Facts About The Roman Coliseum

Way back in 72 AD, Roman Emperor Vespasiano began building the most spectacular Roman Coliseum. Originally named The Amphitheatrum Flavium. It was over 160 ft high with eighty entrances and could seat more than 50,000 spectators. Above the ground are four storey's, the upper storey contained seating for lower classes and women.

The lowest storey of the Coliseum was preserved for prominent citizens. Below the ground were rooms with mechanical devices and cages containing wild animals. The cages could be hoisted, enabling the animals to appear in the middle of the arena.

The huge Roman Coliseum (amphitheater) was built on the site of an artificial lake, part of Nero's huge park in the center of Rome. This area also included the Golden House (Domus Aurea) and the nearby the famous Colossus statue. This giant statue of Nero also gave the building its current name.

When it was completed in 80 AD, the opening was celebrated with 100 days of games. There were thousands of animals and gladiators that had been killed. Back then the Gladiators were professional fighters or people who were captured to fight. They entertained the public by engaging in mortal combat.

During these "entertaining" fights, as many as 10,000 people were killed. The Fighters were slaves, prisoners or even volunteers.

Gladiatorial battles stopped in 404 AD, but animals such as snakes, lions, panthers and elephants continued to be slaughtered in the name of sport until the 6th Century.

The stage was set for mock naval battles by removing the heavy wooden flooring and flooding the lower cells where prisoner and animals were usually kept. These battles were eventually moved to another site when the gladiator fighting became even more popular.

Trained archers on a catwalk above the crowd would shoot resistant participants and any unruly animals that got out of hand. During the middle ages, stones from the Coliseum were removed for new buildings. Today

The Roman Coliseum Was Built For These Reasons:

As a gift to the Roman Citizens to keep increasing the popularity of the Flavian Dynasty staging various forms of entertainment in the purpose of building this stone amphitheatre. This created a diversion for the unemployed and unruly Plebs. This was also used to showcase the latest Rome engineering; to show the world the Power that Rome had.

The southern side of the Coliseum had fallen by an earthquake in 847AD. Many parts of the building - including the marble facade - were used for the construction of later monuments around the city of Rome.

Facts About The Roman Coliseum

*The elliptical building is 188m long and 156m wide

*The arena itself measures 75m by 44m

*There was about 30000 meters of seating space spread over 50 rows

*The building had 80 entrances, 4 of which were preserved for the emperor, the imperial family and the vestals.

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