David Pickup forwarded a link to this nice Tumblr feed from the Hunterian museum. Thanks!
Small Change Big Games is a project that will explore images of games and festivals on Roman coins in The Hunterian’s collection.
Wild beast hunts and gladiators fighting to the death aren’t events we expect to see at the Commonwealth Games, but they were always popular at the Roman games. The Romans might have had a different idea of entertainment, but there are still plenty of similarities between Roman games and those happening today.
The Roman games were celebrated several times each year and entertained the Roman people in the same way for centuries. They were public holidays (like Bank Holidays in the UK) that were first and foremost religious celebrations, and they came with entertainments paid for by the state.
As well as the wild beasts and gladiators, these entertainments included theatrical shows and chariot racing!
Can you see the altar and the people around it giving offerings? This is a sacrifice, watched by a goddess on the left and a sacrificial animal on the right. What does it all mean, and where did it fit into the games?
What is a magistrate’s chair doing on a coin? Well, this magistrate organised the games - and he wants you to know about it so you’ll vote for him!
A wolf and two children - does this story sound familiar? It is part of Rome’s foundation myth - Romulus, Remus and the she-wolf.
To visit the site, see:
Small Change Big Games
Wayne Homren, Editor
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