Roman Games - Ancient Rome
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Roman Games

Dice
Roman dice

October 2016 - People mean a lot of different things when they say Roman games. Sometimes they mean the sitting-down games people played with each other, like dice and checkers. Sometimes they mean the athletic games people played, like ball games.

Circus
Roman circus

Other times when people say Roman games they mean games that people went to watch, like a football game today. The Romans had two main kinds of spectator sports - gladiatorial games and circus games.

Learn by doing: play a game of checkers
More about Roman gladiators
More about Roman chariot racing

Bibliography and further reading about Roman games:

Spend the Day in Ancient Rome: Projects and Activities that Bring the Past to Life, Ages 8-12 by Linda Honan (1998). But the project to make knucklebones seems silly. Ask your butcher for real bones, use pebbles, or buy jacks. Easy reading.

Ancient Rome (Eyewitness Books), by Simon James (2004).

Kids Around the World Play!: The Best Fun and Games from Many Lands, by Arlette N. Braman (2002). Easy reading. There are lots of ancient games in here too, even though the title doesn't say so.

Children and Childhood in Roman Italy, by Beryl Rawson (2003).

More about Ancient Rome
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Karen Carr is Associate Professor Emerita, Department of History, Portland State University. She holds a doctorate in Classical Art and Archaeology from the University of Michigan. Follow her on Instagram or Twitter, or buy her book, Vandals to Visigoths.
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