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.
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?
INTRODUCING CALASADE: IMPETUS
The first amphitheater I saw was Italica's. I became nauseous, dizzy. Tears welled....