The Colosseum, originally called the Flavian Amphitheater (Amphitheatrum Flavium) is a large building in the city center of Rome. In ancient times had a capacity for 50,000 spectators, with eighty rows of bleachers. Those close to the arena were the Emperor and the Senate, and as they stood were the lower strata of society. Took place at the Coliseum gladiator fights and public spectacles. It was built just east of the Roman Forum, and construction began for 70 BC. and 72 AD under Emperor Vespasian’s mandate. The amphitheater, which was the largest ever built in the Roman Empire, was completed in 80 BC. by the Emperor Titus, and was amended during the reign of Domitian.

The Colosseum was used for nearly 500 years, celebrating the latest games in history in the sixth century, well after the traditional date of the fall of the Western Roman Empire in 476 BC And the gladiator fights, many other public spectacles were held here as Naumaquia, hunting animals, performances, recreations of famous battles and dramas based on classical mythology. The building ceased being used for these purposes in the High Middle Ages. Later, it was reused as a safe, factory, home of a religious order, strength, quarry and a Christian shrine.

Although the structure is seriously damaged by earthquakes and stone cutters, the Coliseum has always been seen as an icon of Imperial Rome and is one of the best preserved examples of Roman architecture. It is one of the most popular tourist attractions of modern Rome and is still linked to the Roman Catholic Church for what Pope heads the Cross until the amphitheater every Friday.

 29 a. C. Roman consul Estatilio Tauro an amphitheater built on the Champ de Mars. This building was the first large amphitheater of the city, and had a couple of facilities. This building was destroyed in the fire of Rome of 64 years, the need for a new amphitheater in the Roman city.

The construction of the Colosseum began under the rule of Emperor Vespasian between 70 and 72 BC The site chosen was a flat area of a valley between the hills of Celio, Esquiline and Palatine, through which flowed a stream channeled. Construct the site where the amphitheater was devastated, years before its construction, by the Great Fire of Rome in 64 BC, and taking advantage of this Nerón appropriated much of the terrain as personal domain. In that place he built the grandiose Domus Aurea, in front of which lay an artificial lake surrounded by gardens and porches. The existing Aqua Claudia aqueduct was extended to reach the area, and the giant bronze statue called the Colossus of Nero was placed near the entrance to the Domus Aurea. This statue is the name of the amphitheater coliseum.

The area was transformed during the reign of Vespasian and his successors. Although the Colossus was preserved, was demolished much of the Domus Aurea. The lake was filled and the land reused as the location for the new Flavian Amphitheater. Gladiatorial schools were built and other related buildings in the vicinity, where previously there was the Domus Aurea. According to a reconstructed inscription found at the scene, the emperor Vespasian ordered this new amphitheater was erected using their share of the spoils as a whole. This can refer to the great treasure stolen by the Romans after their victory in the Great Jewish Revolt of 70 BC The Colosseum can thus be interpreted as a great triumphal monument, in the tradition of celebrating great victories. Vespasian’s decision to build the Colosseum on the site of Nero’s lake can be seen as a popular gesture to return people to an area of city which Nero had appropriated for exclusive use. Unlike many other amphitheatres, which were located on the outskirts of the city as the Castrense Amphitheater, the Colosseum was built in the heart of the city, literally and symbolically placed in the heart of Rome.

The Coliseum has hosted shows such as venationes (animal fights) or noxii (execution of prisoners by animals) as well as munera: gladiator fights. It is estimated that these games were killed between 500,000 and 1,000,000 people. It also held naumachiae spectacular naval battles that needed to flood the arena of water. It is likely that they were in the early years, before constructing basements under the sand. The Colosseum had a sophisticated water channel that allowed rapid filling and emptying the lower deck.

The identity of the architect of the building, as in general with most of the Roman works: the public buildings were erected for the greater glory of the emperors. Throughout the years we have discussed the names of Rabirio, Severo, Gaudencio or Apollodorus of Damascus, although it is known that the latter came to Rome in the year 105.

When Vespasian died in 79, the Coliseum was full to the third floor. His son Titus ended higher level and opened the building in 80. Casio Dion said he killed more than 9000 animals savajes during the inaugural games of the amphitheater. Later the building was remodeled under the mandate of the small son of Vespasian, the newly appointed emperor Domitian, who built the hypogeous, a series of underground tunnels that were used to house animals and slaves. He also added a gallery at the top of the Colosseum to increase its capacity.

In 217, the Colosseum was badly damaged by a fire (caused by a thunderstorm, according to Dion Casio) which destroyed the wooden floor inside the amphitheater. Not be repaired until the entire 240 and continued to be reshaped in the 250 or 252, and again in 320. An inscription records that parts of the Colosseum was restored by Theodosius II and Valentiniano III (who reigned from 425 to 450), possibly to repair the damage that caused an earthquake in 443, and further works were performed in 484 and 508. The sand was still being used for competitions well into the sixth century, with the last fight of the gladiators story about 435. Game hunting continued at least until the year 523.

 The Coliseum underwent major changes in use during the medieval period. At the end of the sixth century a small church was built within the structure of the amphitheater, but apparently did not give a religious significance to the entire building. The sand was transformed into a cemetery. The numerous spaces between the arches and under the seats were converted into factories and shelters, and the sources were rented until the twelfth century.

During the papacy of Gregory I the Great of many ancient monuments fell into the hands of the Church, which was the only effective authority. But lacking the resources to maintain them, so it fell into neglect and exploitation. In the Middle Ages, the decline of the city affected all imperial monuments. The earthquakes of 801 and 847 caused major damage to an abandoned building on the outskirts of the medieval city.

When in 1084 Pope Gregory VII was expelled from the city, many monuments fell into the hands of Roman noble families, who used them as fortresses. Around 1200 the Frangipani family took to the Colosseum and fortified it, Usansolo manner similar to turning it into a castle and its area of influence. The Colosseum was changing hands until 1312, when returned to the Church.

The great earthquake of 1349 severely damaged the structure of the Coliseum, making the south side outside the collapse. Many of these stones removed were reused to build palaces, churches, hospitals and other buildings all over Rome. A religious order settled in the northern third inhabited the Coliseum and continued until the early nineteenth century. The stone interior was chopped antiteatro excess for reuse elsewhere or (if the facade of marble) for burning lime. The bronze clamps which held the walls were torn from the walls, leaving numerous brands. Even today the scars can be seen in the building.

The Flavian Amphitheater is a huge oval building 189 meters long by 156 wide and 48 meters high with a circumference of 524 meters of the elliptical. It is often said that this building has been a model for modern sports, it has a clever design and effective solutions to current problems.

The Colosseum was used for gladiator fights and a variety of events. The shows, called munera, always supported by citizens rather than the rule. They had a strong religious element but were also a demonstration of power and influence family and were incredibly popular in the rabble. Another popular show was the hunting of animals or venatio. It used a variety of wild beasts, mostly imported from Africa and included rhinos, hippos, elephants, giraffes, lions, panthers, leopards, crocodiles and ostriches. The battles and hunting scenes are represented with movable trees and buildings. These events are sometimes held at a large scale, it is said that Trajan celebrated his victories in Dacia in 107 games involving 11,000 animals and 10,000 gladiators, developed over 123 days.

During the first days of the Colosseum, the classical writers said that the building was used for naumachiae (better known as Navalia proelia) or simulations of naval battles. Sources tell us that he made the inaugural game in 80 describes Tito the bottom floor filled with water to show horses and bulls previously trained swimming. We also have a recreation of a famous naval battle between the Greeks of Corfu and the Corinthians. This has been the subject of debate for historians because, although water filled the building had not presented problems, unclear how they could have done that sand is waterproof, or if there was space enough for ships of war moviesen. It has been suggested that the sources speak of elsewhere, or that the Coliseum had its origins in a wide channel that was flooded to its central axis, and subsequently have been replaced by hypogeous.

The poet Martial also echoed those opening games, and more specifically, describes a gladiatorial fight to become the story, of Vero and Prisco. Both fought to exhaustion before the Emperor Titus, but neither came to prevail over the other. Such determination and resilience was rewarded with the popular outcry, which led to Caesar to spare. It was so exceptional that Marcial rioja collected in his book Liber spectaculorum.

Sylva also made or recreations of natural landscapes in the sand. Painters, technicians and architects built a simulation of a forest with trees and shrubs that are being planted on the floor of the arena. Put animals to populate the landscape and impress the crowd. These scenarios could be used merely to show a natural environment for the urban population, or as a backdrop for hunting or works that narrate mythological episodes. Also occasionally used for executions in which the hero of the story portrayed by the sentenced to death, was murdered in a gruesome but true mythology, being devoured by beasts or burned to death.

Leave a Comment