Celebrating Rome's fighting spirit

Think Rome, and you think gladiators and centurions.

So it was only apt that to celebrate the Italian city's 2,772nd birthday yesterday, historical group Gruppo Storico Romano staged a re-enactment of an ancient Roman battle.

The production was to mark Natale di Roma, which commemorates the date the city was founded back in 753BC. In modern times, celebrations had to be halted during World War II, and they saw a resurgence only in the last 20 years, thanks to historical groups that organise re-enactments of rituals and ceremonies.

Apart from live music and games, the highlight of the festivities is a parade that passes the historic Colosseum with participants dressed in togas and armour.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 22, 2019, with the headline 'Celebrating Rome's fighting spirit'. Print Edition | Subscribe