Ancient Roman Sports

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Ancient Roman Sports

Ancient Roman Sports

Ancient Roman sports were quite unlike those of ancient Greece where the cult of the body and individualism brought them to develop a number of athletics sports such as we still practice today. The ancient Romans were rather more pragmatic and the limited number of sports they practiced were in fact generally practiced by slaves or liberti althought there were periods where even the nobility might have a go at being a gladiator as the rewards were high.

Some of the major sports in ancient Rome included:

The word "sport" in latin had individual translations and synonyms according to the type of activity involved such as "ludus" (game), "certamen" or "inis" (contest, race), "corpore exercitatio" for exercise or "delectamentum" for diversion. Someone who practiced a variety of sports would "corpus variis certaminibus exercere".

Antique print of an Ancient Roman Circus Etruscan fresco of boxers - gladiators - sports in ancient rome Ancient_Rome_naval_games Etruscan fresco of hunting and fishing
Roman Chariot - a Biga - ancient roman sports Ancient Rome Circus Maximus - image of a race - sports in ancient rome Roman  gladiator history - the earliest gladiators were a form of human sacrifice during Etruscan burials gladiator_helmet_rome
gladiators Roman sports - A Retiarius and Secutor gladiators jousting

The sports of athletics including throwing javelins, discus, boxing and so on were obviously well known but cannot be said to have been major passions of the Roman people.

Read on about the social aspects of ancient Roman sports.

Ancient Roman Sports Blog

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"ancient roman sports" was written by Giovanni Milani-Santarpia for - Rome apartments