Roman “Lecture”

Day 2: Roman “Lecture”


Objective: Students will be able to understand and teach one aspect of Roman theatre to the class.


Materials Needed: Copies of the textbook pages on Plautus, Seneca, Terence, Acting, and the Roman theater (from the textbook “Living Theater”)



Seneca.1 Seneca.2

Terence.1 Terence.2

Theater Buildings 1 Theater Buildings 2 Theater Buildings 3


Hook: Show a few other examples of mythological allusions:

  • Monster’s Inc character Celia – medusa
  • My Fair Lady – Pygmalion (the sculpter who sculpted a lady and named her Galatea and she came to life when he fell in love with her)
  • The song Icarus by Bastille (Icarus who flew with wax wings too close to the sun and died)


Discussion: Have any of you thought of any new allusions since last time? Why does our current culture still revolve around the ancient Greek and Roman cultures?



  • Pass out the photocopied pages – one per table of 4. Tell the students to read the passage, figure out what the most important parts of it are, and present it to the class in an interesting way.
  • Give the students 20 minutes to do this
  • Have them all present and make sure the other students are taking notes.
  • Interject with more information as needed


Making Connections:

  • Show them the History Channel clip about the colosseum and the gladiator fights and naumachiniae
  • Discussion: What popular entertainments did the Romans enjoy?
    • Gladiator fights
    • Naval battles
    • Animal fights
    • Chariot races
      • What does this knowledge make you think about Roman society?
    • What do we have in our current culture that can connect to these entertainments?
      • Gladiator fights – MMA fights/boxing/WWE
      • Naval battles – war reenactments
      • Animal fights – lion tamers, other trained animals
      • Chariot races – dragster racing
        • Are the Romans really that far away from our current culture?
        • Is violence a natural part of humanity or something we should get rid of?


Wrap-up: Next time we will begin reading an ancient Roman play that I LOVE and will help us take a look at Roman culture.