The Colosseum in Rome

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Colosseo Roma
Photo by CALIN STAN on Unsplash

About 1920 years ago, the greatest ancient times amphitheater was built in Rome, The Colosseum is considered an architectural and engineering wonder, and its remnants remain to be a standing proof of both the magnificence and the cruelty of the Roman world.

The Colosseum in Rome was originally known as the Flavian Amphitheatre, and is the largest of its kind built during the Roman Empire. It was capable of seating fifty to sixty thousand spectators, and was used as a ground for gladiatorial combat. Built in the 70’s and accomplished in 80 AD, it can be found east of the Roman Forum.

The construction of the Colosseum in Rome started under the rule of Emperor Vespasian in 72AD, and was finished by his son Titus in 80AD. It was constructed at the site of Nero’s lake below his wide palace, the Domus Aurea, which had been erected casing the hill of the Palatine after Rome’s great fire in 64AD. The Colosseum was later improved by Domitian. Nine thousand animals were killed in the one hundred days of celebration which launched the opening of the amphitheatre.

Continuous use of the Colosseum in Rome lasted until 217, when it was damages by fire following a lightning strike. It was refurbished in 238 and gladiatorial games continued until Christianity increasingly put an end to those parts of them which included the death of humans. The structure was used for a range of purposes, generally venations, until 524. In 442 and 508, two earthquakes caused enormous damage to the Colosseum.

It was rigorously damaged by further earthquakes in the Middle Ages, and was then converted into a fortress and in one small part, a Christian church was erected. The marble of the Colosseum in Rome was reused in constructions, or burned to produce quicklime. The ruling Roman families, mostly in the 16th and 17th centuries, used the marble as a source for the construction of St. Peter’s Basilica, and the Roman families’ private palazzi such as Barberini.

The name of the Colosseum in Rome has long been believed to be derived from a colossus, a 130-foot or 40-meter statue, of nearby Nero. This sculpture was later modified by Nero’s successors into the resemblance of Apollo or Sol, the sun god, through adding the suitable solar crown. The head of Nero was also changed several times by the head of succeeding emperors. At some point in the Middle Ages, the statue disappeared, and was suspected melted down for reuse since the statue was made of bronze. Proof of its base may still be found between the Colosseum and the close by Temple of Roma and Venus.

After the majesty of imperial times, the Colosseum in Rome was abandoned, and in turn became a palace for medieval clans of the city, a foundation of building materials, striking scenery for painters, and a place of Christian worship. Presently, it is a challenge for archaeologists and venue for shows and events in Rome.


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