Day Twenty Nine, Colosseum, Forum, Circus Maximus, Rome

December 13, 2012  •  Leave a Comment

Back to the colosseum... Time to inside and capture the icon of Rome.

Note: Day Twenty Eight was a rain day and blog & computer work catch-up day.

The Roman Colosseum or Coliseum, originally known as the Flavian Amphitheatre, was commisioned in AD 72 by Emperor Vespasian. It was completed by his son, Titus, in 80, with later improvements by Domitian.
The Colosseum is located just east of the Roman Forum and was built to a practical design, with its 80 arched entrances allowing easy access to 55,000 spectators, who were seated according to rank. The Coliseum is huge, an ellipse 188m long and 156 wide. Originally 240 masts were attached to stone corbels on the 4th level.

Vespesian ordered the Colosseum to be build on the site of Nero's palace, the Domus Aurea, to dissociate himself from the hated tyrant.
His aim was to gain popularity by staging deadly combats of gladiators and wild animal fights for public viewing. Massacre was on a huge scale: at inaugural games in AD 80, over 9,000 wild animals were killed.

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Here is a view from the other end... A partial floor has been built over corridors and rooms that once was under the colosseum floor. The floor in ancient times was covered in sand to obsorb the blood.

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Animals and gladiators were held and waited their turn under the colosseum floor.

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Roman gladiators were usually slaves, prisoners of war or condemned criminals. Most were men, but there were a few female gladiators. These combats were attended by the poor, the rich, and frequently the emperor himself. As gladiators fought, vicious cries and curses were heard from the audience around the Roman Colosseum. One contest after another was staged in the course of a single day. Should the ground become too soaked with blood, it was covered over with a fresh layer of sand and the performance went on.

The ancient support structures for the colosseum seating protrude like gigantic ribs throughout the arena.

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below you can see original seats that once encompassed the colosseum.

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Not only was the structure very intriguing and entertaining but some of the visitors as well.

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The gladiatorial games continued until Christianity progressively put an end to those parts of them which included the death of humans.

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Sad to see so much defacing of historic monuments.  this is part of the interior colosseum wall near the exit.

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Here the young man that accompanied me from the Italian bible college for a day was happy to help me create a meaningful picture. You can see the colosseum in the background.

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The Roman Forum was once the focus of political, social, legal and commercial life.

The Roman Forum (Forum Romanum) was the central area of the city around which ancient Rome developed. Here was where commerce, business, prostitution, cult and the administration of justice took place. Space where religious activities were conducted and the communal hearth of the city.

The Roman Forum was designed by the architect Vitruvius with proportions 3:2 (length to width). For centuries, the Forum Romanum was the site of the city's most important public buildings, such as the Arch of Septimius Severus, built in AD203 and the Roman Forum Rostra or platforms for public speeches. The reliefs on the triple arch represented many of Rome's victories over oriental tribes and the Rostra was decorated with prows of warships captured during battles. The Roman Forum became the spectacular showcase of the Roman Empire filled with beautiful statues and architecture.

The main sight of the Forum include the Arch of Titus (Arco di Tito), the Temple of Saturn (seen in the photo below), Temple of Vesta, and the church of San Luca e Martina. These are all linked by the Sacra Via, the main road through the Forum.

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Circus Maximus “Largest chariot racing and sports arena of Ancient Rome”

Below you can see the west end of the remains of the first and largest stadium for public games built in the entire Roman Empire, and the model that inspired many more since.

At over 2,000 feet long and nearly 400 feet wide, and accommodating more than 150,000 spectators, it continues to hold the prestigious title as the world’s largest stadium ever built. Famously known for its death defying chariot racing, the stadium also hosted gladiatorial games, animal hunts, plays, religious and public ceremonies, parades, and elaborate parades. Today, all that survives from the stadium is its outline with the spina in the center, and over time it’s been transformed into a public park with a spectacular view of the once prestigious Palatine hill behind it.


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