Roman Colosseum: The ‘Flavius’ amphitheatre

Roman Colosseum: The ‘Flavius’ amphitheatre


The Colosseum is situated in the city Rome of Italy. It is exactly in the centre of Rome, east of Roman Forum and is a famous amphitheatre. The whole structure is built of concrete stones. This amphitheatre is regarded among the best job of engineering and Roman architecture. Its immense beauty is the reason of its being one of the seven wonder of the world. The Colosseum is also the biggest amphitheatre in the world. The construction of the Colosseum was done in 70 AD under the guidance of the emperor Vespasian. In 80 AD the whole construction was completed under the same successor and even his heir named “Titus”. During the supremacy of Emperor Domitian from 81 AD to 96AD some further changes were made in the Colosseum. The period of succession of three successors of Rome is called as the “Flavian Dynasty”. And this is the reason why the Colosseum is also known by the name the “Flavian Amphitheatre”.

The term Flavian comes from the Latin word “Flavius” which was the family name of the emperor. The Colosseum is capable of accommodating between 50,000 to 80,000 spectators. Today, the place is used for public spectacles including executions, dramas of mythology, animal hunts, enactments of some famous battles and mock sea battles. In the early medieval era, the structure was ceased for entertainment purposes only but later it was decided that the building can be used for other purposes also such as workshops and housings.  Because of stone robbers and earthquake the Colosseum was partially damaged in the 21st century. But the damages were repaired soon.


The whole structure of the Colosseum is standing without any support. The interior and exterior architecture of the place was inspired from Roman theatres. The structure is elliptical, 156 meters wide, 189 meters long and the area of the structure is 6 acres which is about 24,000 m2. The outer wall of the complex is 48 meters long with a perimeter of 545 meters. Thus, the outer wall has 100,000 cubic meters of stones with 300 tons of iron clamps. The interior seating of the Colosseum was like a tired arrangement. For the accommodation of the Emperor and the Vestal Virgins (in the early century) singular boxes were arranged in the area at the south and north ends. At the same platform people of Senatorial class were allowed to bring their won chairs for the shows.  The senators used to carve their names on the areas they used to reserve for themselves. Some names of the senators can be still seen carved into the stonework of the structure.

At each “Good Friday” the Pope Benedict XVI of Rome lights a torch and roam in the area around the Colosseum. They call the lit a “Way of the Cross” procession. Thus, there is a close relation between the Colosseum and the Roman Catholic Church. In 1980, the Colosseum was titled by the UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. Other historic places of Italy which are also listed as a World Heritage Site in 1980 were the Basilica of Saint Paul Outside the Walls and the Properties of the Holy See. After that in 2007 a competition was prearranged by the New Open World Corporation (NOWC) in which the Colosseum was made one of the New 7 Wonders of the World.


Today, a million of visitors visit the Colosseum every year as the complex is the most famed tourist attraction. An amount of around 40 billion Italian lire was spent on the restoration of the Colosseum between 1993 and 2000 because of the damage caused by pollution and basic deterioration caused. In 2000 some people even planned a anti death penalty demonstrations in front of the Colosseum to gain public attention. Many changes were made in the structure of the Colosseum in order to make the place more attractive and impressive. One among these changes is the change in the color of the night time illumination of the Colosseum. They changed the color from white to gold which made the structure more spectacular. This changed happened when the capital castigation was abolished in Mexico in the month of April, 2009. Many organizers used the Colosseum as a background for their large concerts in recent years. The names of some of the performers are Billy Joel (in July 2006), Elton John (in September 2005), Paul McCartney (in May 2003) and Ray Charles (in May 2002).


A museum of Eros was now there in the upper floor of the outer wall of the Colosseum. In order to offer the people a full view of the show from all sides of the museum the tires of seats were at an elevated level. Entry fee is decided according to the social status of the Roman civilians but mainly there are no charges to enter the structure. Top seats were reserved for the common people with different sections of women and men. Seats nearer to the arena were for the people of higher social status. The seats near to the arena were categorized as emperor, senators, priests and vestals in the front row and others on the second and third rows. This arrangement of bringing the common people and the people of higher authorizes under the same roof represents a important link between the civilians and their leaders. This is perfect way to distract the people from their problems and giving them a environment of joy and fun.

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