Both Greek and Roman mythology have captured the public’s imagination even after the fall of both civilizations. Several movies such as “Clash of the Titans” and “The Immortals” as well as games such as “God of War” have been based on Greek mythology – from which a lot of Roman mythology took inspiration.
However, for the Romans, this belief in gods and goddesses was not just interesting and incredible stories. The Romans built several temples in honor of their gods, like the Garni Temple, which was dedicated to Helios (the sun god) in modern-day Armenia. So, who influenced who, we ask.
Not for the Faint of Heart
British director, Ridley Scott, brought to life a popular form of Roman entertainment – gladiator fights. Hosted in the Colosseum and watched by thousands, gladiator fights were not only extremely popular but extremely brutal. Gladiators were generally slaves who were owned by Roman slaveowners.
These gladiators were primarily used for entertainment purposes. That part of the movie didn’t get wrong. It didn’t help that there were initially no rules, meaning fights could get out of hand. In fact, these fights were so brutal that in the beginning, gladiators who lost the fights were sentenced to death – so not for the faint-hearted.
The Largest Amphitheater
The ancient Greeks and Romans were certainly keen on amphitheaters, so that is why when you visit Athens, you will see the Odeon of Herodes Atticus and Nîmes you can take a tour of the Amphitheatre of Nîmes. However, the most impressive amphitheater would have to be the Colosseum.
The iconic landmark is about 1943 years old and could hold about 50,000 to 80,000 spectators. On average, the amphitheater held about 65,000 spectators. Its main purpose was to hold gladiatorial events but also public performances such as theater productions. These days, an average of six million people visit the site every year.
Tossing a Coin Into Trevi Fountain
If you have ever visited Rome, then you have probably tossed a coin or two into the iconic Trevi Fountain. There is a legend about the famous fountain that if you toss a coin into its waters, you will visit Rome one day again.
Heck, we will toss a whole purse of coins into the waters if we can go back to Rome. It is little wonder that coins amounting to between 5,000 and 8,000 Euros are thrown into the fountain every day. The coins are collected and sent to a Catholic charity which uses them to support local families in need.
The Colosseum saw much violence and death, but it was not only human life that was wasted in this ring, animal life was taken too. In some cases, wild animals served as companions to gladiators, so if the gladiator lost the fight, rules dictated that both lost their lives.
In other cases, hungry animals were forced to stand off against other hungry animals, so naturally, one animal did not survive. Wild animals that made regular appearances include tigers, bears, elephants, and giraffes. It is estimated that 1,000,000 animals were killed in these brutal games. Thankfully, the world has progressed, and the rules have changed.