Coliseum, Sports, Tirade

I’d been warned that Rome in July is hot, but after the cool cloudy climate of Paris, it was still a shock to be wrapped in the muggy unrelenting heat of Rome. And of course, the first day we walked through the Forum and then to the Coliseum, where we listened to a weirdly upbeat podcast about gladiatorial combat. Ah, history for tourists, where all the unpleasant elements of organized religion are either overlooked or transformed into some distant, laughable relic.

Top to bottom, the Coliseum is drenched in blood. Mrak says that I tend to see dead labor all around me — but it’s true. From “the booty” (as one of the plaques put it) stolen from Jews to the Jews who were enslaved to build it to the men and animals who were slaughtered for the pleasure of the populace, it’s an awful place. Popular, I suppose – even the Vestal Virgins had their own box and people played games of chance on the floors and in the corridors.

Reminded me why I hated learning Latin – a language with hundreds of words for killing and very few for kindness of love.  Also hard not to compare to football stadiums in the US. But as Tony pointed out, football kills its players more slowly.


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