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Ancient Origins Tour IRAQ

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Roman Entertainment Venues

The Romans were famous for their love of entertainment, and their cities were dotted with theaters, circuses, and amphitheaters where people gathered to watch gladiatorial games, chariot races, and theatrical performances. These venues were not only places of entertainment but also of political and social significance, where the citizens could gather to express their views and opinions. In this section, we will explore some of the most iconic and influential Roman entertainment venues, examining their history, architecture, and cultural impact.

A mosaic featuring two lions recently found at the ancient city of Prusias ad Hypium. Source: Faruk Özlu/Düzce Municipality

Lion Mosaic Links Prusias ad Hypium Theater to Dionysus Cult

During ongoing excavations in the ancient city of Prusias ad Hypium in Turkey, archaeologists have uncovered a beautiful mosaic featuring a duo of lions. The excavation team, operating above the...
Archaeologists in Rome believe they have found the remains of the Theater of Nero in Rome. Source: Soprintendenza Speciale Roma

Long-Lost Legendary Theater of Nero Finally Excavated in Central Rome

One of the ancient world’s most searched-for Roman structures has finally been found. That is the Theater of Nero, a large private entertainment venue built by Rome’s notorious emperor during his...
A gladiator fights a lion at the Gladiator Games in ancient Rome. Source: (DigitalGenetics/Adobe Stock)

The Exotic Menagerie: The Wild Animals Slaughtered in Gladiator Games

The ancient Roman gladiator games were a spectacle of blood and brutality that captivated audiences for centuries. While we may imagine sword-wielding gladiators fighting to the death in the arena,...
Inside the Roman Colosseum.

Red-painted numbers helped Romans find their seats in the Colosseum

Archaeologists have discovered that the carved seat numbers in the Roman Colosseum had been painted red to make the seats easier to see, assuring orderly, trouble-free seating of the crowd--who then...
Holding Cell Where Roman Gladiators Awaited Death Found in Britain

Holding Cell Where Roman Gladiators Awaited Death Found in Britain

A Roman “carcer” is a holding cell for criminals and Roman gladiators awaiting their moment in the amphitheater, where bloodthirsty crowds eagerly anticipated the spectacle of their deaths. One such...
Aerial view of the Pergamon Acropolis and huge Pergamon Amphitheater, Izmir Province, Turkey.      Source: Tarik GOK / Adobe Stock

Excavations Reveal Pergamon Amphitheater Had Reserved ‘Box Seats’

Which sports and entertainment fan today hasn’t yearned for box seats or VIP seating for their favorite concert? Despite the needle of time ticking away through these centuries, some things don’t...
Inside view of the Pula Arena - Croatia

Pula Arena: Exceptional Roman Amphitheater in Croatia Still Alive and Kicking

The Pula Arena is a Roman amphitheater located in Pula, on the southern tip of the Istria peninsula, north-western Croatia. It has been estimated that there are around 230 Roman amphitheaters that...
The Cartagena amphitheater. Source: eddy007 /Adobe Stock

Cartagena Amphitheater Dig Unearths Gladiator Chamber

Archaeologists digging at the Roman Cartagena amphitheater have discovered artifacts and a pre-gladiatorial holding chamber, shedding more light on that side of the city’s history. The archaeological...
Drone shot of the last Roman amphitheater ever unearthed in Kaiseraugst, Switzerland.		Source: Canton of Aargau

The Last Roman Amphitheater Ever Built Found Near Basel Switzerland!

An archaeological team accompanying construction workers building a new boathouse for the Basel Rowing Club in Kaiseraugst, Switzerland in December last year unexpectedly stumbled upon the remains of...
Ruins of Pompeii, the Amphitheater 		Source: Leonid Andronov / Adobe Stock

World’s Oldest Surviving Amphitheater Preserved at Pompeii

Amphitheaters, with their gladiators, executions, and macabre contests, have fascinated people for millennia. They have featured in countless novels, books, and video games. One of the best-preserved...
Sunset view of the Roman Amphitheater in Chester, England 	Source: Adrian / Adobe Stock

The Large Amphitheater of Chester and Rome’s Fruitless Expansion Plan

The arenas built by the Romans are without a doubt their most notorious monuments. They were the scene of public executions, where combats between criminals, prisoners of war and slaves were held,...
Chariot race in Rome's Circus Maximus, as if seen from the starting gate. The Palatine Hill and Imperial palace are to the left, by Jean Léon Gérôme (1876) (Public Domain)

The Life Of A Celebrity Roman Chariot Horse

“The horses burst through the sky and with swift-hooved feet cut a dash through the clouds, which blocked their way as borne on wings they passed the east wind .” (Ovid, Metamorphoses II.157–60) The...
The best-ever Roman amphitheater, a Roman Colosseum replica that could seat 15 - 20,000 has recently been discovered in a field in Western Turkey, complete with underground gladiator and administrator rooms.

Astonished Archaeologists Find Roman Colosseum Replica in Anatolia

While exploring the site of the ancient city of Mastaura in western Turkey last summer, archaeologists discovered something remarkable. Partially buried in the earth and further obscured beneath...
Arles Amphitheatre. Photo source: emperorcosar / Adobe Stock.

Arles Amphitheatre – A Roman Treasure in the Soul of Provence

Arles Amphitheatre (known in French as Les Arènes d'Arles) is a Roman amphitheatre located in the southern French city of Arles. The city is situated in the Bouches-du-Rhône department of the...
The Roman ruins at Valeria in Castilla-La Mancha. Source: Cultura Castilla-La Mancha

Valeria: Thriving Roman Holiday Resort Emerging From Abandoned Ruins

Standing at these Roman ruins in the Spanish province of Cuenca, it’s hard to imagine that Valeria was a bustling Roman city 2,000 years ago. “You have to imagine a visitor entering the city through...
The Amphitheatre of El Djem

The Amphitheatre of El Djem: Gladiatorial Arena of Tunisia

The amphitheatre is one of the most iconic architectural contributions of ancient Rome. The most famous example of such a structure is the Colosseum in Rome, where brutal gladiatorial battles took...
Rome's Colosseum

Colosseum of Rome, a Condominium in Medieval Times

The Colosseum of Rome is infamously known as the site of brutal gladiator battles in which slaves, Christians, and gladiator fighters were mercilessly slaughtered for the enjoyment of the emperor and...
Ancient gladiator and image representative of the Flavian amphitheater        Source: Luis Louro/ Adobe Stock

The Flavian Amphitheater that Bought Emperor Vespasian’s Popularity

Amphitheaters were a large part of the Roman culture and they were built in many of their cities across their empire, such as El Jem in Tunisia, Nimes Arena in France, and Leptis Magnus in Libya...
The Roman amphitheater of Cagliari             Source: murasal / Adobe Stock

When in Sardinia, Do as the Romans Do: The Cagliari Amphitheater

Sardinia is a beautiful Italian island renowned for its stunning views. It is also a historic island with over 7000 prehistoric archaeological sites that date from before 1000 BC and many amazing...
The Roman Theatre, Amman, Jordan

Amman, One of the Finest Roman Theatres in the World

The Kingdom of Jordan has many historical sites. Many different civilizations have flourished in the area since ancient times. One of the most important and largest heritage sites is the Roman...