Vomitoria - does it have anything to do with vomiting?
Quatr.us answers questions


Vomitorium in the Colosseum in Rome
(The roof has fallen in.)

May 2016 - You might think a vomitorium must have something to do with barfing, and those stories about Romans eating too much and then making themselves barf so they could eat more. But a vomitorium is really much more boring than that.

A vomitorium is called that because it's a thing that something comes out of. When you puke, food comes out of your mouth. But in Roman architecture, a vomitorium is a hallway in a Roman theater or an amphitheater that people come out of - the hallway that you walk through to get to your seat, or to get out of the amphitheater after the show.

You can see vomitoria for yourself at any big sports stadium - though we don't call them that anymore.

Learn by doing: a Roman amphitheater model
Roman amphitheaters
The Colosseum in Rome

Bibliography and further reading about Trajan's Column:

Roman Amphitheaters, by Don Nardo (2002). Easy reading. Mainly about the Colosseum in Rome.

Make This Model Roman Amphitheatre, by Iain Ashman (1995).

Roman Architecture, by Frank Sear (1983). The standard college textbook.

The Roman Amphitheatre: From its Origins to the Colosseum, by Katherine Welch (2004). By a specialist, for specialists.

More Roman Architecture
Ancient Rome
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Professor Carr

Karen Eva Carr, PhD.
Assoc. Professor Emerita, History
Portland State University

Professor Carr holds a B.A. with high honors from Cornell University in classics and archaeology, and her M.A. and PhD. from the University of Michigan in Classical Art and Archaeology. She has excavated in Scotland, Cyprus, Greece, Israel, and Tunisia, and she has been teaching history to university students for a very long time.

Professor Carr's PSU page

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