In literature, educated Romans admired the Greeks. Many spoke Greek and imitated Greek styles in prose and poetry. Still, the greatest roman writers used Latin to create their own literature. Authors during the Pax Romana generally wrote fictional or historical literature.
In Ancient Rome, plays were presented at the time of the games on contemporary wooden stages. The first such permanent roman theater was ordered to be built by Pompey in 55 BC, eventually erected on the campus martius at Rome. All actors in Roman plays were male slaves. Men played the parts of women.
Rich and Poor alike loved spectacular entertainment. At the circus maximus, Rome's largest race course, chariots thundered around an oval track, making dangerously tight turns at either end. Chariot racing was Rome's oldest and most popular pastime, dating back to before the republic.
Gladiators came from various lots of life. Originally, they were gladiatorial schools, but these came under state control in the 1st century BC to avoid them becoming private armies. The majority of gladiators were either condemned criminals,slaves,prisoners of war, or volunteers who signed up to do shows for a fee.