Colosseum

Colosseum

The Colosseum or Coliseum, also known as the Flavian Amphitheatre is an amphitheatre in the centre of the city of Rome, Italy.

Material

Built of concrete and stone.

Builder

Emperor Vespasian started in 70 AD and was completed in 80 AD under his successor and heir, Titus.

Significance

It was the largest Amphitheatre of the Roman Empire and is the largest of the World as well.

It is considered one of the greatest works of Roman architecture and engineering.

UNESCO declared it a World Heritage Site in 1980

Capacity

The Colosseum could seat around 50,000 spectators.

Purposes

Gladiatorial contests

Artistic view of Gladiatorial contests

Public Spectacles

Dramas based on Classical mythology

Munera (shows by Private Individuals)

The building ceased to be used for entertainment in the early Medieval era but it was later reused for housing, workshops, Christian shrine etc

Duration

The Colosseum was built in 9 years to build using over 60,000 Jewish slaves

Damage

In 217, the Colosseum was badly damaged by a major fire (caused by lightning, according to Dio Cassius) which destroyed the wooden upper levels of the Amphitheatre’s interior. It was not fully repaired until about 240 and underwent further repairs in 250 or 252 and again in 320.

In the 21st century, it stays partially ruined because of damage caused by devastating earthquakes and stone-robbers.

Tourism

It’s Rome’s most popular tourist attraction and receives thousands of visitors annually.

Recent Activities

The Colosseum has become a symbol against capital punishment. The death penalty was abolished in Italy in 1948. Today, if any time, anyone in the world has their sentence of death commuted (overturned) or they are released, the lights in the night time illumination of the Colosseum change from white to gold. This color change also occurs whenever a jurisdiction abolishes the death penalty as well.

Voice against Capital Punishment

Building

Unlike earlier Greek theatres, the Colosseum is an entirely free-standing structure.

Length

It’s 189m long

Width

It’s 156m wide

Area

Its base area is 6 acres

Height

It’s 48m high

Arena

The central arena is an oval 87m long and 55m wide, surrounded by a 5m high wall.

Velarium

To protect the spectators from Sun, Colosseum was covered with an enormous awning known as the Velarium. A team of about 1000 men was used to install the awning.

Velarium

Inauguration

A 100 day inauguration ceremony games were held by Titus and some 9000 wild animals were slaughtered.

Entrance

It had 80 entrances at ground level, 76 of which were used by ordinary spectators.

Emperor’s Box

The best seat in the house belonged to the emperor who sat in the Emperor’s Box.

Films

The Amphitheater has been featured in numerous films and popular cultures such as: –

Roman Holiday (1953 film)
Demetrius and the Gladiators (1954 film)
20 Million Miles to Earth (1957 film)
The Way of the Dragon (1972 film)
Ridley Scott’s Gladiator (2000 film).

Facts

It is also known as the Flavian Amphitheater because it was built during the Flavian dynasty.

In 847, the southern side of the Colosseum collapsed because of an earthquake.

The total amount of marbles used for the construction of the Colosseum was estimated at 100,000 cubic meters.

There were 32 different trap doors underneath the floor of the stadium.

The image of the Colosseum can be seen in Italy’s five-cent euro coin.

5 Cent Euro Coin

The West Exit was called the Gate of Death because this was the exit that dead gladiators were carried out from.

Gate of Death

There are no historical records or physical evidence for the use of the Colosseum as a place of execution for Christians

In the Middle Ages, the Colosseum was not regarded as a monument, and was used as a quarry.

Archaeologists believe that the Colosseum contained both drinking fountains and latrines.

Based on historical evidences, it shows that 200 bullock carts were used to transport marbles to the construction site.

All Ancient Romans had free entry to the Colosseum for events, and were also fed throughout the show. It’s not likely that hot dogs and cold beer were served there like in the stadiums of today but some Fruits.

Do You Know???

It got the name Colosseum because of a statue that was located alongside the amphitheatre called ‘the colossus of Nero‘.

They Romans had the earliest form of a Skydome. If it rained they stretched a red canvas over the entire Colosseum.

After the Colosseum was partially destroyed by the earthquake, some of the fallen pieces were used to build St Peter’s Basilica.

St Peter's Basilica.

There’s still much to write about Colosseum because the marvelousness  of this lovely site knows no boundaries….. reallyRome Was Not Built In A Day…..!!! 🙂

Inside Colosseum

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