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Ligabue Magazine n° 76
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Festivities, Games and Races of la Serenissima

Text by:
Claudio Gorini

Images:
Bruno Berti - M. Toso

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* Digital versions from no. 1 to no. 57 are obtained from a scan of the magazine. May therefore present the imperfections in the display of text and images.

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In Venice the word "festival" conjures up imaes of ages long past, of traditions, celebrations, and ceremonies which have never been lost by obscurity altogether bu which often appear today in a slightly different form, as lively and as infectious as ever. The festive tradition dates back to the distant past, when some of the Greek and Etrusco-Roman practices (such as gladiator fights and horse and chariot racing) were still popular among the "Firs Venetians" - as spectator sports or games - to keep alive the celebrations of an old myth, the Trojan origins and the wanderings of Antenor.
The Venetians considered that, in the interests of strong government, the development of the body should come before that of the intellect. All citizens were therefore required to keep fit by performing exercises of agility and strength, which meant that they were always fit for military service should the need arise. The purpose of the festivals was to recall to mind some auspicious epoch or favourable incident from the past, and hence to arouse patriotic feelings.

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This article is contained in
Ligabue Magazine 7

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