A history lesson

Wed 21 Jul 2010 23:01
G: This morning we woke up in Pula. The plan was to sail to Mali Losinj to finally meet H&S. We decided to have a little sniff of Pula air and culture, and rowed the dinghy to shore, as at that time it seemed too much hassle to install the engine of the dinghy. Now I can report that it is never too much hassle to install an engine, if the alternative is rowing a boat of which the peddles are just a tiny bit too short.

Anyway, as there was little time, we had to carefully select our sniff. And I can tell you, emperor Augustus’s amphitheater is prepared for spoiled one-day tourists, so it sticks out of all other buildings, luring to capture the hasty tourists. When entering the theater I remembered the history classes from high school. When young, you always wonder why they teach you this stuff, as you were obviously never going to use the information. Later you find out that they flat out lied to you! 

They show you pictures of people in sheet-like clothing eating grapes, as if they cannot afford a diet Coke and hamburger… other people fighting lions for their lives, and really truly being killed in an arena. And, and… roles of paper on a stick that you role from one stick to the other as this was the only way to transport spoken word! It is truly nonsense. If you would not travel the world you might believe it, they can make you believe anything. But I’m not that stupid, I travel, see and conclude different…

And the difference you may ask? Well, I’ll tell you! 

Romans were modern people. They liked violence, of course, but nothing like slaughtering real live people in an arena, no way. They just went to a movie in an arena. They sat all in rows in front of a big screen, like our theater, very modern.  Telecom providers and McDonald sponsored the movies and Sony facilitated for sound and light. There were even VIP seats, maybe for the emperor and his wife (I think they had many children as there were many VIP seats). There were no lions at all, not life once that is. That could not have been the case. The so-called ‘dungeons’ could not even be used as they are filled with stones and are too low to stand in. 
Romans did not only go to the movies in the arena. They also held pottery classes. I don’t know why, but they kept the funny, unglazed ones. But the majority is broken anyway, I think due to overheating the oven. 

So you see, Romans were not much different than us. And when I’m back home, I’m going to find my history book and write the publisher a letter. I’ll send them the photos too, so they can see for themselves!