In the ancient Roman times people didn’t have all the stuff we have today. So how did they entertain themselves? They went to the giant Colosseum built by the Flavian emperors of 1st century A.D. Rome which could seat 50,000 people to see fights. They would see gladiators, slaves, prisoners, and wild animals such as lions and other animals fight with each other to the death.
The fights in the colosseum were mostly violent so if you had a thirst for blood you would go and see these fights. The best thing about these events was that they were free! So entire families would go and see these gory productions often. Even the emperors encouraged people to see the shows.
The fights would have the loser end up being killed and the winner would live for another day and would go back down to a jail cell and wait until the next fight. Various weapons were used in these fights, including pole-axes, swords, chains, knives, spears and even bare hands in the brutal one to one combat that would take place.
They even had special types of wild animals that fought in the coliseum, but you had to go there in the morning. The types of animals that were used against each other were wild cats, buffaloes, bears and elephants. Some of the animals went extinct in the area of the coliseum because they were in such great demand by the people who ran attractions. I wouldn’t want to be an animal back then!
When the Colosseum was flooded by rainstorms, they would have mock sea battles where two people were on two boats. They would fight each other until one of them died or when one of the boats sank.
One popular form of colosseum entertainment, around 100 A.D., featured people of the Christian religious persuasion who would be released on to the stadium floor because they gave allegiance to God over the Roman Emperor – a capital crime. Sadly, lions would then be released and the Christians would be devoured by the hungry beasts. Let’s hope that doesn’t happen again.
The Colosseum activities went on from around the year 80 A.D. to the early 500’s A.D.
By: Ben Kingsland