"Coloseum" Colosseum Tip by tompt

Colosseum, Rome: 496 reviews and 946 photos

by tompt

Building of the Roman Colosseum, or the Flavian Amphitheater, began by the Roman Emperor Vespasian in AD 72. It was inaugurated by his son Titus in 80 AD, though not completed untill the reign of Domitian (AD 81-96).
Its sole purpose was to hold Gladiatorial games to keep the Roman masses entertained. Free bread would keep them fed and therefore, it was hoped, they would not rise up or conspire against the Imperial government.

The building is elliptical and covers an area of about 6 acres. It has four levels the first three layers are in the three classical styles of architecture: Doric, Ionic and Corinthian. The top layer had square openings. The whole building was constructed out of stone, concrete, brick and marble, Most of the marble was stripped from the building in the middle ages and the stone used for the construction of St Peter and other prominent buildings.

The Colosseum over 80 entrances and could seat over 50 000 people, divided into four levels of seats. The lower levels were for emperors and the upper class.
Spectators could be sheltered by canvass in case the sun was to hot. The canvass was pulled over the top of the coloseum.

The arena was made from wood and covered in sand. Today yopu will only see the subterranean passages where prisoners, gladiators and animals were kept immediately before their appearance in the Games. Gladiators were expected to fight to the death before each performance they would salute the Emperor with the famous saying ?Caesar those who are about to die salute you!?
The last Gladiatorial displays were banned in AD 438, the last animal show was in AD 523.

Much of the marble was looted, when the medieval Popes put classical buildings under their personal protection the Colosseum was saved from total destruction.

We visited the inside of the Coloseum, and were somewhat disappointed by the sights. Nothing indicated the former seats and there were a lot of scaffolding supporting the rubble. Nevertheless more pictures in our Coloseum travelogue.

Address: Piazza del Colosseo
Phone: 0639967700
Website: http://archeoroma.beniculturali.it/en/archaeological-site/colosseum

Review Helpfulness: 4.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Written Jan 24, 2004
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