Entertainment Concepts from Neolithic Period to Middle Ages

Storytelling was a type of entertainment in the Middle Ages, and its definition of entertainment has developed through the centuries. Popular types of entertainment included singing, dancing, and storytelling.

Even though it is difficult to categorize, storytelling is a popular kind of entertainment. As soon as we started talking, we began inventing our own stories. Throughout the Neolithic period, tales were a common source of entertainment and information. For millennia, people have shared instructive stories to learn from one another. In mythologies, gods and other supernatural beings appear often. In addition to video games and clay production, there were other forms of entertainment accessible. By exchanging tales, the tribes were able to pass on their traditions and mythology. Sports and recreational activities are two sorts of activities that no longer play a significant role in contemporary life. Archery and hunting were undergoing major changes during the period, as what began as a simple task quickly evolved into a showcase for one’s abilities. Over time, social classes and occupations have developed, and due to urbanization, individuals no longer needed hunting and gathering to meet their daily needs.

This article examines the evolution of entertainment as a concept and its many expressions throughout Western civilization’s history, from the Neolithic through the Middle Ages.



The Babylonians indulged in a range of activities in 2900 B.C., including boxing, music, drama, and board games. Ancient rulers delighted in long, dangerous animal hunts. A monarch’s hunter can display his might by killing a huge, dangerous animal. Additionally, people liked wrestling and boxing. Archaeological digs have uncovered several board games, and people from all walks of life may enjoy this game. During festival performances, musicians and vocalists mounted the stage, and archaeologists unearthed an ancient ceramic whistle and a few instrument strings. In Babylonia, both men and women liked hearing actors or singers present literary works aloud, whether sung or accompanied by music.


Greece in the Era of the Spartans

The ancient Greeks used to play as a lens through which they saw the world. Theatrical genres in ancient Greece included comedies, tragedies, and satyr plays. Games were used by the Athenians to better understand themselves and their surroundings. The period between the years 500 and 400 B.C. was critical to human development and had a significant effect on entertainment. Poetry and music developed in Ancient Greece were intimately linked to intellectual concepts. The Ancient Greeks had great regard for physically strong and handsome people, which made sports popular in this era, dancing was even considered a sporting activity. The Olympic Games are a high-budget show, but the commercialization of the spectacle has corrupted its core meaning.


Golden Age of Ancient Rome

Public executions, animal hunting, and gladiatorial combat were held at the Circus Maximus to ensure the protection of Rome’s citizens. Even in Ancient Rome, when people gathered to honor their gods, there was always a need to entertain them. Sports competitions may have been staged in honor of Roman gods and goddesses at Roman festivals.  As time went on, the games grew from simple sporting events into bloody gladiatorial contests involving animals. Tribes from northern Europe fought the Emperor because the Roman Empire’s entertainment industry was corrupt and brutal.


Middle Ages of Europe

During the Middle Ages, people loved to sing and tell stories. The people would sing, dance, play music, and tell stories to pass the time. Minstrels or troubadours would travel from town to town to perform for the crowds. During the Middle Ages, there were different types of people, such as aristocrats, clergy, and peasants. The things that the knights liked to do most were hunt and hawk. Hunting gave the knights an edge in battle and helped them pass the time when they were bored. George Turberville, an English poet from the late Middle Ages, said that hunting is a job where the best are recognized for their skills. But not everyone can enjoy this kind of entertainment. During the Middle Ages, people liked to gamble, dance, sing, and even joust as a way to have fun. As the Middle Ages came to an end and Europe became more stable, more business was done there. Even the rich and powerful liked jousting and tournaments.


Studying recreation and leisure from the Neolithic period to the Middle Ages provides a context for better understanding its historical significance. For example, certain modern ideas about entertainment and cultural behaviors are connected to the traditions and practices of ancient civilizations. There is a rich tapestry of people, places, and events in the history of entertainment that illustrates the importance of each culture’s arts, sports, and recreation. If we are familiar with the evolution of our entertainment, we can comprehend and deal with the current.



Photo: Lemberg Vector studio/Shutterstock


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