Pre IB English 9 2B
7 May 2012
The Colosseum and Gladiators
While the Colosseum is a major tourist attraction today, back when the Roman Empire ruled it was a place of fighting, blood, and death. The colosseum was a source of entertainment for the people of Rome, as they witnessed the famed gladiators fighting to the death. The architectural design of the colosseum is an ingenious design, as well as the purpose and roles of it. The gladiators had an interesting history, as well as different classes and fighting styles.
After the reign of the tyrant Nero, the colosseum, or Flavian Amphitheatre, was built on what was his Golden House during the age of Vespasian. It was dedicated in 80 CE by Titus in a ceremony that lasted in 100 days of games. The 100 days of games had a purpose, which was to keep the people of Rome entertained. Entertained people are less likely to revolt against the government. The games were broken down into four parts. The early morning was taken up by ritual sacrifices, or “pompa”(Hronis 3). After that, the venatio, or wild beast hunts, took up most of the late morning. The ludi meridiani, or midday games, was the time when criminals, barbarians, prisoner of war, and other unfortunates were executed. Some were killed in what are called “fatal charades”(Mueller 5), where people were executed in ways that resembled Greek mythology. After the ludi meridiani came the main event: the gladiators.
The colosseum has a very ingenious architecture. Most amphitheatres during this time period were just hemisphere shaped. However, Emperor Vespasian took two hemispheres and put them together to make the oval shaped amphitheatre. Due to the incline of the inside, the colosseum has very good acoustics. The colosseum is 50 meters high, 189 meters long, and 156 meters wide. It covers 6 acres of land and could hold a maximum of 80,000 people. It originally had 60 to 80 rows of seats, each 40 cm apart with 70 cm of leg room....
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