Colosseum versus Coliseum
Professor Frank King
The Romans created urban centers that have some characteristics of our urban centers that are in our cities today. Many of architectural terms and skills that we use today began during the times of the Romans. The Romans took some features from the Greeks. Even though they felt that they far exceeded the Greeks, they had the wisdom to use the familiar Greek arch structure.
The Colosseum is located in Rome, Italy. It began to be built in 72 AD. It was completed in 80 AD under Emperor Titus. Experts seem to think that the name came from the bronze statue of Nero (named Colossus Neronis) that was nearby. The Romans were the first to use concrete. This is a very strong building material. Its seating capacity was 55,000. This had to be a very large facility to be able to hold that many people. The seats were divided into tiers. Steep steps were used to go up the tiers. The best seats went to those who ranked high in society. It was used for entertainment purposes (such as gladiator combats, chariot races, animal hunts, executions and theater).
The Hampton Coliseum is located in Hampton, VA. It was built in 1970. It consists of mainly concrete. The seating capacity is 13,800. One has to go up steep stairs to reach the various rows of seats. Your particular seat is determined by the price that you pay for a ticket. Like the Colosseum, it was elliptical in shape, so that all could have a good view of the action. It is used for graduations, sports, concerts, plays, shows and conventions. It is a multi-purpose venue. Its columns are on the inside. The Roman architectural skills laid a foundation for many arenas, civic centers and coliseums that we have in the world today.
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