- Lydia Hong (G6) Bangbae
The Colosseum: A Representative Structure of Rome
Have you ever visited Italy? In Italy, there are many famous landmarks such as the Leaning Tower of Pisa and the Trevi Fountain. When visiting Rome, a lot of people might think of seeing the Colosseum. The Colosseum is a representative structure of Rome that has many interesting facts.
The Colosseum was built between C.E. 70 and 72, during Roman Empire under Flavian Dynasty. Originally, Emperor Nero’s Gold House was, but Emperor Vespasian took it down and built the Colosseum instead. Since Emperor Nero was very cruel to the citizens, Emperor Vespasian wanted to show that he was different from the previous ruler by getting rid of the building. Another reason why the Colosseum was built was to prevent the citizens from paying attention to politics. Roman politicians tried to suppress the citizens’ complaints by providing food and circuses in the Colosseum.
Next, the Colosseum has a complex structure. It was big enough that it was able to bring 50,000 spectators, and the circumference was over five hundred meters. At the time of its completion, it was one of the world’s most complicated and largest structures. Also, it was built in a very solid form using travertine stones, Roman cement, bricks, and tuff blocks—they were very tough to break. The Colosseum had a lot of functions as well. For example, a tent roof named “Velarium” was used to keep out the sunlight.
Interestingly, many activities and games were held in the huge Colosseum. The most popular activity is the Gladiators’ competition which most people might know about. There was even a movie named “Gladiator” which shows these warriors fighting and wanting to stay alive in the Colosseum. When the game ends, the winner gets freedom while the loser dies or prepares for the next game. The second event is fighting with the beasts. Just as the gladiators fought each other, they also fought with wild predators such as tigers and lions. A lot of them died or got badly injured while playing these games. Another entertainment that Roman citizens had was the mock naval battle. The emperor filled the Colosseum with water, and the huge ships attacked each other. Furthermore, many people were sacrificed, and a large amount of water was used. There were also many other events like chariot races.
The Colosseum is a grand structure from ancient Rome. The activities were cruel from today’s view, but it was a public entertainment facility for Roman citizens. The Colosseum provides various information related to customs, entertainment, and technology of ancient times. So, it is an important historic structure that people need to preserve.