Josie's Blog

Blog 1:

This week, we've been focusing on our topic---Ancient Roman Spectacle---and trying to discover "What is spectacle?" I am acquainted with the general knowledge of Roman spectacle, which was the Colosseum and the Gladiators (and this mostly came from historically incorrect Hollywood movies).

In my research so far this week, I've tried to break away from the Gladiators and general man-on-man combat and focus more on other forms of Roman spectacle that we came across when researching as a group; Chariot racing.

Chariot racing precedes the Roman Empire by many years, possibly preceding the power of Greece as well. In Roman times, chariot racing was slow to expand, but eventually took off the same way it did when it was at it's height in Greece. Also, chariot racing during the Roman Empire was more than just mere sport (although the sport was very important to the Roman people, not unlike American Football today). The Roman Empire used it as a way to control it's people, to distract the masses. Therefore, Chariot racing had important roots in politics as well as entertainment.

Most of the information I've come across about the specifics of chariot racing were actually taken from pieces of pottery and vases that have been discovered among various rubble and ruins. On these pieces of pottery are depictions of chariot races and their drivers. This is important to note, for as my group and I delve more into this topic of Roman spectacle I think it's interesting to note where this information is being extracted from. This can also be related to any other history classes I take or other period-specific shows I work with. To know where and how scholars/anthropologists/archaeologists, etc came across/deduced this information is important for us to understand.

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Very good start, Josie. I think the focus on Charriot racing is interesting, and you're right to focus on how the Romans used the races (politically). As I told your colleagues, you can always get more specific by locating a line of text or argument from an article or book and writing a journal entry about that.

Also, you wrote this: "This can also be related to any other history classes I take or other period-specific shows I work with." Great! But you should tell us how the two things relate. What specific research overlaps with other classes.

Grade: 95%

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