Pompeii and Herculaneum Assessment Task

“Examine the importance of leisure and entertainment in Pompeii and Herculaneum”

The people of Pompeii and Herculaneum may be seen as barbaric, pleasure and luxury seekers. And there is a great expanse of evidence that proves this. Primary sources such as reliefs, sculptures, mosaics, inscriptions and buildings have provided a valuable insight to the extensive range of leisure and entertainment activities that the people of Pompeii and Herculaneum took part in. The barbaric or violent nature of the people of Pompeii and Herculaneum can be seen in activities such as gladiatorial games, especially gladiatorial battles and cockfighting. The pleasure seeking activities include prostitution and bathing. The activities that paint a picture of the people enjoying luxuries include theatrical performances and bathing. Barbaric, pleasure and luxurious seeking attitudes are all intermingling aspects that majority of people involved themselves in. The obvious fact, that they enjoyed and participated in this abundance of activities, signifies the importance of leisure and entertainment in Pompeii and Herculaneum.
The people of Pompeii and Herculaneum are often described as barbaric and violent. One activity that persuades the barbaric nature and was of great importance to these people was the most popular form of entertainment, the gladiatorial games. Held in the great amphitheatre, in Pompeii, they featured combats between pairs of gladiators as well as animals. Women, city authorities, distinguished guests and the elite regularly attended the performances. Gladiators were usually prisoners of war, slaves, freemen or criminals condemned to death. Infamy was attached to gladiators as they made their living performing in public, and the brutality and hunger for killing that they were equipped with. In 1766-67 was a major archaeological find of gladiatorial equipment such as, helmets, greaves and weapons. This is supporting evidence...