Home Introduction Persons Geogr. Sources Events Mijn blog(Nederlands)
Religion Subjects Images Queries Links Contact Do not fly Iberia
This is a non-commercial site. Any revenues from Google ads are used to improve the site.

Custom Search
Quote of the day: That officer's wife, urged by a perverse
Do not display Latin text
Twelve Emperors by Suetonius

Augustus, Chapter 44: On seats at the public games.
Next chapter
Return to index
Previous chapter
He [Note 1] corrected the confusion and disorder with which the spectators took their seats at the public games, after an affront which was offered to a senator at Puteoli, for whom, in a crowded theatre, no one would make room. He therefore procured a decree of the senate, that in all public spectacles of any sort, and in any place whatever, the first tier of benches should be left empty for the accommodation of senators. He would not even permit the ambassadors of free nations, nor of those which were allies of Rome, to sit in the orchestra; having found that some manumitted slaves had been sent under that character. He separated the soldiery from the rest of the people, and assigned to married plebeians their particular rows of seats. To the boys he assigned their own benches, and to their tutors the seats which were nearest it; ordering that none clothed in black should sit in the centre of the circle. Nor would he allow any women to witness the combats of the gladiators, except from the upper part of the theatre, although they formerly used to take their places promiscuously with the rest of the spectators. To the Vestal Virgins he granted seats in the theatre, reserved for them only, opposite the praetor's bench. He excluded however, the whole female sex from seeing the wrestlers: so that in the games which he exhibited upon his accession to the office of High Priest, he deferred producing a pair of combatants which the people called for, until the next morning; and intimated by proclamation, his pleasure that no woman should appear in the theatre before five o'clock.

Note 1: he = Augustus

Spectandi confusissimum ac solutissimum morem correxit ordinavitque, motus iniuria senatoris, quem Puteolis per celeberrimos ludos consessu frequenti nemo receperat. Facto igitur decreto patrum ut, quotiens quid spectaculi usquam publice ederetur, primus subselliorum ordo vacaret senatoribus, Romae legatos liberarum sociarumque gentium vetuit in orchestra sedere, cum quosdam etiam libertini generis mitti deprendisset. Militem secrevit a polpulo. Maritis e plebe proprios ordines assignavit, praetextatis cuneum suum, et proximum paedagogis, sanxitque ne quis pullatorum media cavea sederet. Feminis ne gladiatores quidem, quos promiscue speectari sollemne olim erat, nisi ex superiore loco spectare concessit. Solis virginibus Vestalibus locum in theatro separatim et contra praetoris tribunal dedit. Athletarum vero spectaculo muliebre secus omne adeo summovit, ut pontificalibus ludis pugilum par postulatum distulerit in insequentis diei matutinum tempus edixeritque mulieres ante horam quintam venire in theatrum non placere.