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Philosophy of Leisure in Ancient Rome: Roman Villas as a Retreat from Affluence and Stress of Urban Life - Coursework Example

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"Philosophy of Leisure in Ancient Rome: Roman Villas as a Retreat from Affluence and Stress of Urban Life" paper lays out a general picture of leisure in Ancient Rome, its philosophy and practical implications, and discusses the way Roman villas served the needs of wealthy Romans.  …
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Philosophy of Leisure in Ancient Rome: Roman Villas as a Retreat from Affluence and Stress of Urban Life
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Download file to see previous pages Despite the way it affected and redirected social progress, leisure never had a single, universal definition. Simultaneously, leisure exemplified one of the foundational elements of social life in Ancient Rome. Swimming, wrestling, board games, and baths created an atmosphere of creativity and difference from monotonous work. Much has been written and said about Roman villas, their architectural and structural elements. However, the Roman Villa was not merely a product of construction; rather, it reflected the philosophy of leisure and pastime in Ancient Rome. For a wealthy Roman, the villa was an effective retreat from the stresses and affluence of public life in the city: Roman villas fulfilled a number of functions, from socialization to philosophic contemplation, providing their owners with a unique opportunity to isolate themselves from the pressuring realities of urban life. 

Leisure can be viewed as a set of activities different and separated from work. This is something people do for their own pleasure and for the purpose of physical and emotional relaxation. In the ancient life, as well as ancient ethics and philosophy, what constitutes happiness was one of the central questions (Annas 1993). However, Aristotle is believed to be the main source of philosophic ideas about leisure in Ancient Rome. In Nicomachean Ethics, Aristotle (1984) suggests that happiness is the best humans can achieve. Happiness reflects and reveals the best of human nature (Aristotle 1984). Leisure is where the function, form, and excellence create an ideal combination (Aristotle 1984). Intellectual and moral excellences are essential ingredients of personal happiness (Aristotle 1984). Leisure is the best way to achieve and retain these excellences, through friendship, music, gymnastics, and other leisure activities (Aristotle 1984). Without these activities, no happiness is possible (Aristotle 1984).    ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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