The Coliseum, originally the Flavian Amphitheatre or simply the Amphitheatrum , is the most famous Roman amphitheater , and is located in the city center of Rome. Able to hold up to 50,000 spectators , is the largest and most important Roman amphitheater, and the most imposing monument of ancient Rome that has come down to us.
History and architecture
“Quando stat colyseum stat et Roma et stat et mundus quando cadet colyseum cadet et Roma quando et Roma cadet et mundus”,Bede. So the Venerable Bede , in the ninth century defines the Coliseum, the symbol of Rome unique and unchallenged ; its grandeur and beauty are responsible for such consideration among the Romans and visitors for centuries and centuries, fascinated by Rome and the Roman and Christian vestiges have made it the capital of paganism and Catholicism.
This beautiful monument placed in the city center of Rome , is one of the few monuments that were received in the contemporary civilization of ancient Rome. The site is the most important of the imperial city : the area of land previously occupied by Nero's Domus . At the topographic level its realization represents a return of the area for the people carried out by the Flavian with the design and implementation of the 1st and most monumental masonry amphitheater in Rome.
The Coliseum , as the entire historical center of Rome, has been included in the list of World Heritage UNESCO in 1980. Designed in an engineering creation by the most skilled work teams and at the same time for different sectors and for various constituent parts of the complex, still shows the magnitude of the capital of the Roman Empire and the glory of the emperors.
It is a building that echoes in eternity despite the abandonment by 509 AD and reused in medieval and modern age. The name of coliseum derives from the colossal statue of the Emperor Nero, who stood there in front of the amphitheater ; the Flavian amphitheater represents the image of the urban entertainment industry in ancient Rome : it is the building that refuge the very much loved show by the ancient Roman (gladiator duels , death sentences, spectacular hunts and various simulations).
It has been calculated that it could accommodate 50,000 spectators ; archaeologists and epigraphists could also rebuild the organization and the seating arrangements within the rules and in accordance with precise laws . It is also known as locus martirio of Christians, who often were sentenced to death as common criminals until Constantine begins the process of prohibition and abandonment of pagan practices and violent customs against Christianity.
Shows and games in ancient Rome lasted , however, beyond the provisions and prohibitions of the Church and imperial Fathers. Only the death sentences and certain types of representations fall on a disuse and a metamorphosis of the costumes leads to the formation of the civilization of late antiquity or low- imperial and early medieval and Byzantine age.
Archaeological excavations have brought to light the inherent materials of this building: faunal remains of wild beasts used, helmets, weapons and some fragments or pieces of the gadgets of the time ( bottle bottoms with pictures of the coliseum etc.).
The building project was conceived under Vespasian , inaugurated by Titus in 80 AD ; The facade is 50 meters high , the internal elliptical arena measuring 86x54 meters ; the amphitheater could seat 50,000 spectators , and was covered with a huge tarp ( velarium) to protect the public from the sun.
Many spectators watched the games. From the archaeological remains and earthenware coatings and waterproofing of the building shows that the arena was also flooded to simulate naval battles (navalia).
Many remakes are happened over the time , partly as a result of fires, earthquakes and floods, to the end of its use and maintenance during the reign of Theodoric, in the sixth century .
In 509 AD, is staging a venation in a building almost unusable . In the late empire it was used mainly for hunting, but there are flashes of the last gladiatorial munera , while in the Middle Ages was transformed into a fortress by the Frangipane family , then used as a "marble cutter" source of materials taken and then devastated hopelessly : following the closure of many quarries, to make up for the lack of marble was commonly used in medieval times to take it from ancient monuments ; the holes are still visible on the walls from the plundering of iron clamps that held the stone blocks .
Pope Benedict XIV turned the amphitheater to holy place in memory of the blood shed by the Christian martyrs, and in 1700 became part of the Cross according to the custom still in use.
The first effective interventions for the protection and restoration dates back to 1800, when the Coliseum was covered by vegetation and the charm of the Roman ruins attracted many tourists visiting Italy for the grand tour. It was also brought to light the underlying structure of the arena, used in the past to accommodate the necessary facilities for the performance of games and also provided with elevators.
The most important studies are from the 80s in the twentieth century. The influx of tourists and pilgrims to Rome is always remarkable and its appeal to this arena now thanks to the proper evaluation and study current industry playful, sporty and scenic Roman .