Thursday, May 20, 2010

Walk This [Roman] Way

I did make one hypothesis while I was there. Just one. I wish I could share with you more than that. It was something I noticed. As I stood close to the location to the Temple of the Vestal Virgins I could see the collossium. In fact it is in walking distance. It was not that far from the Senate building where the laws were made, and the emperors sat, and I could imagine that when the wind was good, and the conditions right, 50, 000 voices shouting in their blood lust could be heard through the windows.

I wonder what laws were passed based on that sound.
I've been thoroughly enjoying the Ancient Rome Refocused podcast. It has the informality and "outside the envelope" thinking that puts one in mind of Hardcore History (I have a feeling that Rob Cain is going to get very tired of that comparison). Now I see that his blog is just as entertaining, informative, and thought provoking. Check it out.


  1. I just gotta say... things like this make me facepalm. Why? Because A) the Colosseum wasn't built until the reign of Vespasian, in which the senate was acting as the hand of the emperor and not as an independent body and B) if there were games, the Senate wasn't in session.

  2. Oho ... now there is an interesting piece of info.

    On the other hand, you do really need to go read the entire post. The writer's quest was not historical authenticity but a desire to see modern Rome without the antiquities. His post is really a wonderfully entertaining piece about how that just can't be done. So ... I am cutting him some slack on this.

    Let me know if that perspective changes at all for you if you get a chance to read the whole thing. :-)

  3. Oh, I'm sure it's great! Which is why I posted that here and not there - I don't know the gentleman well enough to tell him his fly's down, so to speak. :P I did enjoy his post on Pompey the other day.

    But it is a real point of irritation for me: while Rome was a nasty place in a lot of ways, they were far more conservative morally than we give them credit for. While the gladiatorial fights are indeed deeply troubling, they had a context. And a lot of our ideas about the "Decadence" of Rome has a lot more to do with Hollywood than the real thing.

    All that having been ranted, I can't object to anyone being a big fan. :D

  4. Oh, well then.

    Never mind! :-D (Emily Litella)

  5. Julie, I can't wait to hear what you think of "The Big Sleep," if that's one of the Chandler novels you picked, although I also enjoyed "Farewell, My Lovely."

    And I'll have a completely unrelated but possibly daring book review up soon...