Rome – The Colosseum (Amphitheatrum Flavium)
After the visit to the Vatican, we hopped back into the tour bus, traveled along some ancient Roman roads past old bridges, past many ruins and monuments and arrived safely at the site of the Roman Colosseum. Because of the manner in which modern day Romans park and drive, any trip of almost any distance is exciting if you like that type of excitement 🙂
The Roman Colosseum is situated within the walls of the old Rome and was built over a period of eight years or so (72 AD – 80 AD). It is the largest Colosseum built during the days o the Roman Empire and could seat 50,000 spectators. It was designed to provide selective access to various seating areas via a series of staircases and inner passageways. This provided a way to keep the spectators separated by ‘class’ and also provided a way to allow for rapid emptying of the Colosseum without too much intermingling. Similar contruction design attributes are now common in modern arenas where different entrances and staircases provide rapid access to and egress from numbered sections of the the arena.
The many arches over the inner corridors and over the openings to the steps provided strength to the overall structure which has remarkably survived earthquakes and other weather conditions for almost 2000 years. The greatest damage over the years has been done by humans carrying out the activities of stone-robbing to provide building materials for other projects following natural disasters such as earthquakes. The construction featured typical Roman stone and mortar and brick and cement features and has proven to be very durable.
The Colosseum is an elliptical structure which was used for a variety of entertainment functions ranging from concerts, to speeches, to gladiatorial contests, and to, perhaps entertainment to some, public spectacles such as executions.