The Roman Colosseum: A History

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  • Topic: Roman Empire, Vespasian, Domitian
  • Pages : 2 (797 words )
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  • Published : February 25, 2013
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The Roman Colosseum
Imagine waking up with the sun each morning. Working hard as you can carrying huge pieces of rock and rarely getting a break to eat and rest. You are a slave and gain nothing from this besides the fact you know you will be granted life, and your family will be left alone. If you don’t work hard enough you may get whipped, or even killed. This was the life of the many workers and slaves that built the Roman Colosseum. What happened in the Colosseum, why it happened, the time it was built, and its massive size are many factors that intrigue many tourists to visit and learn about this spectacular building. The Roman Colosseum was opened in 80 A.D. and was originally called the Flavian Amphitheatre. The idea of this great arena was that of the Roman Emperor Vespasian. The construction started in 70 A.D. and was financed from the proceeds gained from the Roman sacking of Jerusalem. To build the Colosseum took less than ten year to build which is amazing for their engineering skills. The architecture of the Roman Colosseum illustrates their use of one of the Roman’s most famous inventions – concrete. The slaves did most of the manual labor, and the decorators and engineers did most of the skilled tasks. The Roman Colosseum was used for staging various events including gladiator fights, wild animal displays, theatrical entertainment, executions, religious ceremonies, mock sea battles, and replaying famous Roman victories. Entrance to the games was free. It could hold between 50,000 and 80,000 spectators. The gladiators who fought in the arena were mainly slaves, condemned criminals, or prisoners of war. At the end of the day the gladiators who had been killed were dragged through Porta Libitiensis (gate of death) to the spoliarium where the body was stripped and the weapons and armor were given to the dead gladiator’s lanista (owner and trainer of the gladiator). The recorded animals used were lions, tigers, hyenas, hippos, rhinos,...
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