The Colosseum – The Largest ever Built by Roman Empire

The Colosseum / ColiseumRome, Italy located in the center of the city of Roma, Italy. It is the largest ever built in the Roman Empire. It is considered to be the greatest works of Roman architecture and Roman engineering. Emperor Vespasian, founder of the Flavian Dynasty, started construction of this beautiful Colosseum in AD 72. It was completed in AD 80, the year after Vespasian’s death.

Colosseum has a capability of accommodating 55,000 spectators, it was used for gladiatorial contests and public spectacles such as mock sea battles, animal hunts, executions, re-enactments of famous battles, and dramas based on Traditional mythology. The Colosseum is an historical and iconic symbol of Imperial Rome. It is one of Rome’s most popular tourist attractions and still has close connections with the Roman Catholic Church, as each Good Friday the Pope leads a torchlit “Way of the Cross” procession that starts in the area around the Colosseum.

The egg-shaped building is immense, measuring 188m by 156m and reaching a height of more than 48 meter (159 ft). Above the ground are four floors, the upper floor contained seating for lower classes and women. The lowest floor was preserved for prominent citizens. Below the ground were rooms with mechanical devices and cages containing wild animals. The cages could be raised, enabling the animals to appear in the middle of the field.

The Colosseum was covered with an enormous canopy known as the Velarium. This sheltered the spectators from the sun. A team of some 1,000 men was used to install the awning. Emperors used the Colosseum to entertain the public with free games. Those games were a symbol of respect and power and they were a way for an emperor to increase his popularity.

Games were held for a whole day or even several days in a row. They usually started with comical acts and displays of exotic animals and ended with fights to the death between animals and gladiators or between gladiators. These fighters were usually slaves, prisoners of war or condemned criminals. Sometimes free Romans and even Emperors took part in the action.

The southern side of the Colosseum was felled by an earthquake in 847.

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