In the city, there was a place called
the Campus. This was the old drill ground for soldiers. It was
a large section of plain near the Tiber River.
Over time, the Campus
became ancient Rome's field and track playground.
Young men, all
over Rome, gathered at the Campus to play and exercise. Even such famous
people as Caesar and Augustus exercised on the Campus.
On the Campus, men participated in foot
racing, jumping, archery, wrestling and boxing. After a bout of
exercise, they might jump in the Tiber River for a swim, or wander off
to the Baths, to relax.
The Campus was not the only place men
exercised. All over Rome, men practiced riding,
fencing, wrestling, throwing, and swimming, whenever possible. In the country, men went
hunting and fishing.
At home, many men played ball games before
dinner. They played games of throwing and catching. A popular game was to throw a
ball as high as they could, and then catch it before it hit the
Women did not join in these games.