Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Roman Paris

A new internet friend just sent me this link to a marvelous site about ancient Roman Paris. It not only includes beautiful 3D graphics of reconstructions of some of the original Roman structures but an interesting virtual tour of places that can be visited today that have vestiges of Paris' Roman past. I found the description of the multi-use amphitheater particularly fascinating:

"What today is known as Les arènes de Lutèce [the Lutetian arena] is in fact a Gallo-Roman mixed-used amphitheatre, i.e. an amphitheatre with a stage. It consisted of an oval arena, two large lateral entryways and a cavea that did not completely encircle the arena. The missing section was taken up by a stage for mimes, pantomimes and singing performances. The arena was where gladiatorial combats (munera) took place and where wild beasts were hunted (venationes). The structure had an exterior gallery and a highly ornamented facade. Its impressive size-100 X 130.4 meters-make Lutetia's amphitheatre/stage one of the largest constructions of its kind in Gaul."
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