the famous gladiators fighting in the Coliseum, and the fights with wild
animals shown in many films, the Romans loved to race with their chariots.
The Circo Massimo was a racecourse in which up to 250,000 people would
cheer on the chariots.
Even the theatre had many fans. Usually, there were two shows: a drama
and a comedy. Even though the Romans loved the Greek arts, the actors
were considered lower class people. All of the Coliseum, racecourse and
theatre shows were free. Expenses generally were paid by the emperor or
by an important person with the aim to conquer the favor of the people.
In addition, contrary to popular belief, the gladiators did not fight
against the animals but against other gladiators. The Venatori were the
ones who carried out ferocious fights with the animals. Gladiators and
other Venatori coming from the distant lands of the empire also fought
each other. The gladiators and the Venatori were slaves and prisoners
Under the reign of emperor Commodoro it was possible for anyone, even
a citizen, to fight in order to demonstrate his own valor and courage.
The defeated gladiator would look at the emperor who decided his fate
according to the public's mood: thumbs up meant life, thumbs down death.