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The Culture of Ancient Rome Revealed through Its Leisure - Coursework Example

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From the paper "The Culture of Ancient Rome Revealed through Its Leisure" it is clear that while the agricultural aspect of the villas was often left to go to pasture, the intent of owning the country and maritime villas was to secure a retreat and to reveal and show off a sense of wealth to friends…
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The Culture of Ancient Rome Revealed through Its Leisure
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Download file to see previous pages The philosophies of the period combined with the attitudes that were adopted toward work and leisure reveal important aspects of that culture. In an examination of the leisure of ancient Rome, vital aspects of the culture are revealed and examined for philosophical content.
According to philosopher Josef Pieper (2009), leisure is the basis of culture. How a culture chooses to spend its time is directly relevant to how it will work towards having that time. Pieper (2009, 20) quotes Aristotle in that leisure is the center of life around which all other activities revolve. Through the concept of what one chooses to do comes the idea of what one must do in order to be able to facilitate that desire. The way in which the modern world defines work and leisure is far different from that of the ancient world. These concepts have evolved in ways in which work has become the center of life rather than the facilitation of life.
Studying leisure allows for an understanding of what a culture values. How time is spent outside of the necessities of life allows for an evaluation of what aspects of life are most important. According to Toner (1995, 7), the way in which leisure is experienced will “express beliefs about a desired order of things, and simultaneously reflect the order as it actually stands”. Leisure time reflects not only what is desired, but the status of how things actually exist. In creating a study on ancient Rome, looking at the way in which leisure time was defined and the philosophies that are associated with it can create a larger point of view on the culture of the region and period.
A study of leisure can reveal what it meant to be Roman in the ancient period. As in any other culture, leisure represented what was considered the good life. Being able to attain leisure created a certain level of status. According to Toner (1995, 8) “Leisure discourse was integral to ideas concerning the ordering of society and the worth of the individual within it”. This is conceptually similar to modern society and the point of view that reveres the financially successful over the financially strained. This suggests that it requires financial success to truly experience leisure.  ...Download file to see next pages Read More
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