Colosseum, 1860.





The Flavian amphitheatre, known by all as the Colosseum, is perhaps the most famous monument of the world: the giant elliptical shaped building, with its 48 meters high has impressed and fascinated men of all ages. Certainly it was the place preferred by the Romans, whose unbridled thirst for bloody spectacles was only appeased by the sight of the bloody battles of the gladiators. The Coliseum has four floors. The first was ten meters high and fifty with the order of seeds-columns doric. The second was 11 meters high and 85 with ionic columns. The third was 11 meters high and 60 with the order of corinthian columns.


The fourth was instead a solid masonry with a system of poles to secure the Velarium, a large tent that was used to repair the spectators from the sun. Stairs and galleries gave access to the various sectors of the grandstand. In tunnels would meet all vendors chickpeas, hot drinks and souvenirs, people who let viewers pillows and blankets at night. Looking out from the upper floors you could see a spectacular sight on the largest city in the world. Not know the name of the ingenious builder, perhaps Rabirio, the architect of Domiziano, or some Gaudenzio. Emperor Vespasiano wanted to celebrate the grandness of the Empire and inaugurated by Emperor Tito in 80 AD, the Colosseum was built in a valley between the hills of the Esquiline, the Palatine and the Celio draining a pond used by Nerone for the Domus Aurea. There was not military victory, religious holiday, the anniversary was not celebrated with bloody fighting. About seventy thousand spectators screaming excitedly followed the gladiators who challengend in duels to the death: Reziari, nets and tridents against Mirmilloni; Sanniti, with the short sword, against Traci, with shield and sword.



In only one of them, wanted by the emperor Traiano, and lasted uninterruptedly for 117 consecutive days, died on the arena more than nine thousand gladiators. Were mounted on the arena in record time, incredible scenery to make more exciting the fights that lasted from dawn to dusk and often lit by torches into the night. The bloodiest, the Sportul, invented by the emperor Claudio consisted of mixtures of hundreds of angry gladiator-all where the massacre was to be completed as soon as possible. Under the arena hosted an inextricable labyrinth of underground gladiators and wild beasts.


And in these infernal circles, among roar, scream, roar, the protagonists of the show waiting to emerge into the glare of the arena, where they waited for an audience into a frenzy, using hoists and ramps to an appearance of great effect. Are linked to the Colosseum the fierce persecution of Christians, interrupted by the Emperor Costantino in 313 AD banning the fights between gladiators and proclaimed Christianity the official religion of the Empire.

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