Daily Life in Rome

Within the city of Rome were many people from all over the Empire and beyond. Life was hard, but the city provided many ways to be entertained in leisure time.

Following old traditions, all Romans had festivals centered on the gods of fields and crops, but the city had the attraction of the Ludi, or games. In Trajan's time, these holidays totalled about one hundred days per year!

The chief entertainments of the Ludi were theatre, and chariot racing. Two Roman playwrights were Plautus and Terence, who wrote low comedies. The works of Greek playwrights we know such as Euripides, Sophocles, and Aristophanes were in use, and most of the actors spoke Greek natively.

The majority of Romans preferred a sort of vaudeville theatre with plenty of surprises, nudity and violence on stage. But then what the average Roman really looked forward to were the horses:

Left: Chariot Race
(Erik Wilson)

Rome had four teams, known by their color: red, white, blue and green.

Green had the most fans and won most often, sort of like the Yankees.

Everyone has heard of the Coloseum. Once in the time of Trajan, it held gladiatorial shows that went on for 123 days.


Above: Coloseum (Erik Wilson)