The Colosseum

It is a daunting experience – standing and gazing up at this colossal structure known to us as The Colosseum.  It’s true name is Flavian’s amphitheatre but was commonly called The Colosseum both due to its size and location near the Colossus of Nero…

The Colosseum

the symbol of Rome…

The Colosseum

It had the same function as a modern stadium but with entertainment provided by gladiators trained to fight to the death and wild beasts thrown in to increase the horror factor.

Our guide used a wonderful little book, Rome Reconstructed, to give us an idea of how today’s ruins looked back when they were in their heyday.  I took a picture of the “reconstructed” Colosseum to give you an idea…

The Colosseum

Note in particular the enormous “veil” which could be pulled into place in case of rain – pretty clever huh?…

The Colosseum

Around the exterior are  three levels of arches each adorned with a different style column

Doric…

The Colosseum

Ionian…

The Colosseum

and Corinthian…

The Colosseum

also notice the numbers carved above the arches…

The Colosseum

Each patron would have had a stone tablet with a number corresponding to their gate for entrance and exit – not much is new under the sun after all!

Seating inside was based on rigid social classifications.  The lowest level belonged to the knights, the middle class occupied the middle cavea, the Maenianum summum, or high cave, was left for the general public…

The Colosseum

The Colosseum

The Colosseum

here is a bit of reconstruction of the podium where senators and members of the court would sit…

The Colosseum

all of the passages you see in the center on the lower level would have been completely covered with flooring…

The Colosseum

see the partially reconstructed floor here…

The Colosseum

The Colosseum was built between 75 AD and 80 AD, in just five years,  with Jewish slaves providing the labor.

It would have accommodated 60,000 spectators.

totally amazing…

amazed

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Comments

  1. Taylor Davis says:

    Love the blog and sooo enjoying these Italy posts!! Kepp em’ coming!!

    • mnestorc@aol.com says:

      Oh thanks Taylor! Was beginning to think that seeing all of my vacation pics might be a bit much!! I will intersperse so that hopefully you all do not get tired of me! It was such great trip and I am already planning the next visit – this time to northern Italy. Love Italy!