Words by Calasade

All my life I’ve been fascinated with Ancient Rome. All my life I’ve been rather fortunate, too. Fortunate in how I land on my feet after circumstances go badly, in how some great things just sort of happen for me, fortunate to have the wherewithal to obtain what I want that does not fall in my lap. Fortunate to have a family that loves and supports me. Fortunate most of all in love. My wife is amazing.

Here she is welcoming you to the Hotel Forum in Naples just outside Pompeii.

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Isn’t she cute?

Not that life has been absent trials and tribulations. Being wanted for a crime I did not commit; homeless and on the run. I could tell you stories that would turn your hair white.

But those are tales for another time. Or perhaps no time. I’m thankful I was lucky enough to set matters straight in a judicial system that is far too often about money and blind, mindless vengeance than fairness and justice.

Here I digress. Back to the matter at hand.

My wife is Spanish, so we spend a lot of time in Spain. This has afforded us the time and ability to see great and wondrous sites within Europe. Visiting Ancient Roman places takes my breath away, sends chills up my spine, touches me in some historical portion of my soul, and…I’ll be right upfront. No words exist to accurately describe the experience of seeing these sites. Especially an amphitheater. To say standing inside an arena where people once fought for their lives while thousands of spectators watched is overwhelming would be an understatement of gargantuan proportions.

The first one I saw was Italica’s. I became nauseous, dizzy. Tears welled. Heard things that were not there. Envisioned scenes I could have never seen first-hand. At least not in this life. Ditto for those in Pompeii and Merida to a lesser extent. Whereas the arenas in Pompeii (a much older style of amphitheater) and Merida are better preserved and are certainly no less impressive, I feel a strange, soul/mind-altering connection with Italica.

Of course, Pompeii is not without its threads to the spirit, either. The city as a whole will put you in another time and place. What those people experienced was horrific, though we would not have the insights into Ancient Rome that we do without their nightmarish and tragic end. An entire city that was protected in volcanic ash. Oh, Dear Reader, Pompeii is beyond impressive. Its amphitheater so kept provides us an excellent opportunity to witness what an early arena was like (the oldest in existence) and use it as a comparison to later models for the progressions of features, functionality, and style.

Here, rather than a gallery, I present to you a video (additional videos of Pompeii to follow in later posts). Available in 720p HD.

Last (yet in no way, shape, or form least) is the amphitheater at Merida. Or all Merida for that matter. In this small city in central Spain you can visit some incredible, jaw-dropping sites. The Greek theater for one. As for the amphitheater, that is still in use today wherein mock gladiatorial shows take place. Concerts are held there, too, just like in Pompeii. You tell me. Which buildings of ours will be in use two thousand years from now?

Astounding.

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  • bobnailor

    bobnailorbobnailor

    Author Reply

    Europe is proud and reveres its heritage. We, in the US, seem hell-bent on destroying anything over 100 years of age. Old colonial homes are – on the outside, restored, but gutted inside to be modern. To answer your question – the buildings that are already 2000 years old now and will be 4000 years old then.


    • Calasade

      CalasadeCalasade

      Author Reply

      Everything in the States happened yesterday in comparison to Europe. Worse, what did happen in the States is too often rewritten and hidden due to Political Correctness. A sad thing. Sometimes History is ugly, other times beautiful, but at no time should it be erased or adjusted to conform to modern views. Always should it be respected.


  • dianequicksilvernovels

    My new husband and I walked the streets of ancient Ostia outside Rome 47 years ago on our honeymoon. Ostia was a port city once, filled with beautiful mosaic floors. At that time we were the only tourists wandering through the excavation and enjoyed seeing the small museum. I’ve often wondered how much more has been uncovered. Glad to see your photos of Pompeii here. Thanks.


    • Calasade

      CalasadeCalasade

      Author Reply

      Think I might have to visit Ostia!


  • Scott Bury

    Scott BuryScott Bury

    Author Reply

    Impressive pictures. I was in Italy about 5 years ago with the whole family; unfortunately, our tour did not get down to Pompei, but we toured Rome, Tuscany, Florence and Venice, and many places in between. And the ancient ruins never failed to take my breath away.


    • Calasade

      CalasadeCalasade

      Author Reply

      Rome, Tuscany, Florence, and Venice…can’t wait to see those! You get the chance, though, definitely see Pompeii. It’s an experience. Should you do so, stay at the Hotel Forum. Awesome suites and staff, right across the street from Pompeii, too.


  • Old Things R New

    When I think of the amphitheaters, it brings to my mind death and the lack of human compassion of those who cheered.


    • Calasade

      CalasadeCalasade

      Author Reply

      No easy thing to understand cultures that deviate so far from our own. Nor is holding them to our morality easy to avoid. Both introduce prejudices. While difficult, I think it’s important to look outside the scope of our own vision to better comprehend people of that society.


Thoughts Are Always Welcome