Slaves did much of the work freeing Roman citizens to enjoy themselves. Most events were free, so even the poor could attend. Some events were held during the day, and others were held at night. Three main types of entertainment were common in Ancient Rome. Romans attended theatrical performances, chariot races, and gladiator fights.
Men from all over Rome gathered at the Campus to play and exercise. The Campus was the old drill ground for the soldiers. It was near the Tiber River. Soon the Campus became the ancient Rome's field and track playground. Men participated in foot racing, jumping, archery, wrestling and boxing. The men also practiced riding, fencing, wrestling, throwing, and swimming.
In the country men enjoyed hunting, riding, and fishing. Whether you lived in the city or in the country, the baths were an important part of everyday life. The bath was a place to socialize, relax, exercise, and play games.
People enjoyed playing games in Ancient Rome. Common games were dice, marbles, and knucklebones. Knucklebones were jacks made out of dried animal bones. Infants enjoyed rattles and noisemakers. Children also had piggybanks, masks made from ivory or terra-cotta, letters cut from ivory, lead figurines shaped like gods, and miniature sacrificial instruments. Children played with scooters, jump ropes, kites, yo-yos, and swings. Small wooden tops were used. Some children played with small carts that were hitched to the family goat, pony, or dog. Girls played with rag dolls and wax figurines. Some of the wooden and terra cotta dolls had movable arms and legs. Romans also played games similar to checkers.
Some more active games included ball games.
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