble and 300 tons of iron, and a capacity with over 50,000 places to sit. The Circus Maximus was the most grandiose building for public performances ever constructed. Adorned with statues and decorated with noble metals, this place was used for chariot races. 650 meters long by 125 meters wide, it initially had 150,000 places to sit. After the reconstruction that Trajan wanted between 100-104 A.D., available seats expanded to 350,000. Many businesses and stores were located in the Circus Maximus. The races that took place had precise rules that resulted in violence, much appreciated by the public.
The games were often too violent and abusive, like the time when Caligula (37-41 A.D.) sent innocent people from the public to battle because the gladiators were being killed off too fast: the unfortunate had their tongues cut off so they could not yell for help.
The Layout of a Roman Legion's camp Ditch and Palisade Stables Via Principali s Soldiers' Tents Soldiers' Tent Standa rds Gener al's Quart ers Camp Headquar ters Alt ar Soldiers' Tents Rostr um Soldiers' Tents Via Praetoria Forum Via Decumana Officers' Tents Soldiers' Tents Via Principali s Officers' Tents Soldiers' Tents Stables
The walls and ditches around the camp are shown as standard 9' ditches with rounded corners. The ditch portion is black, the wall portion is red. There are 200 feet between the wall and the tenting areas.
Distance between camps There was surely no standard distance between camps. Estimates of the normal day's march vary but 10 miles seems to be fairly standard. That is the distance Peddie uses, for example. 10 miles is used in this model. Time to Fortify the New Camp Peddie estimates that it took 3 hours to complete the fortifications around the camp, Judson estimated 3 to 4 hours. I used 3 hours. Peddie notes that the first legionary soldiers to arrive with the vanguard do not begin fortification work but, rather, set up a protective screen to defend the site and the new arrivals. Work on fortifications didnot begin until the first of the regular legionary forces arrive.
Rate of March This information was first presented in Elements of the March: "The march cadence is fairly well established. The Roman militari gradu, regular march cadence, was 100 paces per minute, the quick march cadence was 120 paces per minute. The Roman foot was (0.9708 English foot). The pace was 2.5 Roman feet, (29.124"). According to Upton, this is almost exactly the same as the US Army standard at the turn of the century; its pace was (30"), the regular march cadence was 100 paces / minute and the quick march cadence was 120 paces per minute." At that rate the army would move 14,562 feet per hour, 2.76 miles per hour. It would take each unit a little over 3 1/2 hours to complete the ten miles between camps. Because of the length of the column, it would take a little over 8 hours from the time the first units left camp until the last of the rearguard arrived at the new camp.
The illustration below shows some of the spears used by or against the armies of Rome. Starting at the top are a number of different length sarissas, the pike used by the classic phalanx. The length of the sarissas can be judged from the scale at the bottom, the longest is just over 20 feet. Below them are several lengths of hasta, spears used for stabbing by the triarii and by the hoplite-type army. Four pila are shown with different style iron points and at the bottom the dart used by the velites.
This illustration shows two types of spear points. Against unarmored foes a broad point is more effective because it makes a wider wound. Against armor a smaller point is more effective because it concentrates the force better. Some pila points were broad but the classic pila had the small point shown here. Arrow points also came in both broad and narrow configurations
The ballista was the main artillery weapon of the army. It was a two armed torsion catapult which threw stones in a relatively flat trajectory.
The onager was a single arm machine that threw stones from a sling. Onagri were known from early times but did not come into widespread use until late in the empire. The likely reason is that the ballista was more efficient but more complicated to build and maintain. As the technical expertise of the empire declined the onager came to replace the ballista. The onager was a large siege weapon, not a field weapon. The onager illustrated here is a small one, large onagri could be almost twice this size.
The scorpio was a small two armed arrow throwing weapon. The version illustrated here has a metal body, earlier scorpiones had wood bodies and were bulkier. This is a "three span" scorpio, indicating the length of the arrow, about 27".
water from a spring in the hills is collected in a reservoir to build up pressure and ensure a steady supply to the city. this water flows along the aqueduct (at a gradient of about 1 in 1000, meaning than for every 1000 feet in length, the water would flow downwards 1 foot.) upon reaching the city, is is distributed via the many public fountains and pipes.
. Adjacent to the hot spring that feeds the Baths there was a major temple dedicated to the goddess Sulis Minerva. In Roman times people came to worship and pray to the goddess when seeking a cure for their ailments, before immersing themselves in the sacred waters that flowed through the suite of baths
The baths were very luxurious. The average bath house would have mirrors covering the walls, ceilings were buried in glass and the pools were lined with rich marble and complicated mosaics covered the floors. A Roman wishing to enter the baths would do so through the front porch whose roof was supported by Roman pillars. He would enter into the main hall were he would pay his fee, from there he would go to the changing rooms called apodyterium. In here he would leave his clothes with his slave to guard. The bath house had many different rooms each with it's own special use these included:Roman pillars
The Roman visiting the baths would exercise in the yard called a palaestra or hall were he would work up a sweat lifting weights, playing ball games, boxing or wrestling. During the wrestling match at the end of every bout the fighters slaves would cover their bodies in sand and oil to lessen their opponents grip. For the less energetic there was bowls, gambling with dice, which was very popular or boardgames. Following this he would go to the unctuarium where he would have olive oil rubbed into his skin by one of the slaves owned by the baths.
The baths were like a club in a sports complex. When you had finished bathing there was a gym, library with a reading room for reading scrolls, a snack bar, restaurants, bars, shops, lounges, taverns even museums and theatres. The bathouse was used to meet friends for a chat, to exchange gossip, exercise or just a wash.The baths were noisy with men singing, the odd poet reciting poetry in the hope of getting an invitation home to dinners. Criers calling "HOT SAUSAGES" or "CAKES FOR SALE" could be heard. A rich strict roman called Senaca dissapproved of the baths saying "It was a sign of weakness, and you should only wash once a week like "the good old days."
Three daily meals Getting up at dawn, the antique Romans had breakfast ("ientaculum") with the leftovers from the previous evening (cheese, olives, bread, honey), fresh milk, and small flat loaves of bread. The meal was substantial. Around noon they had a small and quick lunch ("prandium") being that they were at work in the city. Often they ate from street vendors and after had a bath. The food varied from season to season; hot food in the winter, and fresh food in the summer. Dinner ("cena") was tied to the hour of sunset with the presence of the whole family and an abundant meal. During the very antique times they ate soup with legumes, milk, cheese, fresh and dried fruit, and lard. As time evolved, bread made its debut and meat was also served on the tables of the poor. When there were dinner guests, the meal was a "convivium", with appetizers ("gustum"), large plates of food ("caput cenae"), and dessert ("mensa secunda"). There was also delicacies like truffles, goose liver (thought of by Plinius), minced lobster- balls, and oysters. Cattle meat was scarce since they were used for tilling the land. In compensation every kind of wild game was available, with spiders and snails used for extra- fine cuisine, like today. Always present were sauces and spices added to everything: pepper, clove, saffron, mustard, fennel and anise seeds, juniper berry, fish, oil, vinegar, and wine.