The ten days of historical introspection that is Tarraco Viva, concluded yesterday inside the large hall of Tarragona’s Palau del Congresso, with the exploration of the death of Julius Cesar.
Narrated by Tarraco Viva maverick in chief Magí Seritjol it was the epic finale to a festival which has attracted over one hundred thousand spectators; with over 450 acts defining Roman history and culture, Tarraco Viva has proven an utterly addictive and immersive experience.
Tarraco viva brought the life of ancient Rome in to the classrooms, public and historical buildings of Tarragona with the ancient walls, the passages of the Circus, the Amphitheater filling with the sound the past thanks to the involvement historical re-enactment groups.
Tarraco Viva is not only a historical reflection, which firmly re-establishes the links between Roman Tarraco and the Roman empire, but also a rigorous historical exercise, not relegated to scholars and academic debate, but one in which everyone can take part – and in this lies its immense appeal.
Julius Cesar defined Tarraco position as a Roman colony, so the final act of Tarraco Viva, commemorating the circumstances of its death was a poignant one; the political assassination of Julius Cesar, carried out by a number of aristocrats who deeply resented his populist approach, was a pivotal moment in history and signaled the end of the Republic.
As his body was carried away wailing erupted, which grew and erupted in to a final procession that engulfed the main stage. The vestals, priests and gladiators, the general and soldiers, noble and craftsmen, actors, prostitutes, engineers and laymen, waving goodbye to the thousand strong audience as the applause grew to seal the final act.
Tarraco Viva will be back next year with the main theme based on the figure of Emperor Augustus and the commemoration of the 2000 anniversary of its death – the meticulous planing of the next edition has already started.