04/12/2017
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The arenas of Ancient Rome - new Israeli Post stamps

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Three new stamps from Israeli Post capture the drama and excitement of the Roman arenas of the Roman Empire.

The Roman era was characterised by the excitement of dramas in the Roman arenas when stage plays, chariot racing and gladiators fighting with lions was offered up for the entertainment of the crowds.

Israeli Post has enlisted designer David Ben-Hador to create the three stamps which show Gladiators fighting beside a lion at Beit Guvrin arena - an important town in Roman-occupied Israel; dramatics with costumed performers at Beit She'an, an ancient city in northern Israel; and chariot racing at Caesarea hippodrome, which still has substantial Roman remains.

The illustrations on the stamps, the sheet margins and the cancellation were inspired by mosaics from the Roman Period and by 18th and 19th century works of art describing that period (books, paintings,posters).
 
Roman arenas in Israel
 
The most common arena in Israel was the semi-circular theatre in which all seats faced the front stage. Every major city in the Roman Empire built a theatre and overall more than 30 theatres of varying sizes were constructed in Eretz Israel.
 
The Amphitheater, in which the audience sat around a central stage, was usually built outside the city. This venue hosted bloody performances, mostly featuring battles between gladiators or men versus animals.
 
The Hippodrome (hippos = horse) was also built outside the city and mainly served as a venue for chariot races. The seats were placed along the long sides of the arena. One end had a curved wall and the other had a straight wall where the chariot gates were located.

Stamp details

Issue date: 19 December 2017

Designer: David Ben-Hador

Stamp size: 40mm x 30mm

To purchase the stamps, visit the Israeli Post website. Images copyright Israeli Post.

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