How Did the Expression “Roman Holiday” Originate and Where Did the Term Come From?

The Etruscans of ancient Italy ritually honoured their dead war heroes by sacrificing the lives of all prisoners seized in battle.

After conquering the Etruscans, the Romans borrowed and embellished the ritual by having the prisoners kill each other.

They turned the slaughter into public gladiatorial games and declared the spectacle a Roman holiday.

The holiday became an expression synonymous with any cruel and crushing public destruction.

About Karen Hill

Karen Hill is a freelance writer, editor, and columnist. Born in New York, her work has appeared in the Examiner, Yahoo News, Buzzfeed, among others.

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