Table of contents:

What were the representatives of the youth subcultures of antiquity: Sports hooligans and romantic theatergoers
What were the representatives of the youth subcultures of antiquity: Sports hooligans and romantic theatergoers

From the middle of the 20th century, a real boom of youth subcultures began in the world. Hippies, punks, rockers, goths and emo: they all differed only in the ways of self-expression, inner philosophy and worldview. And yet all of them were united by one desire - to stand out from the general human mass. However, it would hardly be correct to call youth subcultures a product of modern civilization. After all, even in ancient Greece and ancient Rome, there were hobbies that unite the youth of that time.

Ancient theatergoers

According to many historians, the theater was almost a cultural hallmark of ancient Greece. At that time, not a single significant event could do without theatrical performances: a festival, a fair or any other city holiday. After all, there were amphitheaters in absolutely all large ancient Greek cities.

Ancient greek amphitheater

The main stage of Ancient Greece was rightfully considered the Athenian theater of Dionysus. It could accommodate more than 2 thousand spectators in its stands. And quite often it was very problematic to get to the performance here - the Greeks adored the theater and stories about the formidable gods of Olympus, the invincible heroes of Hellas, which were staged by ancient theatergoers.

Performances in ancient Greek theaters have always been distinguished by the brilliance and liveliness of the plot. For a greater effect of the performance, it used bright outfits, masks, many decorations, song choirs and acting extras. But the main actors in each performance were always the same number - three. Moreover, these were necessarily men (even if they were to play openly female roles).

Ancient Greek theater performance

After the performance, in honor of the enthusiastic audience, the ancient actors went to the temple to make a sacrifice to the gods of art. These victims were the theatrical masks used in the previous successful production. The theater-goers themselves made these accessories from clay, fabric and even real hair. Thus, scientists and archaeologists suggest that hundreds of theatrical masks found during excavations in various ancient Greek cities were most likely "involved" in the performances of not very successful plays.

Naturally, the success of the theater could not go unnoticed among the Greek youth, who, like modern teenagers, were drawn to everything popular. So in the cities of Hellas, at local theaters, ancient youth associations of theater-goers began to appear. They were organized most often by young people who constantly took part in the theatrical extras, sang in the choir or helped in the production of decorations. The most active participants in such an ancient youth "theater party" eventually made their way onto the big stage, becoming famous actors.

Active participants in the youth theater party eventually became the stars of the stage

Unlike ancient Greek theaters, where the drama and plot of the performance were primarily appreciated, in ancient Rome entertainment was in the first place. The Romans acted out whole comedies with the involvement of a large number of actors and extras. And every year the Roman theater became more and more like a vulgar and even vulgar booth.

The attitude towards actors changed in the same way: if in ancient Greece they were revered, then in ancient Rome they were treated like street clowns. If the crowd did not like the performance, the actors could be pelted with slop, humiliated, beaten and even killed. The scornful attitude towards the ancient Roman theater-goers was also added by the fact that they were exempted from military service. Consequently, it was believed that only those who trembled over it: cowards and weaklings chose this way of making a living.

The performance in the ancient theater. Fresco of the 2nd century BC NS

However, the slaves of the empire aspired to the Roman theater. There was a good reason for this - a slave-actor who plays well in the theater could easily find freedom and become a full-fledged Roman citizen. Thus, even in Rome, with all the non-prestige of the profession of a theatrical actor, there were real professionals in this business. And if there is someone who arouses sympathy, there will certainly be those who will try to imitate their idol.

Ancient Greek Boy Scouts

In ancient Greece, to prepare young people for sports (wrestling, gymnastics, chariot races), there were special training camps - gymnasiums. For young men it was a prestigious duty to be trained in them. It is known from history that the 3 largest gymnasiums of the ancient world were located in the vicinity of Athens, and bore the names "Academy", "Lyceum" and "Tsinosarj".

Greek gymnasiums

In addition to sports training, Greek youths studied diplomacy, rhetoric, philosophy, eloquence and etiquette in gymnasiums. The most famous teachers of that time were engaged with them: Aristotle, Plato, Pericles and Socrates. Education in the gymnasiums was paid, but this did not mean that the road here was ordered for capable children of the poor. The "children" of commoners who could not pay for their studies were obliged to work for several years after graduation under a contract signed earlier.

The very process of teaching in gymnasiums was very diverse and built on the basis of close interaction between all students. Along with sports competitions, various intellectual competitions and games were constantly organized. In structure, the ancient Greek gymnasiums are very similar to modern scout camps, which are popular both in America and on the European continent.

Youth sports in ancient Greece

It is not at all surprising that many researchers of antiquity draw visible parallels between ancient Greek gymnasiums and scout organizations in many aspects. Consequently, the youths-gymnasium students of Ancient Greece may well be called a kind of first ancient Boy Scouts.

Sports fan groups

Despite the fact that the most "fan" sports - football, hockey, baseball, are not so many years old, the very modern concept of sports fans appeared several millennia ago, in the era of Ancient Rome. The first ardent fans were the regulars of one of the most popular spectacles of the Roman era - chariot races.

Chariot Races in Ancient Rome

For the sake of such an event, people often abandoned all household chores and drove "far away" to the central arena of the empire - the Roman hippodrome Circus Maximus. The entrance to the arena was free for absolutely everyone, even for disenfranchised slaves. Naturally, such large-scale events could not but arouse the interest of young people. It was the ancient Roman "teenagers" who organized the first fan groups in history, called "partisans".

Over time, the partisans began to unite in the "parties of the racetrack" and came in droves to the stadiums to support their favorite charioteers. And if two parties happened to be side by side on the podium, they tried to shout down each other. Very often, such "shoutouts" ended in fights, and even bloody fights. But the confrontation between the groups did not end there either.

Ancient Roman fans in the stands of the hippodrome

Many fans carried a kind of "cursing amulets" - lead or stone tablets with all kinds of curses written on them against the opponents and their charioteers, as well as fans from other parties. Archaeologists find thousands of such amulets during excavations. This meant that the ancient Roman "ultras" were fighting rivals on all possible fronts.

The fever of sports fan excitement, like an infection, spread throughout the ancient world. She also reached the eastern capital of the Holy Roman Empire - Constantinople. And here the confrontation of the fan "parties" became especially fierce and cruel. First, "ultras" began to kill representatives of other cheerleading groups, then ordinary citizens began to become victims. Moreover, many crimes were committed in broad daylight in front of passers-by.

Ordinary people suffered in the bloody clashes of the Roman "parties of the hippodrome"

The impunity and impudence of sports fans grew. In Constantinople, where residents were allowed to voice their opinions and take part in city governance, fan parties became a real political force. They organized rallies and protest actions against politicians they disliked. Such "freedom" and permissiveness of young people was especially intoxicated.

The most ardent opponents in Byzantium were 2 parties of hipodromes - "Green" and "Blue". By the 30s of the 6th century, the confrontation between these groups reached such a peak that the Roman emperor Justinian could not help but notice it. In 530, he issues an order to arrest the leaders of both parties. What unleashes a real fan war: the insurgent partisans (both "Blue" and "Green") almost burned and destroyed all of Constantinople.

The emperor's reaction was brutal and immediate. Rebel fans who gathered at the city hippodrome to proclaim and coronate their own ruler were trapped. The legionnaires who burst into the stadium staged a real bloody massacre, as a result of which more than 30 thousand fans were killed. After this event, the influence of the "parties of the racetrack" began to weaken. And with the beginning of the Christian church's condemnation of bloody games, sports fan groups completely disappeared.

Emperor Justinian brutally dealt with the unbelted "parties of hippodromes"

Thus, we can safely say that the efforts of teenagers to show their own individuality and assert themselves in society appeared in ancient ancient times. Long before the "golden" for youth subcultures of the XX century.

Popular by topic