Was the Colosseum a Perfect Amphitheatre?

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  • Topic: Roman Empire, Colosseum, Amphitheatre
  • Pages : 3 (888 words )
  • Download(s) : 26
  • Published : November 14, 2012
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“The Colosseum was a perfect amphitheatre.” How far do you agree with this statement? The Colosseum, located in Rome was built opened by the Emperor Titus in 80 AD. By many it is considered a “perfect amphitheatre” due to its décor, practicality and large structural layout. However, there are some features of the Colosseum which mean it is difficult to use, hence leading to some people disagreeing with the statement. One of the main reasons why the Colosseum was and is so highly respected is the buildings durability. This is due to the use of travertine in places of critical importance such as the pillars supporting the seating. Travertine is a hard, strong local rock which when used with pozzolana concrete creates very stable structures, as seen in the ruins of the building today. The deep set foundations of the Colosseum also added to the stable structure of the building. The foundations involved excavating an oval hole and filling the outer ring with concrete. Then erecting 7 rings of pillars, made of travertine, then building supporting arches out of concrete and adding seating. It is the combination of good foundations and use of materials that allowed the structure to hold over such a long period of time. Hence it is regarded as a masterpiece of Roman architecture. Despite the durability of the building many people regard the enormous scale of the Colosseum to be the prior reason for it being considered the perfect amphitheatre. The building’s height was 50m, making it the tallest building for centuries. In addition it is estimated that 70,000 people could be seated in the Colosseum, meaning that the population of Rome and travellers could all see the games that took place there. Unlike the amphitheatre at Pompeii the colosseum could be emptied in approximately 5 minutes due to the 76 entrances to the seats, with 6 being served for the elite. This feature made the people very happy as they could exit quickly if needed and would not spend too long...
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