25 Colosseum In Rome Facts: What It Is Used For Today And Much More | Kidadl


25 Colosseum In Rome Facts: What It Is Used For Today And Much More

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The Roman Colosseum in Italy has been a popular attraction to the world for ages now.

The foundation of the Colosseum began in 72 AD and was completed in 80 AD and is 2,000 years old. Even to this day, the Flavian amphitheater is an iconic symbol that signifies the glory of ancient Rome, the pride of the culture, and its magnificence.

As magnanimous as the structure, the historical evidence the Colosseum has left matches it. Under the regiment of Emperor Vespasian, the mammoth construction had begun and had ended after a period of ten years. The structure of the Colosseum measures a whopping 4,66,15,360 cu ft (1,320,000 cu m), with the outer wall using almost 300 tones of iron clamps while the base is of travertine stone and tufa. The building materials of this Roman forum were rare and of massive quantity to support the very idea, which resulted in it being the largest amphitheater in the world with its freestanding structure. During the reign of the Flavian Dynasty and Roman Emperor, the forum has seen innumerable gladiatorial games, gladiator fights with wild animals, and almost an estimation of 10,000 animals died on the arena floor.

If you like this article about 25 Colosseum in Rome facts, then be sure to check out articles about ancient Rome facts for kids and ancient Greece for kids too!

Origins Of The Colosseum

As per the records in the chronicles, the Colosseum was pledged upon to be in establishment for hundreds of years. It was started by Emperor Vespasian and completed in the era of Titus, his son, and it was continually modified. Named after the Flavian dynasty, but later it was named Colosseum after the towering statue of Emperor Nero or the 'Colossus of Nero' as was known then (later turned into the statue of Sun God) that was placed next to it which is called Colossus. The name Colosseum, derived from the Latin adjective 'colosseus' meaning gigantic, had been settled on in the ninth century AD, but it gained popularity only from the 10th century AD.

There were several stages of decay and attacks in the middle ages, especially the great fire attack at 217 AD and the earthquakes of 443 AD, 847 AD, and 1231 AD.

The fun fact about this wonder of Rome- the Roman Colosseum, is that to date, no living person knows the name of its original architect. Perhaps the secret lived and died with Emperor Vespasian himself.

In the construction of it, there are a hundred maze-like internal layouts and eighty entrances. And it was estimated that around 60,000-100,000 people, mostly unpaid Jewish slaves, participated in the construction process.

The Roman Colosseum has been a ground for major civil wars, gladiatorial combats, naval battles, but after 523 AD, it was not used for violent games and acts. Then people started stealing stones and valuables from the construction itself, and by the end of the 13th century, it was regarded to be church property. From the 17th century onwards, it was made home to different plant species.

Below the Colosseum was built the Hypogeum that was segregated into different entries, corridors, and tunnels that connected to the Colosseum.

The striking thing about the Colosseum is that it is still regarded to be a symbol of goodwill. Hence the lighting in the exterior still changes to gold for 48 hours from white anytime death sentence of condemned criminals is overturned or if any country abolishes the death penalty, in the concern of the society at large.

This edifice, a prominent symbol of Roman history, also is the lend its stonework, including the marble seats, to numerous later constructs of Rome, most prominently to St Peter's Basilica. In fact, much of the original building materials were pilfered for use in weaponry and other purposes.

The Colosseum Over the Centuries

Over the centuries, all around the world, the Colosseum in Rome has captured the dreams and spirits of millions of people. The gladiators, in fact, rose to popularity owing to their presence in the Colosseum.

It is said that Mars, the Roman God of War, had bestowed his presence in the Colosseum of Rome too, and therefore the myths.

One of the fascinating facts of the Colosseum, which is still talked about, is that during the games of the gladiators, there was structured machinery that made wild animals and the surroundings appear from the wooden floor. The open arena was also covered with a canvas to protect from rain and sun.

Recently, it was taken note of that the majesty of Rome was renovated to reconstruct the stadium in order to paint a picture of how it was during the initial years of its birth when the gladiators put their life at stake and fought for entertaining the public. Modern architects call it terrifying because of the complexity of the construction and the horrifying incidents that had taken place in the course of its history. In fact, even in the masterpiece that it is, there have been layers of neglected construction and unsolved hazardous constructs from previous earthquakes and attacks.

For years, in one part, people of Rome had deposited garbage and dumps; again, some parts were used for religious order and purposes of personal faith, oftentimes to summon demons. Hence, in popular belief, the Colosseum is often regarded to be haunted, although, of course, that is not what it is majorly regarded to be.

Uses Of The Colosseum

The Colosseum came into being with a massive celebration where the most prominent highlights of it were the wild games in the arena. The first game that was played at the inauguration of the Colosseum had continued for 100 years. Continually, the arena was used for different modes of entertainment for the public: fights, drama, music. For religious purposes, sacrifices and rituals were also conducted owing to the wide space.

Execution and trials were frequent at this place, and each of them was different. Often practiced, the gladiators were made to fight their opponents for public entertainment and then kill the one who was to be convicted or hurled at the wild beasts to be dealt with, this established faith in the punishment system of the society amidst the public. The gladiatorial fights, each of which was different with various stages of fights, were featured with fights of different phases- sword fighting, lightweight, and heavyweight fighting. The fights were brutal and have garnered mixed feelings for a long while.

The idea of entertainment was not as expansive back in those days as it is now. It is said that shows put forth in the Colosseum were popular, especially because the most thoughtful shows portrayed the society back then, and new music was played there, which upgraded their status. After Rome held onto Christianity, instead of bloody spectacles including gladiatorial combats, the shows were changed to church plays and moral dramas.

The last fight hosted in the Colosseum was in AD 438 after it was abolished by emperor Valentinian III as the expenses mounted on.

Under the regiment of Emperor Vespasian

The Colosseum Today

To this day, of course, the Colosseum is massively legendary, as gigantic as its name suggests, and visitors visit it just to see the large arena where the main programs of entertainment took place for the audience. Back then, the path which led only the animals and gladiators to the momentous arena is now an open tourist spot of view, and there is a museum of Eros on the upper floor.

In today's time, many Roman catholic ceremonies are held at the Colosseum, too, especially in the recent 20th and 21st centuries. In the year 2013, a controversy had arisen owing to the mix in funding both from private sectors and public sectors in order to renovate the floors, and the end result of the product was unveiled when the culture minister of Italy had declared that the funds were allocated for a stage which will be utilized for the most prestigious shows while the other floors will be used for galleries, underground spaces, market places and even spots for picnics and the citizens for guided visits.

Construction Of The Colosseum

The elliptical Roman Colosseum is a freestanding structure. Built in 72 CE, upon an artificial lake constructed by Nero, the largest amphitheater measures up to 615 x 510 ft (189 x 156 m) on the externals. With a height of 157 ft (48 m) with a width of 177 ft (54 m), it is deep-seated by 354 in (9 m) into the clay bed of the lake. It has a roundabout of 80 arches with a 160 ft (48.76 m) facade.

The shape of the Colosseum is overall that an oval ring-like shape with four individual stories. On around 2.4 ha (24000 sq m) of land, the whole Colosseum was built, and as per ancient texts, the structure had a seating area for 87,000 individuals.

Predominantly the materials that were used for the construction of the Colosseum are tuff, travertine brought from Tivoli, and concrete along with bricks and around 278 iron clamps. This magnificent structure of Italy featured 80 entrances with the arches and vaults constructed in such a manner that it would lead to the staircase and corridors of each floor or level.

Although almost two-thirds of the Colosseum has been tarnished over the years owing to vandalism attacks, earthquakes, fires, but the building itself is still put in high regard and stands as a symbol of the triumph of planning and brilliance of engineering portraying the invincible Roman Empire and the power of it.

Owing to natural disasters, the Colosseum has faced destruction in almost two-third parts of it, but that does not change the status of this Flavian amphitheater. It is a top tourist attraction with a footfall of 6 million people per year. Even though it had been built with savage pagan traditions, the Christian martyrs have sworn by it for centuries because of the rich history that has had a number of different significances attached to it. Some of the most important sites and relevant spots to paint the history of the Roman Empire around the Colosseum are the Mamertine Prisons, the Basilica of Saint Clemente, the Salita Del Grillo, and the Market of Emperor Trajan, and the Roman Houses on the Caelian Hill.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for Colosseum in Rome facts then why not take a look at the ancient Greek weapons list or ancient Mesopotamia wheel?

Written By
Srija Chanda

<p>An aspiring media professional, Srija is currently pursuing her Master's degree in Mass Communication at St. Xavier's University, Kolkata, after completing her degree in journalism. With experience in PR and social media, she has also honed her leadership skills through her participation in a youth parliament. Srija's interests include devouring books, watching movies, and exploring new places through travel.</p>

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