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Power and people in ancient Rome: Track 6

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The ancient Romans constructed some of the first ever purpose-built venues for mass-entertainment. How do these structures enhance the audience’s experience of the spectacle? This album looks at famous Roman buildings like the Colosseum, a venue designed to impress, where vast numbers of people congregated for gladiatorial combat, chariot-racing and theatrical shows. Structures such as the Circus Maximus and even the Baths were designed as striking symbols of civic pride, glorifying the power of the Emperors who built them. This material forms part of The Open University course A219 Exploring the classical world.

By: The OpenLearn team (The Open University,)

  • Duration 30 mins
  • Updated Tuesday 1st December 2009
  • Posted under History
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Track 6: Spectacle

When only fragments remain how are we to get a sense of what the structure felt like to be inside?

© The Open University 2009

Tracks in this podcast:

Track   Title Description
1 Power and people in ancient Rome    An audio introduction to this album. Play now Power and people in ancient Rome
2 The Colosseum of Rome    The most impressive structure in ancient Rome Play now The Colosseum of Rome
3 Roman amphitheatres    How Roman theatres evolved from informal spaces to formal monumentalised structures. Play now Roman amphitheatres
4 Glorifying Rome    How ancient Roman entertainment venues symbolized the power and might of Rome’s ruling dynasties. Play now Glorifying Rome
5 Audience    Entertaining and impressing large numbers of people in ancient Rome. Play now Audience
6 Spectacle    When only fragments remain how are we to get a sense of what the structure felt like to be inside? Play now Spectacle
7 Baths of Caracalla    In Rome, water was not only a necessity but used as a cultural symbol. The Baths were an important source of civic pride. Play now Baths of Caracalla
8 Baths of Ostia    The chief port of Rome provides another insight into town life, and the number of Baths suggests the importance of bathing as a social activity. Play now Baths of Ostia




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