Home ARCHAEOLOGY AND HISTORY It was the capacity of more than 50,000 spectators ..

It was the capacity of more than 50,000 spectators ..

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It was the capacity of  more than 50,000 spectators ..

The Colosseum , or the Coliseum , originally the Flavian Ampitheatre  , is an elliptical  amphitheatre  in the centre of the city of Rome , Italy , the largest ever built in the Roman Empire. It is considered one of the greatest works of Roman architecture  and Roman Engineering . Occupying a site just east of the Roman Forum , its construction started in 72 AD under the emperor Vespasian  and was completed in 80 AD under Titus , with further modification being made  during Domitian’s reign ( 81 – 96 0. The name “ Amphhitheatrum Flavium  “ derives from both  Vespasians’s and Titus’s family  name.  Capable of seating 50,000 spectators , the Colosseeum was used for  gladiatorial contests and public spectacies such as mock sea battles , animal hunts, executions reenactments of famous battles  and dramas based on classical mythology .

Measuring some 620 by 513 feet (190 by 155 meters), the Colosseum was the largest amphitheater in the Roman world. Unlike many earlier amphitheaters, which had been dug into hillsides to provide adequate support, the Colosseum was a freestanding structure made of stone and concrete. The distinctive exterior had three stories of arched entrances–a total of around 80–supported by semi-circular columns. Each story contained columns of a different order (or style): At the bottom were columns of the relatively simple Doric order, followed by Ionic and topped by the ornate Corinthian order. Located just near the main entrance to the Colosseum was the Arch of Constantine, built in A.D. 315 in honor of Constantine I’s victory over Maxentius at Pons Milvius.

Inside, the Colosseum had seating for more than 50,000 spectators, who may have been arranged according to social ranking but were most likely packed into the space like sardines in a can (judging by evidence from the seating at other Roman amphitheaters). Awnings were unfurled from the top story in order to protect the audience from the hot Roman sun as they watched gladiatorial combats, hunts, wild animal fights and larger combats such as mock naval engagements (for which the arena was flooded with water) put on at great expense. The vast majority of the combatants who fought in front of Colosseum audiences in Ancient Rome were men (though there were some female gladiators). Gladiators were generally slaves, condemned criminals or prisoners of war.

Although in the 21 st century  it stays partially ruined  because of damage  caused by devastating earthquakes and stone robbers , the Colosseum is an iconic symbol of Imperial Rome


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