Monday, October 25, 2010


...was on television last night and I half-watched it, but gave it my full attention whenever there were Coliseum scenes (except for when the poor tigers on chains showed up) because hey-I was just there a month ago! And because the lovely lady tour guide told us that the movie was a decent portrayal of how the Coliseum appeared in its gory glory days.

I was surprised to learn that the Coliseum was once entirely covered in marble. And unsurprised to learn that the Catholics (in part) ripped it all off once they took power. The floor of the Coliseum was wood, with trapdoors (all the better to hide the leopardies and giraffies) and sand (all the better to soak up rivers of blood).

Also, women had to sit with slaves. This fact touched off a bit of a row between cousin B and I which ended in a draw. (Cousin B felt one couldn't understand the Coliseum violence as we weren't a part of ancient Rome while I insisted that regardless of whether you were there or not, whether you understood the culture of Rome at that time or not, all that terror and brutality and death was an evil, evil thing in and of itself. I was also feeling particularly feminist at that moment because all that shit went down when men were running the world. And I mean really running it.)

We were joined on our tour by a lovely Australian family-mom, dad and two kids-and I for the second time on our trip crapped all over the US of A, frightening the mother especially with my tales of what having no health insurance and no vacation does to a person. Cousin B kindly did not call me out on my America-pooing until we got home. And I did neglect to add, during my conversations with foreigners, that despite all its problems I wouldn't want to live anywhere else. But alas I was tired and/or really quite sick at the time and so I just plain forgot.

Interestingly, there are now kitties living in the Coliseum. They're there to eat the rats. Considering how many of their much larger ancestral relatives lost their lives there, it was pretty neat to watch one little furball strut across a part of the (reproduction) floor as the sun set over Rome.


Post a Comment

<< Home