The Coliseum is one of Rome's most famous buildings. It reminds people of ancient Romans culture and the deadly games that took place back then. The Coliseum was built in Rome, Italy around 80 AD. The Emperor at the time was Vaspacian. He decided to build the coliseum to attract people from around the world but he never finished it. However, his son Titus was the one who completed the Coliseum.
The Coliseum was originally built with four floors. The first three floors had arched entrances, while the fourth floor had rectangular doorways. The floors each measured between 32-42 feet in height. The total height of the coliseum was approximately 144 feet. The arena in the coliseum measured 237 by 135 feet, and consisted of wood and sand. The word "arena" is from the Latin language and means "sand." When the arena was in use the people set up nets along the sides of the arena to protect the audience. The coliseum when completed could hold up to 45,000 people who would come to see games or gladiators compete against each other often until one was killed. Gladiator’s fights were often held in the coliseum until 404 A.D. The Coliseum has been damaged several times by earthquakes. However, much of the coliseum is still standing today.
The audience, upon entering the coliseum, climbed sloping ramps to get to their seats. The seating arrangements were given our according to gender and social class. The higher the social status the better seats they received. For example, women and the poor would have to stand or sit on wooden benches in the fourth tier because they were considered lower class. To protect the people not only nets were set up but also enormous awnings to protect them against bad or very hot weather.
A wooden floor covered the lower underground chambers where the gladiators and animals were kept away from the people and while waiting to perform.
The Coliseum was the used by the Roman Empire to stage gladiator battles for nearly 4 centuries. In the open ceremonies in 80 AD 100 days of the games were held. The Romans used the games to show off Rome's wealth and power to the many foreigners who came to watch the games.
Many Gladiator combats took place in the coliseum, as well as, in hundreds of other amphitheaters throughout the Roman Empire. Usually around 100 couples of gladiators were paired off to fight each other, often till death. There were sometimes as many as 5,000 pairs of gladiators fighting.
There were various types of gladiators with different weapons and armor. There were the Mirmillo or Samnite heavily armored men who would go against the Retiarius who fought almost naked with a net and a trident as his only weapons. There was also a Thracian, who fought with a dagger and a small round shield. Gladiators were often made to fight wild beasts. A defeated gladiator was usually killed by the winner unless the people expressed their desire that he be spared. In the beginning the first...