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Greek entertainment in Rome

This post is also available in: Polish (polski)

Greek vase from around 520 BCE
Greek vase from around 520 BCE. The object is located in the British Museum.

Roman authors note that Greek entertainment did not begin to appear in Rome until 186 BCE, when the aristocrat Marcus Fulvius brought Greek athletes, who nude presented boxing, wrestling and pentathlon widespread in Greece.

Lucius Anicius followed in the footsteps of Fulvius. After the victory over the Illyrians, he brought artists and boxers from Greece to Rome, for whom a special stage was prepared in the circus. A serious Greek historian, Polibius, describing this event, says that the expectations of viewers were completely different from the character of the shows, and the musicians’ performances turned into a disorderly fight, joined by professional boxers. This event gave an argument to critics of Greek culture to strengthen opposition to taking over all forms of “Greek”.

Author: Adam Zawojak
  • Dariusz Słapek, Sport i widowiska w świecie antycznym: kompendium, Warszawa 2010

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