Around France

Nimes Arena: The Great Roman Games

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Imagine revisiting the Roman Games of Augustus Caesar’s time. Now place yourself in the very spot where the “games” were actually held. Then add the fanfare, color and a raving crowd. Such just happened this weekend in the Arena in Nimes, France.

Battle reenactments are popular in the States. In fact, I’ve enjoyed going to a few while living near Washington, DC and Richmond. Our re-creations go back  to the battlefields of the American Revolution. Also to the mid-1800’s to revisit the “War Between the States” (or as Southerners say: “The War of Northern Aggression).

A chance to see over 400 actors from France, Germany and Italy relive the Roman games from 2000 years ago, was an event too good to miss.

The first Roman Emperor and founder of Nîmes, Emperor Augustus died in 14 AD — 2000 years ago. The re-enactment in Nimes commemorates his death and stages the Roman Games in Nimeevents that led to the accession of Augustus to the highest position in the Roman Empire — Emperor.

Fortunately my visitors from North Carolina were here to join in on the adventure.

The Venue

Nimes Arena

Arena in Nimes France

Imagine a Roman Arena — the best preserved in the world today. Now imagine gladiators, horses and chariots running through the halls and tunnels of the arena, then running out before the crowd in the amphitheater.

The Event

The reenactment honored the death of Augustus Caesar 2000 years ago. In a variety of scenes, it told the story — all in French — of the events that led up to the rise of Augustus, the first Roman Emperor and founder of Nîmes.

The program, with all its granduer, vividly demonstrated the passion and excitement of the times: Emperor’s parades, military parades, gladiatorial combats and chariot races.

The death of Julius Caesar and the reconstruction of the great Battle of Philippi were the final attractions.

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The Death of Julius Caesar
The Battle of Philippi

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Back to Modern Times

Meanwhile, back on main street, Nimes. The old and the new meld together seamlessly. 

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