By Franz Altheim
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Extra resources for A History of Roman Religion
If they were found to have violated their oath to remain chaste, the punishment was severe: burial alive while the male lover was beaten to death. The Vestal Virgins did, however, enjoy many powers that were not granted to other Roman women. They were released from the authority of their fathers, invited to attend Roman festivals, and given seats of honor at the Colosseum. The Vestal Virgins also had the power to grant clemency to condemned criminals. Pagan Gods Much of the art and culture of ancient Rome was produced in tribute to the Roman gods.
At first, Roman plays were usually performed as short comedic skits or as mime shows that also featured acrobats, jugglers, dancing girls, and magicians. By the third century BC, the plays had grown longer, telling full stories while weaving intricate plots. The first of the important Roman playwrights was Gnaeus Naevius, who was born around 270 BC and died in 201 BC. Naevius was a veteran of the Punic Wars. His tragedy The Trojan Horse told the story of the siege of Troy. It was the first play performed in the theater constructed by Pompey.
D. Balsdon, Life and Leisure in Ancient Rome. London: Phoenix, 2002, p. 289. 2. Quoted in Roman Empire & Colosseum, “Famous Gladiators,” 2008. info. in a school by veteran gladiators and expected to provide the spectacle of combat in the arena. ”) Gladiators learned to use swords, spears, shields, nets, and other weapons. Some specialized in fighting against wild animals such as lions or bears—these gladiators were known as the bestiarii. ”26 42 Beneath the dirt floor of the arena, the Colosseum’s builders constructed an intricate warren of rooms, cells, and cages.
A History of Roman Religion by Franz Altheim