Surprising Facts About The Ancient Roman Empire

The smell of the city is strong and foul as you make your way down Trajan’s Market. The narrow streets are hot and overcrowded with soldiers supervising, civilians running errands, and the aristocracy taking a stroll in their expensive togas. All around you peddlers and customers are squabbling and negotiating prices. Amidst all of the commotion, you can still hear the roars from the Colosseum as another gladiator meets their violent end. Welcome to Ancient Rome. While most people have a basic understanding of Ancient Rome, take a deeper look into the culture that’s credited with shaping the Western World.

Learn about the misconception of the life expectancy of a Roman citizen.

Gladiator Fighting Wasn’t The Predominant Source Of Entertainment

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Photo Credits: ullstein bild via Getty Images
Photo Credits: ullstein bild via Getty Images

When most people think of Roman entertainment, it usually involves gladiators in the Colosseum fighting to the death for the pleasure of the Roman public. While gladiator fighting was a beloved sport by the Romans, it turns out that it wasn’t the most popular. The sheer brutality and the size of such games was astounding, but not admired by all.

Chariot racing was the most popular sport of its time. The Colosseum, where the gladiator fights occurred, could seat around 50,000 people. Yet, the Circus Maximus, which was for chariot racing, could seat an audience of up to 250,000.