SPORTS THEN AND NOW
ROMAN GAMES AND MODERN TIMES
Throughout history, sports have evolved into today's organized professional elite sports.
Through certain periods in history sports were very different then they are today and meant very
different things to the cultures in society of those times. During Roman periods people did not
take part in organized team sports as they do today. In modern times most of the popular sports
of the day have professional counterparts. A person can take the sport which he likes into a
During Roman times much of the population was centered outside the cities. They took
place in various folk games which unfortunately we have little record of today. In most of
the urban centers during the Roman empire there were huge spectacles which were watched like
they are in our modern times, in big stadiums with a large audience. Roman games consisted of
chariot races, which were the most popular, gladitorial games, bull baiting, bear baiting, and
periodically feeding criminals and christians to lyons. In modern times most professional sports
are team activities and focus on specialization of skills, feats of agility, strength, speed and the
like. As Roman sports focused on war-like abilities or spectacles such as combat, chariot races,
and animal fights.
Many of the spectecles in Roman days used slaves as participants altough some free
Roman citizens would participate in the games for fame and fortune. These slaves were a far cry
from the highly paid super famous atheletes of today. The games in Roman times were basically
opium of the masses for numerous reasons; Roman urban society had very high unemployment,
and by 300 A.D. nearly half of the days on the Roman calender were public holidays. In order to
keep the masses from rioting, Roman officials used the games to placate the public and distribute
food. Many Roman emporers and officials used the games to further their political career.
Today women are taking greater participation in the sports of today. In Roman times
unless you happened to be a woman of christian denomination who was unlucky enough to be fed
to the lions you didn't participate in sports.
Sports in Roman times were tools of the powerful and used to subdue the vast mob of
Roman citizenry. I'm sure that on Monday mornings Romans would sit in their bath houses and
talk about Sunday's big charitot race. Two thousand years later, in our modern society people sit
by the water cooler and talk about Sunday football game. In this way modern professional sports
are the same as the Roman games of two thousand years past. Sports today give the average Joe a
six pack something to keep his or her (if you are Jill six pack) mind occupied. Sports of today are
mainly driven like almost everything else in...