The Roman Colosseum Essay

2428 words - 10 pages

The Roman Colosseum, a colossal amphitheater, was built in the first century under Flavian's rule. Many events such as gladiator games, beast fights, naval battles, and much more took place inside the huge elliptical arena. People of all ages and classes attended these well-known spectacles. The Colosseum is a huge Roman architectural achievement and the fact that it is still standing today only amplifies the importance of this structure. Hundred of thousands of people attended the ancient games, and even more continue to visit the arena today.

According to Richard Watkins, author of the book Gladiator, a typical day at the games was filled with plenty of excitement and eager fans waiting to see the upcoming events. A day at the games was preceded by weeks and weeks of promoting the performers and the special events on the schedule. Spectators would show up hours before the event to bet on their favorite gladiator, eat and drink. After a few hours, all the seats were filled an the anxiously awaited crowd was ready to hear the sound of the trumpets signaling the beginning of the show. The crowd's attention was at the entrance of the arena where the parade marched around and celebrated the beginning of the day of events. For more information, please navigate through the links on the sidebar to get a glimpse of the main events and history of the Roman Colosseum.

The Colosseum was built by Titus Flavius Vespasianus, a man who served as a soldier under Emperor Nero and later took his place. Emperor Nero was deeply hated by the Roman people, and this hatred led Nero to commit suicide with the help of his secretary, Epaphroditus. While Nero was emperor he built the Golden House, his own personal palace. Within the palace was a stagnum, or lake. It is at this site that the Colosseum was built by Vespasian, Nero's once faithful soldier.

The Colosseum's technical name is the Flavian Amphitheater, so called in praise of the emperor who oversaw its creation. The Colosseum was begun in the year AD 72 and was still uncompleted at the time of Vespasian's death in 79. He was succeeded by his elder son, Titus, who undertook the completion of the Flavian Amphitheater. It was officially opened in AD 80 for the inaugural games.

Although the original name of this dynamic building was the Flavian Amphitheater, several centuries after being built it was referred to as the Colosseum, a lasting title. The building received this nickname from a statue that stood near the site of the arena. According to Pearson, the statue originally was of Nero, but Vespasian changed the head of the statue to the sun god, Apollo. And it was this colossus, with Apollo's head, that gave the arena its infamous name, the Colosseum.

The Colosseum was built in a valley found between the Esquiline, the Palatine, and the Caelian hills. The spot chosen, where Nero's lake used to be, was interesting and made a bold statement. Where Nero had built for his own...

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