The Nimes Arena
Imagine revisiting the Roman Games of Augustus Caesar’s time. Now, place yourself in the spot where the “games” were held. Then add the fanfare, color, and a raving crowd. Such just happened this weekend in the Arena in Nimes.
Battle re-enactments 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, the mid-1800s revisited 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 events 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.
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 re-enactment honored the death of Augustus Caesar 2000 years ago. In various 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.
With all its grandeur, the program 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.
The Death of Julius Caesar
The Battle of Philippi
Back to Modern Times
Meanwhile, back on the main street, Nimes. The old and the new meld together seamlessly.