Centurions 0 – Vigiles 1

Nos volo opus! is the cry of the Centurions outside the Colosseum. Or maybe they use the modern equivalent of Latin, perhaps they’re calling out Vogliamo lavorare!

Whatever they’re saying, the Centurions, who are a delight to tourists in Rome, are being told to move on by the local vigiles or polizia .

Rome city council has launched a task force to keep the men dressed in leather tunics and armour from asking money from tourists for posing for pictures.

After officers removed some of the costumed warriors, two other Centurions scaled the Colosseum in protest against being banned from working.

As police carried them away, supporters intervened to free them, leading to pushing and swinging on both sides

The centurions and gladiators are still allowed to work elsewhere in Rome such as along the road leading up to the Colosseum, the Trevi Fountain or in the Renaissance Piazza Navona where they are a mainstay.

While the performers say they only ask for small donations, police say they can take home as much as 200 euros per day, income for which they allegedly never pay taxes. So the problem is one of tax payments?

If you’re really keen on seeing some real Centurions, a time machine is your best bet. The Rome we see today is absolutely nothing like the Rome of the Caesars. The entire modern city is 90-degrees out of phase and it takes time and effort to travel back into the Roman life.

So what is missed is the granularity of Rome at its height. High rise apartments, colour and graffiti, not to mention sharing lunch with strange foreigners clothed or naked at the many street eateries.

Ancient Rome on Five Denarii a Day

You will also need this fabulous Guide Book to get around in safety.

A budget conscious 2nd century visitor has much to plan.

Vacation apartments, grand communal bathing, sacrificing your bull, dining with fish sauce, bloodletting and betting, plus the very important toilet etiquette such as correctly passing the sponge.

A guide for Rome of 200 CE, it’s full of history, advice to keep out of trouble, and lots of humour, giving you a sense of daily life during the height of the Roman Empire.

The chapters really do their best to explain how to get around Rome, from places to eat to sites to see, from the games to the marketplaces, from the brothels to the temples. There is a section that even explains how to change your money.

From the page numbers, to the list of useful phrases, you get the sense that this would be a great tour book for a time traveler.

If only you knew how to speak Latin and had a Time Machine!

Here’s some more about Ancient Rome on 5 Denarii a day with a place for your comments, opinions and some useful phrases.