Coliseum – Ancient Roman Project
The Coliseum has one more name and it’s the Flavian Amphitheater. The Coliseum is located in center Rome, Italy. The emperor Vespasian started building the Coliseum between 70 and 72 AD and it was completed in 80AD under the emperor Titus which was 1920 years ago. It was the first permanent amphitheater to be built in Rome. But the Jewish slaves had to rebuild it after it was broken a little bit in 100 A.D., they actually took two theaters and putted them together back to beck.
The Coliseum is made out of tuff, concrete, marble and 300 tons of iron (for the traps). The marble blocks of the Coliseum were not attached to each other with mortar, but with metal clamps. In the middle ages these clamps were removed, so that holes in the wall were visible. The Coliseum was designed to hold up to about 70,000 spectators and it had 80 entrances so the crowd could easily enter and leave, all of the entrances are numbered, except one which is at the side of the Monte Oppio, which has almost stayed completely intact. That one is not numbered and gives access to a hall with plaster decorations. The measurements are exactly 188m in length, 156m in width and 57m in height with the base of the building covering about 6 acres and the height of more than 159ft. above the ground are four storeys, and the upper storey contained seating for lower classes and women. The lowest storey was preserved for prominent citizens. Below the ground of the Coliseum there were rooms and cages containing wild animals and mechanical devices. The cages could pop out of the ground in the entire arena. Above the Coliseum there is a retractable roof. And there are 110 drinking fountains. The funny thing is that those people built this huge building without any help of machines and any computer techniques. It is considered to be an architectural and engineering wonder, and remains as a standing proof of both the grandeur and the cruelty of the roman world.
Before the Gladiators go to the arena to fight there is some acts and displays of the exotic animals. The animals that are in the coliseum are 70 lions, 40 wild horses, 30 elephants, 30 leopards, 20 wild asses, 19 giraffes, 10 elks, 10 hyenas, 10 tigers, 1 hippopotamus and 1 rhinoceros. Then ended with fights to the death. There are 5000 animals killed every day. There also were games and the most popular games were hunts (venations) and gladiatorial games (munerae). They also had battleships so they filled the whole coliseum ground with water using under ground tunnels its called Navamachiae.
The southern side of the Coliseum was felled by an earthquake in 847. Parts of the building – including the marble facade – were used for the construction of later monuments, including the St. Peter’s Basilica. The arena was rebuilt by Jewish slaves of Emperor Alexander Severus (222-35).
With the fall of the Empire, the Coliseum was abandoned and gradually became overgrown. During the middle ages, stones from the Coliseum were removed for new buildings. Today, in Rome, the Coliseum is one of its most famous landmarks and tourist attractions. Although it survives only as a ruin, it still rates as one of the finest examples of Roman architecture and engineering.
In the 18th century, Pope Benedict XIV eventually ended the use of the Colosseum in Rome as a giant quarry. He promptly consecrated it and installed the Stations of the Cross, declaring it sanctified by the blood of many Christian martyrs who were (inaccurately, as it turns out) thought to have perished there.
Roman Coliseum Facts
1. Coliseum was built near the giant statue of Colossus and occupied part of the Nero’s park. The current name was derived from the statue of Colossus.
2. Roman Coliseum is a major landmark and a popular tourist attraction in Rome. Roman Coliseum is depicted on the five-cent euro coin.
3. The seats were arranged according to the social status of the spectators. The seats on the first three tiers from the top were usually reserved for the nobles while the common man used the seats on the fourth tier.
What can we do today at the coliseum?
Today you can go and visit the coliseum and it costs ?10
Tip: Try to visit late in the evening or early in the morning to avoid the crowds arriving on tour buses.