Rome’s great amphitheater was commissioned by the Emperor Vespasian in AD 72 on the marshy location of a lake within the grounds of Nero’s palace, the Domus Aurea. Lethal gladiatorial combats and wild animal fights have been staged free of charge by the emperor and rich residents for public viewing. The Colosseum was constructed to a practical design, with its eighty arched entrances permitting easy accessibility for over 50,000 spectators, however it’s also a construction of great Classical magnificence.
Colosseum was one among several similar amphitheaters constructed within the Roman Empire, and a few survive-at El Djem in North Africa, Nimes, and Aries in France and Verona in northern Italy. Regardless of being damaged over time by neglect and theft, it stays an impressive sight.
The emperors of Rome held spectacular shows, which frequently started with animals performing circus tricks. Then, on came the gladiators, who fought one another to the demise. Gladiators have been often slaves, prisoners of war, or condemned criminals. When one was killed, attendants dressed as Charon, the legendary ferryman of the dead, carried his physique off on a stretcher and sand was raked over the blood in preparation for the following bout. A badly wounded gladiator would give up his destiny to the people. The “thumbs-up” signal from the emperor meant he may live, whereas “thumbs-down” meant that he would die. The victors in gladiator fights became an immediate heroes and were sometimes rewarded with freedom.
INSIDE AND UNDERGROUND
The stadium was constructed within the shape of an ellipse, with tiers of seats round an enormous central area. The different social classes have been segregated, and the consul and emperor had their very own separate entrances and boxes. A complex of rooms, passages and elevators lay beneath the arena and this was the place males, animals, and scenery had been moved round. Cages for the animals have been found on the lowest stage, beneath the wooden arena ground. When the animals had been wanted, the cages were moved upward to the arena by the use of winches and the animals have been released. A system of ramps and trap doors enabled them to achieve the arena.