Grand Roman Colosseum: The Flavian Amphitheatre

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The grand Roman Colosseum, also know as the Flavian Amphitheatre, was completed in the year 80 AD. The Colosseum has been photographed, painted, and visited by thousands of people a year; it still stands today, surviving earthquakes and countless wars. Thousands of years old; its design is still used today. Even though the building’s use was brutal and barbaric in many people’s minds today, the building is still admired my many. The Colosseum was built as a testament to Roman architecture, and stands as a symbol of the Roman Empire’s overindulgence. Amphitheatre, (the word), is Greek, created from two words, which translated means “theater in the round”. Even though the word was derived from the Greek, the amphitheatre is believed to be…show more content…
The architect who designed the Colosseum is unknown. “Roman architects are faceless men of architecture, and the Colosseum represents the supreme example of the assertion of wealth and power over genius.” (Pearson 76) The fact is the Flavian Amphitheatre was Emperor Vespasian’s building, and used it to fulfill his purpose. Vespasian wanted an amphitheater for his people and wanted it to be bigger than life, and made of concrete. Construction of the Colosseum took about six years to complete. The site where the Colosseum was to be built had Nero’s artificial lake on it, so their first task was to drain the lake. After the lake was completely drained, a ring of concrete twenty-five feet thick was laid down. The ring was made of Roman concrete which was composed of pozzolana; an indigenous type of sand expelled from volcanoes in that region. “One of the most valuable properties of such a mixture was that it hardened in contact with water – a characteristic probably first discovered by the Romans during the construction of the harbour and associated buildings at Pozzuoli near Naples.” (Pereira 31) The Romans knew how important their concrete was. The skillful Roman engineers and architects were able to design and build highly advanced buildings, the world had never seen before. Because of the incredible toughness of the pozzolana…show more content…
Two more entrances were reserved for the royalty, including the emperor and his guests. Two additional entrances were used by the gladiators, who entered in procession. The many entrances allowed for easy access to the seating sections, and also allowed for quick and easy exiting of the Colosseum. The amphitheatre had 45,000 seats and had standing room for another 5,000. Most of the seats in the Colosseum were made of marble, and their incredible weight had to be supported by squared peers of travertine (a local limestone). A series of radial walls made of tufa, (a type of concrete), and a system of barrel vaults supported the terrace seats. The Colosseum’s seating arrangements emphasized the class structure set up in the Roman Empire; as each class had their own section. The most prestigious section was the podium, which was a marble terrace. The emperor, the Pontifex Maximus (high priest), vestal virgins, and the Aedile in charge of the games, all occupied this section. Behind the podium were the primary seats, which were composed of tiers of marble seats. The primary section was divided into two sections. The first section was intended for distinguished private Roman citizens, and the second section was meant for the middle class. There were also secondary seats that were divided into two sections. The first of these secondary seats were seats

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