The Colusseum

The Colosseum

The Colusseum is the most famous Roman monument and is considered the very symbol of the Eternal City. It was started by Vespasian in about 72 AD, inaugurated by Titus in 80 AD and destined for public shows, above all the gladiator fighting with wild animals which lasted up until the sixth century.

After being severely damaged by a series of earthquakes, the Colusseum was transformed into a fortress in the Middle Ages and later was used as a stone quarry during the Renaissance. This plunder was stopped in the eighteenth century by order of Pope Benedict XIV and numerous later popes ensured that the monument was repaired and restored.

The magnificent construction is built in the shape of an ellipse, the longest axis measuring 188 metres and the shorter one 527 metres. From the north-east side the outside of the Colusseum appears to be completely intact with three rows of arches measuring a total of 57 metres.

The arena where the shows took place measures 76 metres by 46 metres and the cavea (terrace) is divided into three tiers, each one respectively designated to knights, citizens of Rome and the plebs. 

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