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Brot und Spiele
 

Brot und Spiele

The Romans are coming. On July 7, 2012, Legionnaires, Gladiators and Senators take over Saturday evening. When celebrities such as Franziska van Almsick, Maite Kelly, Henry Maske, Ralf Möller and Jens Riewa compete in the arena for fame and glory, it's all about a special kind of time-travel. Matthias Opdenhövel presents "Bread and Games – The Great Spectacle of History" at 8:15 pm live on ARD's "Das Erste" channel. The Rhineland Regional Association Archeological Park provides the backdrop for the three-hour open-air event, with historic chariot racing, gladiator fights and lots of information about ancient Rome in Xanten on the lower Rhine.

Roman history up close

Man against man, poor against rich, team against team: with power, knowledge and skill two prominent teams go up against each other to capture the people's favor and win the laurel wreath. But getting there will not be easy. With heavy packs and nail-studded sandals the legionnaires will march upon the Rhine. They'll fire catapults, teach the high art of temple construction and help the archaeologists with excavations.

"Bread and Games – The Great Spectacle of History" playfully imparts much of importance from a time that, to this day, fascinates mankind. What did day-to-day life look like for the average Roman? What was there to eat? And how did they manage to govern an empire whose expanse was at times greater than today's European Union? After ten rounds of games the exhilarating climax of the competition arrives: the great chariot race. Who will steer the quadriga, a chariot pulled by four horses, fastest through the finish? For which team will the public of the imposing arena of Xanten celebrate and raise their thumbs to the sky? And whose head will be crowned with the laurel wreath?
"I've asked myself for years why I did extended Latin," says Matthias Opdenhövel. "Now I've finally got the confirmation for it. Whoever worries that I'll moderate in Latin can rest easy. Besides 'Alea iacta est' ("The die has been cast"), not much has stuck around. I'm excited to see how our celebrities look," the moderator adds. Prior to his involvement in "Bread and Games", he will be reporting on EURO 2012 live from Xanten.

The idyllic, provincial town of Xanten on the lower Rhine was one of the largest metropolises in the Germanic Roman provinces of antiquity. The history of its inhabitants emerges from the tracks on the ground, as well as the the historic amphitheatre in Xanten. The Rhineland Regional Association Archeological Park in Xanten is Germany's most-visited open-air archaeological museum. With its numerous attractions and exhibitions it draws more than 600,000 visitors. With "Bread and Games – The Great Spectacle of History" on July 7 around 3,000 visitors and hundreds of actors in Roman garb will be there live.

"Bread and Games – The Great Spectacle of History" was produced by Brainpool on behalf of ARD under the editorial management of WDR.

"Bread and Games – The Great Spectacle of History" was broadcast on July 7, 2012, 8:15 pm on ARD's "Das Erste" Channel.

Info

Producer: Jörg Grabosch
Host: Matthias Opdenhövel / Mareile Höppner
Broadcast: 07.07.2012
Shows: 1
Length: 180 min.
© BRAINPOOL TV GmbH