The Colosseum in Rome is found in the center of the city and originally named as “flavian” amphitheatre is the largest structure built during the Roman Empire. Under Emperor Vespasian, this greatest work of Roman architecture and Roman engineering was constructed in 72 AD and was completed under Titus in 80 AD.
During the Roman Empire games were considered to be a symbol of prestige and power a way to increase the emperor’s popularity, because at that time Rome’s Colosseum was the beating heart of the mob, giving them games and the emperor will be loved for it. It was a way of gaining respect.
This elliptical manmade structure has been used for some 500 years and can occupy a staggering 50,000 spectators, who gathered to watch events such as animal hunts, executions, mock sea battles, re-enactments of famous battles, dramas and the infamous gladiator fights. These spectacles or games were used by emperors to entertain the public.
Covering an area of 188m by 156m, the Colosseum and has a height of 159ft. Above the ground are some four-storey high.
The upper tiers were for women and lower classes, the lowest tiers was for the famous and rich citizens, and below the ground were rooms and cages for mechanical devices and wild animals to appear in the middle or early in the game. This magnificent engineering was sheeted with an enormous material called “velarium”, stretched on a frame to protect the audience from the sun called..
The structure was carefully planned and executed with a series of combinations to make it a masterpiece: foundations were concrete, the piers and arcades were filled with calcareous rocks, in between the piers for the walls of the lower two tiers was poured with porous rock composed of calcium carbonate and brick concrete was used for the upper levels.
Its monumental size has left Rome’s Colosseum in a state of ruins because of earthquakes and stone robbers. However, it is still open for tourists and its grandeur of design still touches modern day amphitheatres construction, a practical and efficient way of producing and controlling a sea of spectators makes it one of the great architectural and engineered monuments of the Roman Empire.
Photo Credit : World of New 7 Wonders