Vespasian’s Roman colosseum

Emperor Vespasian built the Colosseum in 72 AD. It is the world’s largest amphitheater and is located in Rome, Italy. The Colosseum served the same function as a modern-day big stadium. It hosted many events, but one of the most popular spectacles in Roman times was the games of the Circus (ludi circenses). These games were held in honor of a special occasion or to commemorate a victory. Gladiators, wild animals, and condemned criminals would fight to the death for their freedom in these competitions. These types of competitions were most likely invented in the late Republican era. The intention was to cultivate the warlike spirit that had made Romans the world’s conquerors.

Gladiators of Rome

Expert gladiators were born here, and they were trained to fight to the death, while wild beasts of all kinds added to the show’s terror. During the amphitheater’s 100-day celebrations, 9000 wild animals were slaughtered, according to Dion Cassius. After the animals were killed and removed, the arena was frequently filled with water to stage naval battles.

Games of Naval Battles in Rome

Romans flocked to the Vespasian Colosseum to see the naval fights, which were among the city’s most popular attractions. Two fleets of oared vessels competed in these naval battles games.

The amphitheater’s lowest level was flooded to a depth of roughly 1 meter at high tide and 2 meters at low tide when naval fights took place. Refilling the reservoir would need the employment of either the rain or a bucket brigade.

End of the Cruel Gladiatorial Fights in Rome

Gladiators fighting in Roman Colosseum
Gladiators fighting in Roman Colosseum

Emperor Constantine and his successors attempted to outlaw gladiatorial combats, but the Romans initially refused to give up their traditional displays. A monk named Telemachus arrived from the east at the beginning of the fifth century and entered the arena, attempting to place himself between the gladiators. He begged the people to put an end to their heinous games. But the crowd began hurling abuse at him before ultimately resorting to throwing rocks, leading to his martyrdom. The games, on the other hand, had to be canceled. Because of the Christian Emperor Honorius’ sensitivity to the martyrdom of the monk. The gladiatorial fighting was then officially banned for the rest of history. He died in 391 AD, and Rome’s last gladiatorial combat occurred on January 1, 404 AD.

Colosseum was a Magnificent Symbol of Roman Power

When this amphitheater was in its prime, it must have been a magnificent symbol of Roman power. Even after so many centuries, the Colosseum remains Rome’s pride and a wonder to its visitors.

Regrettably, the amphitheater has had periods of abandonment and neglect throughout its history. Two earthquakes (in 442 and 508) that signaled the end of the Roman Empire, caused significant structural damage. Theodoric, the ruler of the Romano-Barbaric kingdom of the Goths, authorized the staging of the venation, or traditional hunt of wild beasts, in 523, and the Colosseum remained in use.

As time passed, it was transformed into a cemetery, castle, and quarry for the construction of new homes following the devastating earthquake of 1349. The marble that covered it was nearly entirely recycled during the Renaissance. Pope Benedict XIV (1740-1758) consecrated the old amphitheater by erecting a Way of the Cross and erecting a cross on the site, which has been linked to thousands of Christian martyrs, in order to prevent the Colosseum from deteriorating further. Christian martyrdom at the Colosseum has never been documented historically. It’s safe to say, though, that they were among the thousands that were killed there.

The Colosseum in Numbers

  • It was between the years 75 and 80 AD, the Romans erected the Vespasian Colosseum.
  • The external ellipse of the arena measures 188 × 156 meters
  • The area of the complex is 3357 meters
  • The facade of the Colosseum is 49 meters tall
  • The facade has three floors and eighty arches
  • On the ground level, there are eighty entrance arches. The emperor, the imperial family, and the vestals used the reserved four main entrances with propylaeums.
  • The linear seating space could have held 73,000 spectators.