- (Latin: Roman games) In ancient Rome, a festival held eachSeptember in honour of Jupiter. The earliest performances of playsin Rome were given here as part of the free entertainment that accompaniedthe public games. Authors originally supervised the performances oftheir own plays; later, professional acting troupes hired out theirservices to the magistrate in charge of the festival. It was at theLudi Romani in 240 BC that Livius Andronicus staged the firstLatin translations of Greek tragedy and comedy. In later years thefestivals included farces and mime, although the latter wasconsidered fit only for those at the bottom of the social scale.